The definition of “as-a-service” typically includes the importance of third-party cloud hosting platforms so you can focus on other company activities. All of these services help you offload some infrastructure and delegate management processes to the service provider.
IaaS or PaaS or SaaS: where’s the difference?
Today three cloud service options exist:
- Software-as-a-service (SaaS);
- Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS);
- Platform-as-a-service (PaaS).
Let’s make a slight overview of each service option to make it simpler than ever when choosing the best service for your business.
Software-as-a-service is a way of delivering applications over the Internet — as a service. It is the most impeccable kind of service for a vendor to handle the whole application with no need for any downloads since SaaS apps can run from a browser directly. This service model permits to reduce the need to install and run software on any device thanks to the online distribution model.
Google App Engine, Dropbox, Jira, Microsoft Office are the most emerging samples of SaaS. For large businesses like these, the maintenance process is smoother when suppliers control everything: runtime, servers, software, storage, and operating systems.
IaaS is a pay-as-you-go system that offers third-party facilities that cover virtualization, hard disks, networking, and storage. Since the vendor does it for you, you are not supposed to upgrade the data center. IaaS customers manage programs, data, and runtime in comparison with SaaS and PaaS. In addition, IaaS users can install any necessary platform over the infrastructure.
Google Compute Engine, Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft Azure are typical IaaS businesses that benefit from lower infrastructure costs, scalability on-demand, and infrastructure safety. However, one of the most relevant drawbacks is that the software upgrade is entirely on the company.
Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offers a perfect cloud environment for customers. This kind of service enables consumers to purchase services from a pay-as-you-go platform from the vendor as required. It comprises storage, application, networking, programming tools, and database management systems. With PaaS, you can bypass software license and other infrastructure costs for purchase and management.
Costs reduction, fast release times, and simple maintenance are among the strong points of PaaS. That is why Google App Engine, OpenShift, and Heroku chose this kind of service for their enterprises. Sure, there could be some issues, such as the absence of customization for different programming languages or poor legacy systems function. However, the benefits of this kind of service prevail over its drawbacks.
What service model to choose
The response, of course, depends on the complexity of your industry and your activities. In brief, choose IaaS if your company needs a virtual machine. Choose PaaS if your company has a software production network. If you need out-of-date software such as CRM, email service, communication tools, then it will be helpful to choose SaaS.
There are some pros and cons to any cloud model – SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS have both strong and weak points. However, regardless of the cloud infrastructure chosen, the business will benefit in several ways, such as cost savings, time savings, ongoing technical support, and service. Anyway, seek assistance from a reputable provider capable of evaluating the size and scope of your enterprise to supply you with the most fitting service infrastructure.