April 29, 2008
With all the attention of late that PaaS providers are getting, it seems a good time to reflect on the stark contrast between two types of SaaS provider: those who do their own infrastructure, and those who farm it out.
Everyone knows that salesforce.com is the grandaddy of SaaS vendors, and it has gone down the only path that was open to it when it was conceived, that of creating and hosting its own infrastructure. As the somewhat acidic FSJ commented;
Benioff, ironically, has built his business around a bloated, overly expensive, outdated business model, a model that comes straight out of the late Nineties — he’s running his own data center, and he’s using Sun servers and Oracle software. It’s like “Back to the Future.” Meanwhile the rest of the world has leapt ahead onto Intel architecture and Linux. For Benioff to survive into the era of the cloud he’ll have to rip up his entire architecture and rebuild it. Yeah. It’s like that. He’s stuck. And he knows it. He’s not doing cloud computing. He’s doing what we all already recognize was a precursor to the cloud.
Already the CEO of SaaS vendor Sonian Networks uses the term “Legacy SaaS” to refer to those player of old who actual do their own hosting and serving.
I think it’s too early to entirely discount the self-hosting strategy, but it does seem, with ubiquitous, scalable and economically priced PaaS solutions now available from a number of vendors, that proprietary infrastructure will go the way of greenscreens.
At $3.60 per month it would seem something of a no-brainer to avoid the hassle, scaling issues and non-core business removal of focus that self provided infrastructure would cause.
So, over to the readers to vote;[poll=7]