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VEXXHOST Essentials: The SaaS Omnibus

Mohammed NaserMohammed Naser

Our SaaS omnibus aims to bring you all the valuable, informational content we've published on the topic together as a one-stop solution.

SaaS helps organizations to start functioning smoothly without the burden of setting up all software infrastructure from scratch. Over the years, we have published a lot of content on SaaS and related topics. This SaaS omnibus aims to bring you all of those valuable, informational content together so that you can access it all from a one-stop solution. Each section is linked to a detailed blog where you can find more information about the said topic. Here's what you need to know about SaaS. Let's start from the basics.

What is SaaS?

SaaS, the short form for software as a service, is an internet-based software delivery model where users can access and software services via a browser. The software is centrally hosted in the service provider's data center and accessed in a subscription framework. With SaaS, customers don't have to install the software on their devices or update them from time to time – the SaaS provider is responsible for the smooth running of the application on devices.

Differentiating SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS

When enterprises decide on switching operations to the cloud, it is essential to understand the various cloud models and services and what they do. Knowing the differences between each of them will help in finding the right solution for the company. There are many as-a-service models in the market now. But, the most prominent ones are:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS) - uses the cloud/internet to deliver applications to users. These applications are hosted and managed by a third-party provider.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) - offers frameworks for developers to build upon and is used to create custom applications. The enterprise or a third-party provider manages all the servers, storage, and networking while developers manage the applications and data.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) - enables enterprises to purchase infrastructure resources on-demand instead of buying the hardware. The cloud servers included within IaaS are typically provided to the company through a dashboard or an API. The client gets control over the applications, data, middleware, operating system, and runtime.

How Do Web Applications Work?

Web applications, especially SaaS, work through web browsers. They require three significant components – web servers to handle requests from the client, app servers to execute the input, and data servers to store the information. The server-side and client-side programming are often done in different programming languages and are integrated to form user-friendly interfaces for the parties involved. Here is a look at the steps involved in the function of web apps.

  1. The user creates requests through the app's interface
  2. The request is sent to the app server
  3. App server executes the request sends the processed data to the web server
  4. The user gets the processed request on their interface from the web server.

Types and Examples of SaaS

SaaS applications can be of various types – they can be personal or organizational in nature. Some examples of SaaS are:

  • Email/messaging services
  • Calendaring/office software
  • Enterprise resource planning (ERP)
  • SaaS Accounting
  • Project Management
  • Human resources management (HRM)
  • Geographic information systems (GIS)
  • Virtualization
  • CAD software.

Common Characteristics of SaaS Applications

Even though most SaaS applications differ from each other in many aspects, there are some common characteristics. Here are some of the common elements.

  • Configuration and customization
  • Open integration protocols
  • Accelerated feature delivery
  • OpenSaaS
  • Collaboration and sharing

SaaS Security Best Practices

For many, SaaS security means that it's just about the threats a user faces while accessing the web. But, it means much more than that for both providers and customers. Most security requirements and best practices vary from industry to industry and company to company, but there are some common characteristics. Here is a glance at six best practices to follow in ensuring SaaS security.

  • Know your provider
  • Advanced authentication procedures
  • Data encryption
  • Keep usage inventory
  • Constant monitoring
  • External support resources (if needed)

Using SaaS to Enhance Growth

If you are a SaaS company or are planning to be one, this is probably a good time to operate. But, to run your SaaS business successfully, there are certain considerations companies can follow:

  • Know your target well
  • Focus on customer experience
  • Using SaaS marketing effectively
  • Plan integrations in advance
  • Know your architecture
  • Form a suitable pricing strategy

SaaS Testing

Based on business workflows and other parameters such as configurations, non-functional requirements, integrations, and data, SaaS testing validates the applications. With successful SaaS testing starting early in the development lifecycle, it has a broader scope in the damaged areas, and teams continue to test as upgrades and patches come by.

There are a few elements that can work as the basis of successful SaaS testing.

  • Application – ensure business workflows, integrations, data security, and other requirements are considered and on track.
  • Ensure accurate and secure data transfer between the SaaS and the client
  • Infrastructure – disaster recovery protocols and regulatory compliance must be ensured

SaaS Cost Optimization Tips for Any Organization

SaaS cost optimization is always a relevant issue for many businesses, especially those inexperienced in the industry. Comparatively new cloud adopters can often get surprised at certain costs or the unfamiliar pricing model involved. Companies should be fully aware of the expenses that could come to them and not be surprised by the fluctuating usage or subscription-based prices. To avoid this issue and have good SaaS cost optimization, enterprises can follow these three basic strategies.

  • Determine Whether SaaS is the Right Choice
  • Consolidated Services for SaaS Cost Optimization
  • Effective Monitoring of the SaaS

VEXXHOST Cloud Services for SaaS

SaaS is a highly beneficial model for users and providers alike. If all the SaaS cost management and security best practices are met, it can be an excellent tool for business success. Enterprises get the opportunity to focus on things that they do best while the software service is provided to them for fair prices. SaaS providers and enterprises often need cloud hosting services to support their operations, and that's where VEXXHOST clouds come in. Our OpenStack-based public and private clouds are the preferred choices for many of our clients because they are highly scalable and secure.

Take advantage of our limited-time deal just to set up a one-time, OpenStack-based private cloud deployment - at 50% off! The cloud will be running on the latest OpenStack release, Wallaby, which allows you to run Kubernetes and VMs in the same environment, and can be deployed in your own data centers with your hardware. Furthermore, all these will be deployed and tested in under a month!

What are you waiting for? Learn more!

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