I can’t say that Beaker doesn’t have a point here. But without getting into the politics of IaaS vs. SaaS and who is or isn’t a service provider, etc., I’d like to address one growing trend and that is large cloud-based companies themselves moving toward owning their own datacenters.

Amazon, for instance, got into providing Web services because it had additional capacity on its servers, which it needed to manage the massive Internet business it has grown into. Google experienced this problem as well. Now, Facebook is building its own datacenter to handle its in-house computing needs.

So the question is, will Facebook become an Infrastructure-as-a-Service provider? Will Facebook build out its huge datacenter and purposely/accidentally have an abundance of server space available to lease out to developers for applications development?

Let me tell you why it makes sense that they would.

  1. No. 1, Facebook is already in the PaaS business, providing the platform for developers to build their own Facebook applications. It’s just a step up to go from there to being a full IaaS.
  2. Secondly, it makes sense business-wise. Facebook advertising is not going to cut it for long-term profits. But providing infrastructure for businesses to use for their computing needs, that sounds like a profitable enterprise.
  3. By providing IaaS a revenue streams, Facebook can grow faster. Diversification leads to a stronger future via a stronger investment portfolio. Facebook will be better able to compete with the likes of Google and Microsoft.

If Facebook morphs into an IaaS cloud hosting company in addition to offering its free social media services then it can find itself in a three-way race for super stardom with Google and Amazon. It will then be firmly entrenched in the major leagues.