IaaS vs PaaS vs SaaS: Which Cloud Computing Model Suits You Better

The “As-a-service” concept usually encloses the meaning of cloud computing services provided by a third-party to let you concentrate on other business activities. Each of these services allows you to focus less on some infrastructures and leave the management processes to the service provider managers.

But what is cloud computing? It is a storage model that permits you to manage and access data and apps on remote data centers. By using cloud services there is no need to keep data on your hardware. Instead, the cloud permits software and services to run on the web and not locally on one device only.

Every day more and more companies decide to switch from on-premise technologies to cloud services. Thinking about all the more services you can get access to from any online device, the cloud is a big deal.

IaaS vs PaaS vs SaaS: how to distinguish them?

Mainly, there are 3 types of cloud service options:

  • Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS);

  • Platform-as-a-service (PaaS);

  • Software-as-a-service (SaaS).

Each of these services covers a certain amount of on-premise infrastructure management. Below you can see a detailed description of each delivery option. Thanks to our insights choosing the right product for your business will be easier than ever.

What is IaaS?

What is IaaS?

Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is a pay-as-you-go service where a third-party provides you with services such as virtualization, hard drives, networking, and storage. IaaS became popular in the early 2010s, and since that year, it has become the standard computing model for several types of workloads.

As the user, you don’t have to support or update your data center since the provider does it for you. Your role is to reach and control the infrastructure via API (Application Programming Interface). It is possible to buy only the components you need and there are no maintenance costs.

Compared to SaaS and PaaS, IaaS clients are responsible for managing applications, data, and runtime. Also, IaaS users gain the possibility to install any required platform on top of the infrastructure.

IaaS examples

  • Google Compute Engine
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Cisco Metacloud
  • Microsoft Azure
IaaS advantages
  • Money-saving. One of the dominant IaaS benefits is lower infrastructure costs. By having IaaS it becomes possible not to worry about hardware and network equipment maintenance. Having a third-party service that manages the company’s infrastructure permits your organization to save a lot of costs.
  • Scalability on request. IaaS clients do not have to upgrade the software or troubleshoot any kind of equipment problems. There’s the possibility to scale up and down in response to the client’s requirements.
  • Reliability service. A great advantage of IaaS is that if any data goes offline or the hardware components fail, an enterprise’s infrastructure would not be influenced by it in any way.
IaaS drawbacks
  • Inflexibility. Service providers support the software, however, they do not upgrade it. The management and software upgrade is entirely a company’s task.
  • Security. Companies that use third-party services do not have any control over cloud security. It is important to check the Cloud Service provider’s service level agreement to understand if there are any gaps in the security coverage.

What is PaaS?

What is PaaS?

Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) provides clients with a complete development and deployment environment in the cloud. This type of service allows its users to buy the resources as needed from the provider on a pay-as-you-go model.

PaaS includes infrastructure such as storage, servers, networking, development tools as well as database management systems. It is to say, this type of service is a kind of addition to the IaaS. Thanks to PaaS, you can avoid the expenses of buying and managing software licenses and other infrastructures.

It is very useful for developers and programmers as it permits the user to develop apps without having to build and support the platform. You just write the code and manage your apps without further headaches of software updates and maintenance issues.

PaaS examples

  • Google App Engine

  • Open Shift

  • Heroku

PaaS advantages
  • Costs. By using platform services, you don’t need to build applications from scratch anymore. If a company is looking for cost reduction, PaaS will fit it perfectly.
  • Rapid launch. Prebuilt backend infrastructure speeds up the prototyping and development time. This gives the possibility to release an app in a short time and increases a company’s success chances.
  • Easy maintenance. Platform-as-a-service allows developers to concentrate on other things such as coding. Now the service configuration and its updating are on PaaS providers.
PaaS drawbacks
  • Runtime problems. Sometimes, PaaS solutions are not customized for programming languages or frameworks you might want to use.
  • Low legacy systems customization. The legacy applications and services may not function well with PaaS products. To solve the issue you will have to invest in customization and configuration options.

What is SaaS?

What is SaaS?

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is also known as cloud application services. It is the most comprehensive form of cloud computing services where a provider manages the entire application. Also, there is no need for other downloads since most SaaS applications can run directly from a browser. Thanks to the web delivery model, SaaS eliminates the need to install and run applications on each computer.

The maintenance process becomes easier for enterprises since vendors manage everything: runtime, servers, applications, storage, and OSes. SaaS offers more services such as email, customer relationship management, and some healthcare-related applications.

SaaS examples

  • Google App Engine

  • Dropbox

  • Jira

  • Microsoft Office 365

  • Cisco Webex

SaaS advantages
  • Time and costs saving. Since the vendors are responsible for handling the potential technical issues, your staff is free from the tedious tasks related to maintenance, updates, and compliance.
  • Accessibility. All the SaaS applications are easily accessible from a computer or a mobile device. All you need is a good Internet connection.
SaaS drawbacks
  • Weak data security. One of the main reasons why several companies still hesitate whether to switch to the SaaS model. Before entrusting a third-party service provider, consider this weakness and protect the most sensitive information.
  • Performance points. Applications that depend on internet connection while running on remote data servers may show very poor performance. In this case, it is essential to have a reliable internet connection.

What service model fits you the most?

Of course, the answer depends on your business complexity and company’s activity. The most important difference between IaaS and PaaS is that the first one provides administrators with more direct control over operating systems. However, the platform service (PaaS) offers greater flexibility and ease of operation. It permits you to concentrate better on app development instead of infrastructure management and software troubleshooting. PaaS products can also be used as a base for building new products over the platform’s network.

When it comes to SaaS, the products are fully managed by a third-party that offers prompt and out-of-the-box solutions that meet a particular business need. As such, it will be no need in developing your tools and this type of service provides ready-made solutions.

In short, whether your business needs a virtual machine, opt for IaaS. If your organization requires a platform for building software products, choose PaaS. You’d better pick SaaS if your company needs out-of-the-box software such as CRM, email, collaboration tools, and so on.

Conclusion

Each cloud model has certain advantages and disadvantages. Still, independently of what type of cloud infrastructure you choose, it will benefit your business in multiple ways such as cost reduction, time-saving, and constant technical support and server maintenance.

In any case, you can also ask for help from a reliable vendor such as Yojji. Our team will thoroughly evaluate the size and complexity of your business to offer you the most suitable as-a-service infrastructure.

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Yevhen Piotrovskyi
info@yojji.io + 380 99 343 1041
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