Models of cloud services IaaS, PaaS and SaaS

There are three main types of cloud services: IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. However, choosing the right one can be quite challenging. Many people have no idea what the difference between IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS is and which cloud service best suits their business goals. Let’s learn more about the major cloud services with Sothink experts.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

IaaS is a cloud service that provides basic computing infrastructure: servers, storage, and network resources. Strictly speaking, IaaS is a virtual data center. IaaS services can be used for a variety of purposes:  big data analysis, high-performance computing (HPC), hosting websites, software development, software testing, supporting web apps.

IaaS benefits companies in scenarios where scalability and fast provisioning are crucial. In other words, organizations that are growing rapidly but do not have the capital to invest in hardware are excellent candidates for IaaS. IaaS can also be useful for companies with constant application load that simply want to offload some of the routine operations and maintenance associated with infrastructure management.

IaaS is currently the least popular model of cloud computing, although it is growing in popularity. Currently, approximately 12% of corporate workloads are running on IaaS. According to the worldwide public cloud service revenue forecast by Gardner IaaS is predicted to grow 24 % year over year, which is the highest growth rate across all market segments.

The advantages of IaaS include:

  • Access to state-of-the-art data center, hardware and operating systems
  • Access via simple internet connection
  • Fees are calculated using usage-based metrics
  • IaaS providers invest heavily in technology and security expertise
  • Improved stability, reliability and maintainability
  • Infrastructure scales on-demand to support dynamic workloads
  • Instant recovery from failures
  • Maintain operational control over the operating system
  • Monthly operational expense

Examples of IaaS services: Amazon Web Services, Google Compute Engine, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, and Rackspace.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS refers to cloud platforms that provide runtime environments for developing, testing, and managing applications. With PaaS solutions, software developers can deploy applications, from simple to complex, without having to use all the relevant infrastructure (servers, databases, operating systems, development tools, etc.). PaaS vendors provide a complete infrastructure for application development, and developers are responsible for the code.

Like SaaS, Platform-as-a-Service solutions are available on a pay-as-you-go basis.

PaaS is the second most popular cloud computing service model, which is expected to grow to $58.0 billion by 2022.

The benefits of PaaS include:

  • Access to state-of-the-art data center, hardware and operating systems
  • Investment in security technology and expertise
  • Log in and work on applications from anywhere
  • No need to buy hardware or pay for downtime costs
  • No need to spend time configuring/maintaining the core stack
  • Rapidly add capacity in peak times and scale down as needed
  • Reduce coding time – accelerate application development
  • Variety of operational tools so developers can create custom software.

Examples of PaaS services: Amazon RDS,  AWS Elastic Beanstalk Google App Engine, Microsoft Azure SQL, Heroku, IBM Cloud, and Red Hat OpenShift.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS is a service model where software applications are delivered over the Internet. In the consumer space, examples include Gmail, Facebook, and Dropbox – these services are ready to use, no coding required, you just use them. Other examples of SaaS services are office tools (Office 365 and Google Docs), customer relationship management software (Salesforce), event management software (Planning Pod), and so on. SaaS services are usually available with a pay-as-you-go (which means subscription) pricing model. All software and hardware are provided and managed by a vendor, you don’t need to install or configure anything. The application is ready to go as soon as you get your login and password.

SaaS solutions are beneficial in a variety of business scenarios: startups and small businesses will find SaaS handy when they don’t have the time, capital, or expertise to build or host applications on-premises; larger companies may use SaaS technology for short-term projects or applications that aren’t needed all year long; any company can benefit from SaaS technology when dealing with applications that require both web and mobile access.

SaaS is the most popular cloud computing service model for enterprises. It will remain the largest market segment, which is forecast to grow to $151.1 billion by 2022.

The benefits of SaaS include:

  • Ability to work through an Internet browser 24/7 from any device
  • Access to data reporting and analytics tools
  • Applications and data are accessible from any connected computer
  • Data is usually stored in the cloud
  • Easily scale a solution to meet changing needs
  • Investment security technology and expertise
  • No installation, hardware updates or traditional licensing management
  • No upfront hardware costs and flexible payment options such as pay-as-you-go models
  • Service can dynamically scale according to usage needs
  • Sign up and quickly start using innovative business applications.

Examples of SaaS services: Dropbox, EventPro, Google Docs, Gmail, Microsoft Office 365,  Salesforce CRM, and SAP Concur and Zoom.


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