Advancement in the Hyperscale cloud vendors offering is resulting in the change of roles and responsibilities for managed service providers. More and more managed service providers have started to manage the Hyperscale cloud vendors instead of directly competing against them. This article will try to clarify the managed service provider responsibility in IAAS PAAS SAAS and Private Cloud environment.
The diagram below show the demarcation of responsibility which industry is witnessing.
In Private Cloud, majority of responsibilities lies with Infrastructure Managed Service Provider quite similar to traditional hosting model. Application Managed Service Vendor usually take ownership of the Applications and Data. There are some large vendors which can provide both Application and Infrastructure Managed Service.
In IAAS, Hyperscale providers are responsible underlying infrastructure. But there is still requirements for someone to manage the Operating System (OS), Database and Infrastructure Applications (ex. Active Directory, File and Backup services). Hyperscale Cloud Vendors have started to provide capabilities to address the requirements of Infrastructure Application but still require effort to integrate and configure. Application Managed Service Provider responsibilities remain quite similar to Private Cloud model.
PAAS is the most discussed and probably most agile model. Hyperscale vendors as well as Independent Software Vendors (ISV) are continuously innovating in this field. In PAAS, developers can take benefits of the available services from Hyperscale vendors without a need to manage the virtual machine or databases. Infrastructure Managed Service are not required as long as Application Managed Service Provider (or in house application team) is able manage the Infrastructure Applications.
SAAS is might be easier to deploy and most tempting as it is on pure consumption model. Many of the SAAS vendors have created a good reputations for quality products (ex. Salesforce, Office 365) and simpler pricing models. Even though, customers can choose to directly engage with SAAS vendors to deliver and support the services, majority of the large customers work with SAAS Consultants or Vendors which specialize in that niche.
Other Related Support Service in Large Customers
Network Managed Service Provider: In the IAAS, PAAS and SAAS model, Wide Area Network (WAN) becomes a very important as most of the services are delivered over WAN. It is common for large customer to have a dedicated network managed service provider. This vendor is responsible for providing and managing secure private connection between customer premise and Hyperscale Cloud Vendor. (More details in future articles)
End-User Managed Service Provider: With all the advancement in the cloud, End-User device support still follows the traditional approach. There has been some improvement because of user workspace and desktop/application virtualization. This area still requires a lot of improvement and innovation from a support service point of view. (More details in future articles)