SaaS, Paas, and IaaS: 3 Primary cloud computing service models explained

SaaS, Paas, and IaaS: Cloud computing service models

With the increased popularity of cloud computing and services, businesses across the globe are moving away from the traditional on-premise services that they have come to rely on.

Cloud-based services have transformed how businesses have worked, allowing them to use IT infrastructures, platforms, software and applications via the Internet and online hotspots.

For organizations who are considering moving their ecommerce business to the cloud, there are three important terms to be aware of:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS).
  • Software as a Service (SaaS).

IaaS, PaaS and SaaS are the three main types of Cloud computing service models available today.

These platforms have grown significantly over the last decade, with its worldwide revenue increasing from around $90 billion in 2016 to more than $312 billion in 2020.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

SaaS is one of the most common and well known cloud service delivery models. Unlike software that you install on your computer, SaaS solutions are hosted on a provider’s servers. That is, when you open a mobile or web browser app, the device merely sends inputs to a data center. The data center then processes the inputs and sends the outputs back to your device. Minimal to no processing is done on your device itself. And for as long as you have an internet connection, you can access the software from any device, at any time.

With SaaS, your provider is responsible for software maintenance and updates. They’ll make sure to roll out updates once these become available so that all users have the same version of a particular software at the same time. This means you don’t have to spend time and effort manually managing software and checking for updates, which can lead you to save on related costs.

Google Workspace — formerly known as Google G Suite — is one of the most popular SaaS-based infrastructure services. The upgrade from G Suite came as a result of a more integrated experience across Google’s broader suite, which allowed its customers to better connect with their various tools.

In a nutshell, SaaS is:

  • Ready to use and available over the internet
  • Hosted on a remote server by a third-party provider
  • Scalable, with different tiers for small, medium, and enterprise-level businesses
  • Inclusive, offering security, compliance, and maintenance as part of the cost

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

PaaS is primarily used by developers who need a virtual environment for developing and testing their own custom software or apps. This means developers don’t need to build and maintain their own infrastructure consisting of networking devices, storage, servers, an operating system, and other necessary hardware and software when developing applications. This saves them time and money.

Most companies that utilize PaaS do so to either host or develop their own software solutions or provide support for software used by their employees. But while PaaS is gaining popularity with many small businesses, most won’t have firsthand interactions with this type of cloud unless they need to build their own software or app. PaaS enables businesses to shorten their product development cycles, leading to faster time to market for new products.

A good example of PaaS is AWS Elastic Beanstalk.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers over 200 cloud computing services such as EC2, RDS, and S3. Most of these services can be used as IaaS, and most companies who use AWS will pick and choose the services they need.

However, managing multiple services can quickly become difficult and time-consuming for users.

That’s where AWS Elastic Beanstalk comes in. It works as another layer on top of the infrastructure services and automatically handles the details of capacity provisioning, load balancing, scalability, and application health monitoring.

In general, PaaS solutions are:

  • Accessible to multiple users for enhanced collaboration
  • Scalable, with various tiers of resources to suit the size of your business
  • Built on virtualization technology
  • Easy to run without extensive system administration knowledge

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

IaaS is considered one of the most flexible cloud models, as it gives the most ideal options when it comes to IT hardware infrastructure. IaaS offers services such as pay-as-you-go storage, networking, and virtualization. The most popular and well-known type of IaaS is the virtual machine — a digital version of a computer or server that is accessed over the internet. IaaS gives you cloud-based alternatives to expensive on-premises infrastructure, so you can use your funds to invest in other things.

IaaS is beneficial to businesses of all shapes and sizes. It allows complete control over your infrastructure and operates on a pay-as-you-use model, which fits into most budgets. With most IaaS platforms, you get access to ongoing support and have the option of scaling up your requirements at any time. Utilizing IaaS is an excellent way to future-proof your business.

IaaS is:

  • Highly flexible and scalable
  • Accessible by multiple users
  • Cost-effective

The Key Differences Between On-Premise, SaaS, PaaS, IaaS

Not so long ago, most of a company’s IT systems were on-premises and clouds were just white fluffy things in the sky. Now, everyone can utilize cloud-based platforms for nearly all your systems and processes.

SaaS, PaaS and IaaS present three modern but different ways to describe how you can use cloud-based services for your business.

It is important to remember that most businesses using cloud-based platforms use a combination of SaaS and IaaS cloud computing service models, and many engage developers to create applications using PaaS, too.

Get in touch today!

While the cloud offers a wide variety of benefits and solutions, choosing one of the cloud computing service models to best fit your company’s needs can be daunting. Get in touch with us today and we’ll help you find the best solution for your business and ensure proper migration and implementation so you can focus on running your business.

Beringer Technology Group, a leading Microsoft Gold Certified Partner specializing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and CRM for Distribution also provides expert Managed IT ServicesBackup and Disaster RecoveryCloud Based Computing, Email Security Implementation and Training,  Unified Communication Solutions, and Cybersecurity Risk Assessment.