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Everything as a Service (XaaS): Let’s list’em all


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As-as-Service model is now popular, helped by the raise of cloud services. Let's try to list everthing that you can get based on a subscription.

XaaS or *aaS is an acronym that stands for “everything as a service” or “anything as a service”. It regroups products, tools and technologies provided to users as a shared service over a network (usually internet) rather than provide on-premise within one single company. [1]

The following image gives the difference between On-site, IaaS, PaaS and SaaS models and shows what you manage vs. what the service provider manages: [2]

Everything as a Service (XaaS)

Everthing as a Service. But what are the “as a Service” offerings? Let’s try to list’em all… 

For each service, I give a definition with its source and example of services from different companies (Amazon Web Services, Citrix, Google, Microsoft, SalesForce…). BTW, find the intruder in the list!


Artificial Intelligence as a Service (AIaaS)

Artificial Intelligence as a Service (AIaaS) is a third-party offering of AI outsourcing.

Source: [MyBlindBird AIaaS]
 Amazon Machine LearningAzure Machine LearningGoogle Cloud AI Platform

Backup as a Service (BaaS)

Online backup service, also known as cloud backup or backup as a service (BaaS), is a method of offsite data storage in which files, folders, or the entire contents of a hard drive are regularly backed up by a service vendor to a remote secure cloud-based data repository over a network connection.

Source: [NetApp BaaS]
 AWS BackupAzure Backup

Container as a Service (CaaS)

Containers-as-a-Service (CaaS) is a model of cloud services computing that lets users deploy and manage applications through container-based abstraction. The provider offers the framework, or the orchestration platform, on which the containers are deployed and managed, and it’s through this orchestration that key IT functions are automated.

Source: [RedHat CaaS]
 Containers on AWSMicrosoft Container ServicesRedHat OpenShift

Desktop as a Service (DaaS)

Desktop as a Service (DaaS) is a cloud computing offering where a service provider delivers virtual desktops to end users over the Internet, licensed with a per-user subscription.
Source: [VMWare DaaS]
 Amazon WorkspacesCitrix Managed DesktopsMicrosoft Windows Virtual Desktop

Database as a Service (DBaaS)

Database as a service (DBaaS) is a cloud computing service model that provides users with some form of access to a database without the need for setting up physical hardware, installing software or configuring for performance. 

Source: [Techopedia DBaaS]
 AWS RDSAzure SQL Database

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

DRaaS, also known as disaster recovery as a service, is the replication of hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide failover in the event of a man-made or natural catastrophe.

Function as a Service (FaaS)

Function as a service (FaaS) is a category of cloud computing services that provides a platform allowing customers to develop, run, and manage application functionalities without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure typically associated with developing and launching an app. Building an application following this model is one way of achieving a “serverless” architecture, and is typically used when building microservices applications.

Source: [Wikipedia FaaS]
AWS LambdaGoogle Cloud FunctionsMicrosoft Azure Functions

Infrastructure as Service (IaaS)

The capability provided to the consumer is to provision processing, storage, networks, and other fundamental computing resources where the consumer is able to deploy and run arbitrary software, which can include operating systems and applications. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure but has control over operating systems, storage, and deployed applications; and possibly limited control of select networking components (e.g., host firewalls).
Source: [NIST]
 Amazon EC2Google Compute EngineMicrosoft VM

IoT as a Service (IoTaaS)

IoT as a service offers to assist enterprises with the deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

 AWS IoT, Azure IoT Central

Mobility as a Service (MaaS)

Mobility as a Service (MaaS), aka Transportation as a Service (TaaS), is the integration of various forms of transport services into a single mobility service accessible on demand.

Source: [MaaS Alliance]

Network as a Service (NaaS)

Network as a service consists of offering network functionality on a subscription basis, often through the cloud.

Source: [Techopedia NaaS]
 Amazon Networking: Amazon VPC, Amazon Route 53, Amazon Elastic Load Balancing, AWS WAF, AWS Firewall Manager…, Azure Networking: Azure ExpressRoute, Azure DNS, Azure Load Balancer, Azure WAF, Azure Firewall…

Pizza as a Service (PIZZaaS)

Back in 2014 Albert Baron, Enterprise Architect at Google was trying to explain the differences between IaaS, PaaS and SaaS using the example of a (virtual) Pizza as a Service model:

Source: [Baron]

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

The capability provided to the consumer is to deploy onto the cloud infrastructure consumer-created or acquired applications created using programming languages, libraries, services, and tools supported by the provider. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, or storage, but has control over the deployed applications and possibly configuration settings for the application-hosting environment.
Source: [NIST]
 AWS Elastic BeanstalkGoogle App EngineRedHat OpenShiftSalesForce Platform (aka Lightening or force.com)

Software as a Service (SaaS)

The capability provided to the consumer is to use the provider’s applications running on a cloud infrastructure. The applications are accessible from various client devices through either a thin client interface, such as a web browser (e.g., web-based email), or a program interface. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, storage, or even individual application capabilities, with the possible exception of limited userspecific application configuration settings.
 Source: [NIST]
 Google Workspace (aka G Suite), Microsoft 365SalesForce

Security as a Service (SECaaS)

Security as a service (SECaaS or SaaS) is a business model in which a service provider integrates their security services into a corporate infrastructure on a subscription basis more cost effectively than most individuals or corporations can provide on their own, when total cost of ownership is considered. These security services includes:
  • Anti-virus and anti-malware/spyware
  • Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR or BC/DR)
  • Continuous monitoring
  • Data loss prevention (DLP)
  • Email security
  • Encryption
  • Identity and access management (IAM)
  • Intrusion detection and protection services (IDS/IPS)
  • Network security
  • Penetration testing
  • Security assessment
  • Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
  • Vulnerability scanning
  • Web security

Source: [Wikipedia SECaaS]

STorage as a Service (STaaS)

 Storage as a service (STaaS) is a business model in which a company leases or rents its storage infrastructure to another company or individuals to store data.

Source: [Techopedia STaaS]
 Amazon S3Azure Blob Storage

If you find more examples of “as a Service” products, let me know in the comment.


[1] XaaS (Anything as a Service), TechTarget

[2] IaaS vs PaaS vs SaaS, RedHat 

Why The ‘As-A-Service’ Model Works So Well For Digital Transformation, Daniel Newman, Forbes, June 27, 2007

AWS to Azure services comparison, Microsoft, November 11, 2020

Everything as a Service (XaaS), Definitions and examples, Sam Solutions, January 9, 2020

[MaaS Alliance] MaaS White Paper, MaaS Alliance, September 4, 2017

[NIST] The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing, National Institute of Standard Technology, US. Department of Commerce, Special Publication 800-145, September 2011

[MyBlindBird AIaaS] AI as a Service (AIaaS), My Blind Bird, December 17, 2019 by Vijay Soni

[Baron] Pizza as a Service, Albart Baron, Google, July 30, 2014

[NetApp BaaS] What is Backup as a Service, NetApp

[RedHat CaaS] What is CaaS?, RedHat

[Techopedia DBaaS] Database as a Service (DBaaS), Techopedia

[Techopeida NaaS] Network as a Service (NaaS), Techopedia

[Techopedia STaaS] STorage as a Service (STaaS), Techopedia

[VMWare DaaS] Desktop as a Service, VMware Glossary

[Wikipedia SECaaS] Security as a Service, Wikipedia

Photo credits
Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

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