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As we are in the early stages of the transformation offered by cloud computing, there is lot of confusion around how various solutions and offerings fit in the overall picture for enterprise customers and the benefits of various offerings.  Whether you have to deliver SaaS, PaaS, or Custom Apps there are three building blocks you need to deliver them, datacenter with virtualization, IaaS layer on top of virtualization, and application/workload management for efficient deployment and management.  It can be argued that you don’t need virtualization or IaaS to deliver the SaaS or PaaS offerings, however, if you care about efficiency and agility you will be better off leveraging the IaaS layer running on top of the virtualization layer and using a tool for application/workload management for deploying and managing your solutions (SaaS, PaaS, or Custom Apps),  All major SaaS and PaaS players have built their own private clouds for efficiently delivering the public SaaS and PaaS solutions.

In this blog we will cover benefits provided by each of the three core building blocks, i.e. virtualization, IaaS, and Application/Workload management.  For application/workload management layer  we are using Kaavo IMOD as an example.  If you are interested in learning about when you use SaaS, Custom apps, or PaaS you may want to refer to the earlier blog on this topic.  Refer to the following figure as a big picture overview of how the major components fit in.

In datacenters we moved to virtualization to increase the resource utilization and as a result we increased the utilization of physical resources by 20%.  The virtualization market is dominated by VMWare and XEN (Citrix).  Infrastructure as a Service (Cloud) layer is another layer added on top of virtualization to provide better utilization of resources across multiple datacenters.   E.g. if you have 100 physical servers and you have 30 percent utilization, there is no need to equally distribute load across all 100 servers, a smart IaaS layer should distribute this load on less than 50 servers and turn off power to other physical servers and bring additional physical servers online as needed to optimize power utilization.  In addition IaaS layer provides optimization and simple web services and web browser interface for automating the provisioning of virtual compute, storage, and network resources across geographically distributed datacenters.  IaaS layer can be build in house (aka private cloud) or customers can choose to leverage public cloud, or Hybrid cloud (combination of public and private).  IaaS for both public and private cloud is in early stages of adoption especially in the enterprise market.  Leading players in public cloud (IaaS) space are Amazon, IBM, Rackspace, Terremark, alt.  In the private cloud space there are few companies which provide solution for building in house IaaS layer (aka private cloud), some of the companies in this space are Eucalyptus, Enomaly, IBM, Cloud.com, Nimbula, alt.  VMWare is also moving up the stack from virtualization to providing the IaaS layer.  We are not covering benefits / trade-offs of public, private, or hybrid clouds here, to learn about them, please watch this 5 minutes video.

IaaS layer provides infrastructure resources on demand, e.g. compute, storage, network, etc.  However, customers still need to install the software configure their applications or workloads to get their solution running on the IaaS layer.  In addition customers still need to provide production support for the applications / workloads for managing the run-time service levels.  Kaavo plays in the Application / Workload management space and provides the solution to automate the deployment and runtime management of applications and workloads in the cloud.  Kaavo is the first and only company that takes a top down application centric approach to managing infrastructure resources, allowing users to deliver on-demand Custom Apps, SaaS, or PaaS offerings.  Kaavo also provides the solution for automating complex  custom management tasks for maintaining application service levels similar to airplane autopilot during run-time.   To learn more about this please check the earlier blog on the subject and also checkout the high-level value proposition video for Kaavo.

Following chart summarizes the benefits delivered by each layer (Virtualization, IaaS, and Application/Workload management)

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More Stories By Jamal Mazhar

Jamal Mazhar is Founder & CEO of Kaavo. He possesses more than 15 years of experience in technology, engineering and consulting with a range of Fortune 500 companies including GE and ING. He established ING’s “Center of Excellence for B2B” which streamlined $2 billion per month in electronic money transfer operations. As Lead Architect at GE Capital e-Business team, Jamal directed analysis and implementation efforts and improved the performance of the website generating more than $1 billion in annual lease revenues. At Trilogy he provided technical and managerial expertise for several large scale e-business implementation projects for companies such as Boeing, NCR, Gartner, British Airways, Quantas Airways and Alltel. Jamal has BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and MBA from NYU Stern School of Business.