Cloud: Infrastructure, Platform, and Software as a Service

Microsoft’s cloud solution provides a comprehensive range of service-based components. Microsoft not only provides infrastructure services but also offers a range of platform and software services solutions as well.

With Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), customers get on-demand computing and storage to host, scale, and manage applications and services through Microsoft’s worldwide datacenters. This allows customers to scale with ease and quickly meet the infrastructure needs of an entire organization or an individual department, either globally or locally.

Windows Azure provides a Platform as a Service (PaaS) consisting of an operating system, a fully relational database, and consumable Web-based services that provide security-enhanced connectivity and federated access control for applications. As a family of on-demand services, the Windows Azure platform offers organizations a familiar development experience, on-demand scalability, and reduced time to market for applications.

Microsoft Software as a Service (SaaS) Online Services is subscription-based, on-demand applications and hosted services, providing end users with a consistent experience across various client devices. Microsoft has a comprehensive set of online SaaS offerings, including:

  • The Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) delivering security-enhanced, hosted communications and collaboration tools including Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Office Live Meeting, and Microsoft Office Communications Online.
  • Exchange Hosted Services is a set of tools to help organizations manage electronic communications including:
  • Protecting against spam and malware
  • Helping satisfy retention requirements for e-discovery and compliance
  • Encrypting data to preserve confidentiality
  • Maintaining access to e-mail during and after emergency situations
  • Microsoft Dynamics® CRM Online provides marketing, sales, and customer service solutions deployed through Microsoft Office Outlook or an Internet browser to help end users efficiently automate workflows and centralize customer information.
  • Office Web Apps provides on-demand access to the Web-based version of Microsoft Office suite of applications, including Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint.

With Microsoft cloud services, customers maintain choice and control over how and where services are utilized. These choices include, for instance, determining the ratio of on-premises to off-premises solutions, whether to host within a Microsoft datacenter or at Microsoft partner, and how to change the mix as needs grow, and so forth. Customers also choose which Microsoft services to deploy -- IaaS, SaaS, PaaS, or any combination of the three.

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