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Why SaaS Data Centers Are Essential to Cloud Computing

By: Ernest Sampera on October 10, 2019

With the advent of cloud computing, many outdated models of software delivery have fallen to the wayside. Where IT managers once had to scrupulously track down every last Microsoft Office CD-ROM floating around the office, today they can manage licensed software across the entire enterprise through an easy-to-use web portal. This pivotal transformation has been made possible by cloud computing data centers and the development of a new model for delivering digital services: SaaS.

What is SaaS?

A complete software solution provided to customers on a subscription basis, software as a service (SaaS) has become a familiar feature of the digital workplace. Whereas companies and individuals once purchased individual licenses for software and installed it on specific computers, a larger percentage of software providers have shifted over to a cloud computing model that delivers applications over the internet.

Many SaaS programs run directly in web browsers or through specialized portals that connect directly to the developer’s network infrastructure. This model ensures that software is always up to date and that data is always backed up. Since subscriptions can be managed on an individual or enterprise level, companies using these services no longer have to worry about tracking installation disks or authorization keys. For the SaaS provider, delivering applications over a cloud network eliminates the risk of software piracy and makes it much easier to roll out new services and updates.

SaaS Cloud Computing and SaaS Data

As a fully-developed software application, SaaS solutions are located at the top of the cloud computing pyramid. They offer “plug and play” functionality for users, allowing customers to get up and running with nothing more than an internet connection and a service subscription. Since SaaS programs are built on a cloud computing model, they’re easily scalable and offer expansive data storage capabilities.

Of course, delivering those services requires a lot of capacity. A SaaS provider may deliver services over the internet, but they still need to host their applications and data somewhere. For all but the largest and most resourceful companies, these services are managed through a complex hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructure that combines the provider’s own servers with the storage and processing capacity of a leading cloud provider. About 40 percent of SaaS applications, for instance, utilize Amazon Web Services, with Microsoft Azure hosting nearly 30 percent.

SaaS Cloud Solutions and Data Center Evolution

The shift to SaaS cloud solutions over the last decade has had a tremendous impact on the evolution of data centers. Private data centers are becoming less and less common as companies make the move to colocation solutions that facilitate hybrid and multi-cloud networks. For SaaS customers, the motivation is to secure an easy and rapid on-ramp to the cloud in order to access those services with minimal latency. SaaS providers, on the other hand, need data center partners capable of hosting the servers that power their applications while also integrating their network with scalable cloud computing platforms to manage data and accommodate customer demand. They also need to take location into consideration, using edge computing strategies to improve network performance and implementing disaster recovery plans focused on redundancy and maximizing uptime.

Cloud Computing vs Data Center (or Both?)

Cloud computing and data centers are often characterized as mutually exclusive options for an organization’s IT infrastructure needs, but the truth is that they usually need both. When it comes to SaaS companies, cloud computing is essential for building and delivering their applications, as well as storing the massive amounts of data their users generate. But unless they want to host their applications over a public cloud provider’s infrastructure, which could expose them to downtime and potential data loss if anything goes wrong with the cloud provider, they should consider retaining a level of control by deploying their own servers.

By colocating servers with a data center provider, SaaS companies can have the best of both worlds. They retain the control, security, and visibility they need over their mission-critical applications while also taking advantage of the expansive power of cloud computing through data center interconnectivity. Choosing a data center partner that offers high levels of uptime and high bandwidth access to leading cloud providers, SaaS companies can build a scalable network that can meet the needs of their existing customers and can grow to accommodate future demand.

SaaS data centers play a key role in today’s cloud-driven digital economy. As more organizations come to rely on SaaS providers to deliver their business applications, data centers will need to evolve to support this growing market. By delivering unmatched connectivity and high levels of uptime, colocation data centers can help SaaS providers to build reliable, scalable networks that meet a wide range of business needs.

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