Cloud Computing Basics: IaaS vs. PaaS vs. SaaS
Cloud computing for business has a number of benefits, but once you’ve decided to utilize cloud computing in your company, you have to determine what model of cloud services you want to use: IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS. At first glance, these just look like an alphabet soup of nonsense, but we’re here to explain what they are and the core differences between them.
What is IaaS?
IaaS, or Infrastructure as a Service, works in a similar manner to traditional computer hardware (i.e. servers, networks, operating systems) but operates in a virtual capacity. In other words, instead of buying the physical hardware, companies can purchase the infrastructure as a virtual service through an IaaS provider. These are easily scalable and offer flexible cloud computing as well as complete control over the infrastructure for your company. Good examples of IaaS include Amazon Web Services and Google Compute Engine.
What is PaaS?
PaaS, or Platform as a Service, refers to cloud services that provide a framework that companies and developers can use to quickly and easily build and customize applications. This model allows developers to focus on the application software without having to manage operating systems, software updates, and other infrastructure matters. All the company using PaaS has to worry about is the management of the application software itself. PaaS examples include the Google App Engine and Heroku.
What is SaaS?
Software as a Service (SaaS) is one of the most commonly used models of cloud computing and provides software like email, word processing, collaboration software, and more, and these are usually accessible directly through a web browser, removing the need to install applications on individual workstations. Operating systems, applications, data, servers, storage, and more are all managed by the vendor, so the company only has to worry about the use of the software and providing access to employees. Examples of SaaS include Salesforce and Google Apps (Gmail, Google Hangouts, Google Docs, etc.).
IaaS vs. SaaS vs. PaaS: The Differences
The main differences between the IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS models are in regard to management, control, and cost.
With SaaS, companies have less control as the vendor manages applications, data, operating systems, storage, networking, and more, but the cost is relatively lower. SaaS is ideal for smaller companies looking to use cloud computing to reduce costs and for companies in industries with fluctuating demands.
PaaS offers companies control over their applications and data while the vendor manages operating systems, middleware, runtime, etc., and the cost is moderate. PaaS is ideal for companies looking to create and control their own applications without the hassle and complexities of networking, running servers, and coding from the ground up.
Finally, the IaaS model offers companies more complete control over their applications and infrastructure without having to commit to investing in physical servers, networking, and storage (which are taken care of by the vendor). The cost is higher than the other cloud computing models due to the greater complexity of the services offered.
IaaS vs. PaaS vs. SaaS: You Have Options
Depending on the needs of your business, you can find a cloud computing solution that works for your company and fits your budget. The best part is that you don’t have to figure out cloud computing for your business alone! At Customer 1st Communications, we offer cloud services and can help you determine the solution that is ideal for your company: nothing more and nothing less! For more information or to schedule a free consultation, call 855-TECH-C1C (855-832-4212) or contact us online.