With more and more services being moved into the cloud, a new trend toward the convergence of the various service types, which allows you to have your infrastructure, platform, and software as a service in one centralized place. This can be beneficial, as you can simply use one provider and choose which services you need for your organization.
As cloud services have evolved, more and more types of services have become available. There have been companies providing Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Services (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), databases, backups, recovery, monitoring, and numerous other offerings. Many times, each of these service types was offered by different vendors, so those wanting to use a more converged environment had to get some services from one provider and others from another.
The various services provided by IaaS, PaaS, and Sass. Source: Silverlight Hack
Recent trends have shown that numerous service providers are trending toward a service model that is a convergence of all of these varying service types. As a result, you will likely have a much easier time on your end as well, since you can much more easily work with a single vendor to provide you both IaaS and PaaS if you are looking to move both of those responsibilities to the cloud.
Where the distinctions between service types used to be more pronounced, and as mentioned also offered by different providers, these distinctions have lessened as more and more organizations have moved to using the cloud for more than just one of the services.
For example, many companies now have both infrastructure and platform in the cloud and use both IaaS and PaaS at the same time, which blurs the lines of distinction between them since all of it is simply part of the new workflow for these IT teams and the differences are not as pronounced in this new environment.
While converged infrastructure, in general, has gained quite a bit of momentum, it’s been followed by cloud services also moving toward convergence. This is in part due to the advantages both types of convergence offer to IT and management.
Being able to pool IT resources is a great advantage, as teams can work together more easily and with a standard set of tools and procedures. With cloud service convergence, this again allows IT resources to use a single service for all of the various service needs.
Automated provisioning of resources is also eased with the convergence of cloud services. Since one vendor can provide a single and more consistent interface for its users, IT teams can more easily and quickly provision any needed resources since they will already be familiar with the system they need to use to perform the task.
Scaling can also be eased by this convergence. Since companies often have to scale infrastructure, platforms, backup capacity, and numerous other things at around the same time and do so quickly, using a central resource is a much more efficient use of time and resources.
Microsoft began offering its Azure service as PaaS. This morphed over time into a converged model where they also made infrastructure such as servers available for provisioning, thus producing a service that is converged PaaS and IaaS. Since the developers they were targeting with their original service test and launch their platforms on some sort of server infrastructure, the users would likely more than welcome the ability to perform both tasks in a single environment.
With this type of trend happening in numerous environments, it is only natural that other cloud service providers have done much the same thing, combining multiple service types into a converged service infrastructure that will make management of these resource far easier for IT teams and managers.