At Signiant, we’ve embraced cloud-formed software design with our two SaaS products, Media Shuttle and Signiant Flight (previously known as SkyDrop). Although there are other products that can accelerate the movement of large digital assets, Signiant is the only company with true SaaS solutions.
The benefits of SaaS (Software as a Service)
Automatic upgrades and maintenance
Like all true cloud solutions, our SaaS products are fully hosted for users in the cloud — the only exception being file storage location, which can be chosen between on-premises and a favorite cloud vendor. Signiant takes ultimate responsibility for operation of the environment, managing and maintaining it for users across multiple levels of redundancy with multi-tenant architecture. This gives customers continuous access to the latest product releases without effecting customizations. You or your IT department won’t have to worry about managing upgrades or maintaining the software.
Our SaaS products scale according to the load you are generating, automatically spinning up or down virtual machines and load balancing across multiple instances. Your IT department won’t have to deal with tracking and managing virtual machines — it’s all automatically done for you.
Because SaaS begins and ends on the Internet, our customers are always connected to Signiant through the product, allowing many labor-intensive tasks and processes to be automated through the network. For example, network automation handles zero downtime software deployment and upgrades, freeing up IT time, on-premises infrastructure, and budget.
Unlike SaaS, on-premises software is typically complex and technically difficult to deploy; this is because each unique customer infrastructure has to be accommodated, which is very onerous if your costumer base utilizes many different server and network technologies and versions. With cloud-based software, developers can focus on a standard unified infrastructure. This simple fact is the root of many benefits of SaaS for businesses, including the ability to take advantage of economies-of-scale. The cost savings SaaS vendors gain from hundreds, thousands, or even millions of customers served on a single cloud infrastructure, rather than servicing each multifarious IT system, is huge, and is passed on to customers through flexible billing.
The scalability of SaaS also has an impact on the unique way it’s billed. Often called “pay-per-use” or subscription billing, SaaS automatically tracks how much it’s being used by each customer, and can scale subscriptions up and down in response. This frees IT departments from having to provision enough fixed infrastructure to handle peak loads. Cloud software adjusts to high-usage and low-usage times, so you’re only paying for what you are actually using.
One of the most obvious benefits of SaaS to companies with geographically diverse locations with varying computer systems is its consistent performance no matter where you are in the internet connected world.
Another often unnoticed benefit — something you hope to never notice — is the lack of downtime with SaaS. High-availability is a characteristic of any well-designed SaaS, which automatically switches to standby or redundant servers in case of a failure. This self-healing quality of SaaS is noteworthy; even if something fails, you’ll still have a whole, functioning system.
Designing clean and secure SaaS file transfer solutions
In order to achieve the most reliable and secure accelerated file transfers, Signiant employs a tactic similar to Software-Defined Networking or SDN. Cleanly separating what’s done really well in hardware (like fast packet switching) from what’s better done in software (like routing updates and quality of service management) is at the heart of the SDN movement. One of our core strategies for achieving clean and secure file transfers has been to separate the control plane and data plane in all of our SaaS solutions.
Although “Software-Defined File Transfer” doesn’t totally make sense — there isn’t really a hardware component of digital file transfer — separating the control plane and data plane into two independent software elements definitely makes for far superior fast file movement software. Additionally, with the data plane, we encourage avoidance of vendor lock-in with our storage agnostic approach to software design, allowing the choice between on-premises storage and a favorite cloud vendor (Amazon, Microsoft, Google, etc.)