software as a service

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SharePoint Cloud Hosting: IaaS for your PaaS

Sure, in one sense Microsoft SharePoint is an application: the SharePoint software package is installed and deployed directly on a server (or cluster of multiple servers). But SharePoint is so much more than just another enterprise-level application. Fundamentally, SharePoint is also a platform. Beyond its ‘off-the-shelf’ capabilities for online collaboration and workflow management, SharePoint also serves as the backbone to enable specialized apps and solutions from third-party vendors.

With a SharePoint environment, you get a fully-featured platform upon which other business-critical applications can be installed. And under the broad umbrella of the SharePoint platform, there is a rich tapestry of business applications to choose from: Business Intelligence (BI) apps, content and document management apps and extensions, search software ‘bolt-ons’ including FAST Search Server, extensible code libraries, reusable web parts, security and compliance solutions and list goes on and on. While maybe SharePoint was originally conceived as a standalone program, it has evolved to become a premier applications platform for developers to customize and build upon.

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Where Cloud Computing Meets SharePoint

Cloud ComputingAre you in the Cloud yet? Microsoft and are “all in”. Cloud computing adoption is soaring, but there are still a lot of IT pros and decision makers who don’t trust or simply don’t understand the benefits and details of how it works.

So what’s ‘The Cloud’ all about?

Cloud computing takes the efficiency gained by virtualization over physical hardware to the next level. With the Cloud, computing resources can be scaled up and down on demand better utilizing the underlying computing resources.

Cloud computing is divided into three service models:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)

Along with these service models, there are also different deployment models: public, private, community, and hybrid clouds. We’ll focus on private cloud environments for the remainder of this article.

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