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Is Everyone an aaS?

By John | June 23, 2008

There has been a lot of name calling among cloud vendors and a lot of cloud vendors have been calling other vendors aaSs by defining them into three specific categories. They seem to be making an aaS of themselves in the process. In my opinion trying to fit all cloud vendors into one aaS hole doesn’t seem to fit. The common way of calling a cloud vendor an aaS is as follows:

The problem I have with this list is that it it assumes all cloud vendors are aaSs and this seems like a dumb aaS assumption. I have talked to the guys over at CohesiveFT and I can assure you they are not an aaS. I don’t know the guys over at rPath , but based on what I have heard, I don’t think they are an aaS either. 3Tera is not an aaS; however, the guys over at GridLayer who host 3Tera’s Applogic might be an aaS. Google acts like an aaS sometimes and no one can dispute that. Now I am not going to call IBM an aaS as they are my bread-n-butter; however, some might say their little aaS Blue Cloud seems to missing a lot of information and calling it an aaS might be a little bit asinine. There is a lot of buzz on a new open source cloud solution called Eucalyptus from the University of California that provides software for an elastic computing architecture. I am not sure we want to call a prestigious bunch like the University of California a bunch of aaSs. Also, what about the fat aaS vendors like Rightscale, Elastra, and Enomaly who are providing an aaS that sits on top of another aaS (ouch). What kind of aaS’s are they? We have all heard of some of the problems Amazon has had with their aaS, and I have heard they are working really hard to wipe all of their dangling items clean from their aaS. It is my belief that there is a huge difference between an exposed aaS facing a customer vs. an aaS that is clothed behind something like a private aaS. Exposing your aaS in public might not be for everyone. In the end, there are a lot of hard working cloud vendors and simply calling them all as aaSs seems like an aaS backward assumption.

Remember, when you assume that everyone is an aaS, you make an aaS out of you and me.

Topics: 3tera, cloud computing, cloudt10, elastra, eucalyptus, ibm, rightscale, sillystory, velocity | 17 Comments »

17 Responses to “Is Everyone an aaS?”

  1. stu Says:
    June 20th, 2008 at 11:00 am

    For some reason I’m reminded of the Jerky Boys’ Pablo Honey….

  2. Peter Nickolov Says:
    June 20th, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    A classic John Willis moment — and a great way to start the day, sitting on your aaS and reading… Awesome.

  3. Andrew Trossman Says:
    June 20th, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    I’ll try not to make an aaS out of myself (this time), but, I wanted to make a few comments:
    1) Cute play on words
    2) There really seems to be a lot of confusion about aaS “cloud” offerings and cloud enablement offerings. IBM’s blue cloud is certainly guilty of this one too since there are both aaS’s like the ones built for universities and the same infrastructure is also available to others looking for the fog (internal aaS’s).
    3) BTW, while enomaly does have code that can manage other aaS’s, I think their main thing, enomalism, is open source cloud management infrastructure – similar in role to some of IBM’s offerings to enable private clouds (aka fog), or even 3Tera’s Applogic.
    4) I’ve lost count of all the open source projects that can play significant roles in running pools of virtual x86 servers. I like that Eucalyptus is conforming to _some_ of the AWS interfaces, but they’re certainly not the only, nor best, nor most mature, etc. open source solution for running clouds. We’ll have to see this one play out for a while yet…

    Hope I wasn’t too much of an aaS

  4. John Says:
    June 20th, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Thanks guys…

    Andrew great comment post. I wish more people took advantage of comments they can be the life blood of a good blog conversation.


  5. James Urquhart Says:
    June 20th, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Classic, John. Made me realize I may be becoming a little bit of an aaS man myself…

  6. Roland Says:
    June 20th, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    I really like playing with words, thought this post kind of lost focus – not any piece of software might also be a service. But, who cares. This was a funny entry, which pointed my to some interesting thoughts. What might add some more fun is that ‘Aas’ is the german word for a carrion crow or a vulture. But connecting this fact with the content of Johns blog goes a little bit too far this night (it’s 23:00 here in germany). Can someone, maybe John, enlighten my about the meaning of the donkeys? How does it fit into the world of clouds and IT service management?


  7. John Says:
    June 20th, 2008 at 6:47 pm


    Most of the post is based on my true beliefs about clouds. For example a lot of people are trying to put all cloud solutions into (SaaS,PaaS, and IaaS). However software solutions like 3Tera and Eucalyptus are not as-a-service but they are indeed clouds. Also vendors like CohesiveFT, and rPath are also vendors providing cloud solutions and again they are not as-a-service offerings.

    However, I do agree I went a little off course once I started getting into it. I just couldn’t resist abusing the “aaS” example.

    The donkey is a JackaaS…


  8. People Over Process » SalesForce-to-Google and the PaaS Lock-in Question Says:
    June 24th, 2008 at 1:15 am

    [...] Open Source in World of aaSes [...]

  9. People Over Process » Hyperic CloudStatus - Starting the Ball Rolling Says:
    June 25th, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    [...] into Amazon EC2 – there aren’t a whole hell of a lotta services that simply do monitoring of *aaSes. Sure, you can ping things all day long – check for basic uptime – but the metrics beyond uptime [...]

  10. June 2008 Review Post | IT Management and Cloud Blog Says:
    July 1st, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    [...] little secret behind a lot of what is going on in the clouds. I also made an aaS out of myself with this particular post and I made a few of the nice boys and girls at Hyperic kinda mad at me with this one as well. I [...]

  11. Is Guitar Hero a Cloud? The Cloud Wars | IT Management and Cloud Blog Says:
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    [...] 11 list was a little to long when it included and Akamai as cloud providers. The general consensus seems to be, if you are a SaaS, PaaS, or a IaaS you are probably a cloud and this makes the list even [...]

  12. What is cloud computing? — Server Specs Says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    [...] expounds on the aaS point with a bit of humor. He recently shared a discussion from an Awesome meeting, in which attendees [...]

  13. Cloud Review | IT Management and Cloud Blog Says:
    July 15th, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    [...] Is Everyone an aaS? [...]

  14. Sam Johnston Says:
    August 3rd, 2008 at 4:35 am

    I wrote about ‘Everything as a service’, or ‘EaaS’, ‘XaaS’, ‘*aaS’, or just plain ‘aaS’ at Wikipedia last week with a view to collating the key characteristics of aaS-centric offerings:

    This was a precursor to a complete overhaul of the cloud computing article, and indeed the aaS is in the cloud:

    Making everything an aaS just won’t do though and the proliferation of aaSes has to stop. Fortunately dropping the aaS and prepending ‘Cloud’ works nicely most of the time:

    Cloud applications
    Cloud platforms
    Cloud infrastructure



  15. Colocation » Blog Archive » What is cloud computing? Says:
    November 10th, 2008 at 9:47 am

    [...] expounds on the aaS point with a bit of humor. He recently shared a discussion from an Awesome meeting, in which attendees [...]

  16. What is cloud computing? | Results videos photos news blogs At I google wiki . com Says:
    July 11th, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    [...] expounds on the aaS point with a bit of humor. He recently shared a discussion from an Awesome meeting, in which attendees [...]

  17. Robert Patt-Corner Says:
    August 10th, 2009 at 5:55 am

    Seems to me part of evolving a new paradigm is growing the mental models that support and surround it. Hence the “pace” of donkeys here.

    When a fit seems forced, as you’ve pointed out, it sometimes means the model’s fundamentally flawed; other times it means the model’s incomplete and needs extension. I’d like to suggest we have the second case here.

    Many, not all, of the services mentioned that fit badly in the aaS stack can be seeen as cross cutting aspects of services that do fit the stack; in particular management aspects.

    Perhaps the aaS needs a rider or two, along the side of the stack (sidesaddle?). Something like this:


    There are a few other cross cutters too. Perhaps we need the equivalent of Spring or AspectJ for the cloud to weave the aspects in.

    In short, not sure we should throw out the aaS with the baathwater.