With the release of XSOAR 8.X, the hosted offering of XSOAR was changed to that of a SaaS architecture. This is a fantastic advancement that further decreases the customer’s responsibility for their XSOAR instance but also increases the stability of their environment. To best explain why the move to SaaS is awesome, let's clarify what SaaS is and the difference between XSOAR 6.X Hosted and XSOAR 8.X SaaS.
What is the difference between SaaS and Hosted?
SaaS, or Software as a Service, is not much different from hosted applications in most use cases of users who are not involved with the architecture or maintenance of the application. With a SaaS offering, the provider supports/maintains the servers, databases, and software code, not unlike hosted but to a much more increased level. This also allows for other features such as DDoS protection and network restrictions, which are currently offered with hosted and SaaS versions of XSOAR.
The primary difference between hosted and SasS offerings is how the application is managed on the backend. Hosted XSOAR 6.X is deployed on Palo Alto Networks-owned infrastructure in a way not dissimilar to how our on-premises customers install XSOAR 6.X on their own infrastructure. SaaS, on the other hand, is handled much differently.
XSOAR 6.X Hosted Deployment
XSOAR 8.X’s SaaS environment utilizes Kubernetes clusters to allow for easier deployment and scaling of environments. This allows for a more efficient environment in which to execute playbooks and automations, and the ability to scale on demand. This means that high availability is built into XSOAR 8.X unlike with XSOAR 6.X which requires a different configuration and additional components to support high availability.
XSOAR 8.X SaaS Architecture
That sounds good, but what else makes the move to SaaS awesome?
While there are many great architectural features that come with the move to SaaS, there are other enhancements and perks included with XSOAR 8.X that are worth mentioning since the move to SaaS allowed greatly for their inclusion. Included out of the box is a built-in Git repository allowing customers to take immediate advantage of using Git to promote content between development and production instances. Also included out of the box is ready to use email sending, not even requiring SMTP configuration. The move to SaaS has also allowed XSOAR to pursue FedRAMP certification, as of the writing of this article, XSOAR 8.X is FedRAMP Moderate certified with licenses coming soon. FedRAMP High certification, however, is in progress.
This sounds awesome, what next?
I hope the following information was helpful in clarifying the difference between Hosted and SaaS for XSOAR and helped energize you for the move to XSOAR 8.X. Migration plans for currently hosted XSOAR 6.X customers, and those on-premises wanting to migrate to the cloud, are being finalized. To stay up to date on release information, make sure to visit the XSOAR 8 General Information page found here.