Boundless 101: What is IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS?

Technology is advancing the world around us. Some years ago, all of a company’s IT infrastructure was set on-premise. Nowadays the reality is much different. Whether it is for application or infrastructure development, the Cloud is becoming the norm for an increasing number of businesses.

IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS are three concepts considered to be part of Cloud Computing. Simply put, they are three ways to describe how companies can use the Cloud for different purposes.

This article aims at decoding these funky terms and provides some light on how they are different from one to another. So without further ado, let’s get started with IaaS.

Breaking down Infrastructure as a Service

Located in the realm of technology, we have different services that benefit app developers, businesses, and ourselves. Before we do anything amazing, we begin with a foundation.

Producing storage resources on-demand for customers, having access to different geographic servers, and managing your own software in real-time is what you would call IaaS, or Infrastructure as a Service.
IaaS is a form of cloud computing that delivers fundamental compute, networking, virtualization, and storage resources to consumers on-demand, on a pay-as-you-go basis.

IaaS services allow you to pay for what you would use, avoid challenging expenses upon purchasing your own server, and include virtual server space (like IP addresses, network connections, and even firewalls to protect you from harm).

A large portfolio of businesses and enterprises rely on IaaS, for instance, to keep their websites functioning at maximum speed, have access to backup and recover for their data if there was an outage, and analytics to help gauge their production and sales.

A great way to view IaaS is like the pillars of a house. It is created to allow businesses and companies to host their services, content, products, or quality software.

A great way to view IaaS is like the pillars of a house. It is created to allow businesses and companies to host their services, content, products, or quality software.

Organizations are increasingly using cloud-based infrastructure services to augment on-premises environments, or create entirely cloud-based IT environmentsCommon examples of IaaS are Amazon Web Services, Google Compute Engine, or Microsoft Azure, amongst others.

What is Platform as a Service?

Platform as a service, also known as PaaS, is a cloud computing model where a third-party provider delivers hardware and software tools, hosted on their own servers, to users over the internet.

PaaS allows application developers to create customized applications in cloud-based data centers.
Supported app developers like the Google App Engine allows the developer to host their applications and build through their platform. As a result, PaaS providers free developers from the burden of installing hardware and software in-house.

One difference between the IaaS and the PaaS is that the latter will only allow you to control what is built on your platform. So one can say that the PaaS is like the meat, bread, and butter in addition to the foundation. You can only control the application and the data to support them, but as the developer, you will have a wider platform to work with.

Let's talk Software as a Service

Straight-forward, SaaS, or Software as a Service is one of the easiest platforms to use and represents the most commonly used option for businesses in the Cloud market.

SaaS is a method of software delivery that allows data to be accessed from any device with an internet connection. Instead of downloading software to your desktop or business network, you can instead connect to the service via your web browser.

In this web-based model, third-party software vendors host and maintain the servers, databases, and code that makes up an application.

A well-known example of SaaS is Dropbox. With Dropbox you’re able to share files and attachments with others and sync the progress you do on your device to the Cloud.
This application alone makes saving progress easier, and all you need is your login credentials or register an account with the SaaS product.

Software as a Service is one of the easiest platforms to use and represents the most commonly used option for businesses in the Cloud market.

SaaS products offer a variety of advantages and disadvantages.

One disadvantage of the SaaS solutions is that if the server is down then everything is down. SaaS service providers work hard to avoid these issues, but unfortunately, that can happen once in a while.
When that occurs, the third party, either the SaaS provider or the company hosting these services, will have to repair their servers to allow access again.

Data control and ownership can also be a drawback, this is why it is important to ensure SaaS providers comply with regulations and business requirements.

On the positive side, SaaS solutions greatly reduce the time and money spent on time-consuming tasks such as installing, managing, and upgrading software, hence providing big advantages to companies and employees. Additionally, SaaS models offer lower upfront costs than traditional on-premise solutions, making it more accessible to some businesses.

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