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'As a service' phenomenon expands

If you follow cloud computing, you're no doubt familiar with software as a service, typically associated with Salesforce.com, or infrastructure as a service, which was pioneered by Amazon.com. But how about CaaS, SECaaS, DaaS, MaaS and BaaS?

According to industry consortium The Open Group, these new "as-a-service" acronyms fall into the category of XaaS (pronounced "zass"), a generalization for all cloud-related services per the NIST definition.

XaaS describes any service that can call up reusable, fine-grained software components across a virtualized cloud network. And if you add up the market forecasts for applications, application infrastructure and systems infrastructure to be delivered as public cloud services by 2015 worldwide, the XaaS market will reach more than $40 billion.

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