What is XaaS (anything as a service)?

The importance of cloud is steadily increasing; cloud-computing enables companies to outsource large parts of their resources. XaaS now describes the ability to provide “everything” as a service, thus taking this approach to the extreme. More specifically, all services such as infrastructure or even hardware are provided via the cloud.

What is XaaS?

The abbreviation “XaaS” stands for “anything as a service”. As the name suggests, the basic idea behind the concept is to offer all conceivable services as a service. Instead of local software on site, the cloud computing model is used to provide software or hardware, for example, resulting in greater flexibility and greater specialization. Costs can also be reduced through XaaS, as companies no longer have to rely on building their own infrastructure but can simply obtain it as a service. Incidentally, the abbreviation “EaaS” is used synonymously with XaaS, which stands for “Everything as a Service”.

How does XaaS work?

The core concept behind XaaS is cloud computing, i.e. the provision of hardware or software resources via the cloud. Anything as a service companies can offer their services to millions of users in this way. Such companies can also be understood as IT system house, which offers all IT services under one roof, so to speak. Therefore, with the help of XaaS, all IT services required are provided in one, making work easier for customers.

In addition to such system houses that provide all services as a service, there are a number of companies that specialize in a specific area that falls under XaaS.

Typical XaaS content

Smart, IT-based service solutions are increasingly replacing their local counterparts. We have compiled a list of the most important approaches for you. In the case of other service solutions such as HaaS (Humas as a Service), it is not clear to what extent they fall under the collective term XaaS. This is when activities that can either be performed very slowly or not at all by computers are performed by humans and provided as a web service via corresponding online marketplaces.

SaaS — Software as a Service

SaaS is an area of cloud computing in which applications are provided as a service. This principle is used by e-mail providers, for example. In SaaS applications, users can create accounts and simply access the application they need online without having to manage the hardware or software themselves.

IaaS — Infrastructure as a Service

IaaS is another approach that falls under the collective term XaaS. For example, customers of IaaS companies can simultaneously access their high-performance and scalable IT infrastructure, e.g., servers or firewalls, and determine how much computing or graphics power is required. It is possible to adapt the resources to their own requirements at any time.

PaaS — Platform as a Service

With PaaS, the two aforementioned concepts are linked in some way: Platform as a service makes it possible, for example, to create, test, deploy and maintain web applications directly. In addition to the required IT infrastructure, customers are given suitable runtime or development environments for this purpose.

Note

The plethora of different service solutions can be confusing. See our overview article for the most important differences between SaaS, IaaS and PaaS.

DBaaS — Database as a Service

Even the use and management of databases no longer has to take place locally. Another sub-segment of XaaS is DBaaS. Database as a service provides necessary IT infrastructure combined with a suitable database management system directly via the cloud, so that the clientele simply needs to access it.

Tip

Want to outsource your database? IONOS has the solution. Database as a service by IONOS enables you to access ready-to-use databases.

BaaS — Backend as a Service

BaaS goes one step further and includes more than just the provision and management of databases via cloud. The basic idea of BaaS is to host the entire backend in the cloud. This also includes updates. This means developers do not need to program the entire infrastructure themselves and can concentrate on other elements of web development such as the front end.

FaaS — Function as a Service

Also falling under XaaS is FaaS. Users can easily program applications that run on servers owned by the FaaS company and whose infrastructure is also owned by the providers. This means developers do not have to concentrate on updates or maintenance but can focus entirely on the functionality of the application.

STaaS — Storage as a Service

Data storage can also be outsourced using the cloud. Service providers specializing in STaaS offer both private individuals and companies storage space via cloud computing. Its use is based on IaaS and is highly flexible, so that you can always book right amount of storage space.

DRaaS — Disaster Recovery as a Service

One of the most popular services in cloud computing and XaaS is DRaaS. Disaster recovery as a service companies take care of the recovery of IT systems when needed, so that their clientele can focus entirely on their core business and not have to worry about downtime.

AaaS — Analytics as a Service

Analyzing business processes is important for the success of companies. But thanks to XaaS, it no longer necessarily has to be done locally either. Analytics as a Service companies provide analytics software via the cloud that can be customized to meet needs specific to the business.

CaaS — Container as a Service

Meanwhile, even container-based virtualization is available as a service solution. With CaaS, end users can make use of container services via cloud computing. This way, they do not have to host the necessary infrastructure themselves. Container as a service companies normally offer their customers a complete container environment including suitable development tools and API.

Pros of XaaS

Anything as a Service is a realization of the theories of specialization and division of labor established in business management theory. Therefore, it offers companies a number of advantages. One important point is cost efficiency. Most service solutions are concluded as subscriptions and can be terminated at any time or within short periods. If requirements change, the subscription can be adjusted very easily. XaaS solutions can grow flexibly with the company. The cost of hiring specialized employees is also eliminated when using service solutions.

In addition, XaaS approaches eliminate startup difficulties by leveraging the advantages of cloud computing. Startups and young companies are no longer forced to invest in high-priced software or hardware at the very beginning but can rent it without much effort. This leaves them able to focus on their business model right from the start without having to worry about the IT infrastructure.

Due to the specialization of XaaS companies, professional technical support is also often guaranteed. This provides speedy solutions in the event of problems. Finding these solutions within the company often involves a lot of effort.

Cons of XaaS

The use of XaaS may also entail disadvantages, particularly in security and data protection. Data is transferred to third-party companies for the use of XaaS solutions, which can affect the security of this data. Depending on where the third-party service provider is based, they may not be subject to the same data protection laws as your company. This makes it necessary to closely examine the service providers in question. The likelihood of being hacked also increases when working with additional companies, as the sensitive data is then processed by several companies rather than just one.

Another disadvantage of using XaaS solutions is the risk of downtime of the respective service. In such cases, the clientele must rely on the anything as a service company and cannot work on fixing the problem themselves.

Users of XaaS services could also incur hidden costs. To avoid this, it is important to check the contracts concluded with XaaS companies for such cost traps.