(Why) The Future of Technology Lies Within Software as a Service and the Cloud

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By: Anton McClure;
Tags: Technology; SaaS;

The Cloud and SaaS powers many new technologies. Do I need the cloud if I can home host? Is cloud computing the future of technology?

Cloud Computing image by Tumisu. Image licensed under the Pixabay License.
Cloud Computing image by Tumisu. Image licensed under the Pixabay License.

What is Software as a Service

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a method for hosting software that you can easily access online instead of making the user download and install the software. SaaS is a term that covers a variety of services for Infrastructure, Platform, and Software, all of these provided as a service. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is computing resources such as servers and networks hosted in the cloud. Platform as a Service (PaaS) is IaaS along with server software. Software as a Service (SaaS) is both IaaS and PaaS along with the hosted applications. These technologies are what powers many programs and the organizations running them.

What is the Cloud

The cloud refers to a server accessed remotely for data processing, services, and more. These servers are typically available 24/7 and can handle a large number of requests. Cloud computing powers all levels of SaaS, making it the base for modern technology. Instead of spending money on hardware, software, and people to run everything, it is easier and more efficient to have better computing power available over the Internet. Your cloud provider would be responsible for the infrastructure rather than you, saving you money.

Tilde as an Example

By definition, the powerful tildes, the tildeverse, and the services they provide would be cloud-hosted SaaS programs.

The infrastructure level would be the data centers, the servers, the hardware, security measures taken by the host company and people running the server, along with other services provided by the host for the server infrastructure. The platform level would include the server operating system, server software, and any other software installed by their admins. The software level is the hosted software accessible from their respective URLs.

Most of the infrastructure powering tildeverse services and its member servers come from a professionally hosted data center. While there are tildes hosted at home, it is becoming rarer to find home-hosted tildes.

Cloud hosting leaves resources that can go to innovation and security, rather than just hosting, and the tildeverse would be able to take advantage of these benefits.

Is Home Hosting Still an Option

It is possible to self-host your servers. However, this may not be worth the effort.

For starters, you will need a static (fixed) IP address. Most residential internet service providers give dynamic (changing) IP addresses but may offer static addresses with additional fees.

ADSL upload and download speeds are not going to be the same rates. Downloading speeds tend to be higher than uploading speeds, and as a server, data received by your users will go over the limited upload speed. Your server networking and home internet connections will slow down based on connection hit rates.

You will also need to supply hardware and software for your server, and you are solely responsible for any maintenance on it. While you can use any device, such as a Raspberry Pi or an old laptop with any software, it can become a risk to anyone on that network.

Remote attacks will place the attacker in your home network, free to do anything they want with other devices. Even if you have firewall software, they may still be able to bypass then.

There is also the risk of downtime, such as if your computer crashes or needs to restart for updates. If your computer isn’t on 24/7, your server would be offline.

Since your server will need to be on 24/7, you will also need to pay for electricity to run the server.

Depending on the hardware and software, prices will quickly add up and leave you with thousands of dollars in bills, not including the unexpected costs and downtime if problems happen.

The Cloud and SaaS is the Future

The cloud and SaaS make innovating easier and lowers costs. As technology, server hardware, and the Internet get better, so will both the Cloud and SaaS. In a digital age, technology and services need to be innovative and competitive, bringing out the best possibilities and the full potential of these technologies. Our future will bring many life-changing improvements, and SaaS and the Cloud makes this future possible. What does IaaS, PasS, SaaS, and the Cloud mean for you, and what do you expect to see from the future of technology?

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