IaaS vs PaaS vs SaaS – terms that categorize clouds, but what exactly do they mean? In this article, we contrast all three and explain the differences.
In almost all areas, the cloud is becoming more and more important. Increasingly, the cloud is also becoming interesting for business processes. Everyone is talking about it, but what is it actually?
What is the cloud anyway?
The cloud basically means the use of different servers. This means that your data can be hosted online, i.e. stored, managed and processed.
So you don’t have to provide the appropriate hardware on site, but can rent these resources from a cloud provider. Read our article about the cloud computing provider AWS.
Besides Amazon, other global players such as Google (Google Cloud) and Microsoft (Azure) also offer profitable cloud resources.
But which ones are suitable for me or my company? To meaningfully compare the individual solutions, you need to understand the differences between them.
Basically, you need to distinguish between the three categories already mentioned.
IaaS vs PaaS vs SaaS – What are the Differences?
First and foremost, all three terms are used to describe a resource provided by a cloud service provider for a short period of time.
The following figure shows this “as-a-service”, or Flexible consumption model, and the management components..
You can see very clearly here that the cloud provider manages more and more layers, ascending from IaaS to SaaS.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
The abbreviation SaaS refers to cloud-based software. This is hosted online by a company and provided via the Internet. It is easy to use and manage. Additionally, it is highly scalable, meaning it can be used for an entire organization.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
PaaS is used to describe a cloud-based platform service. This offers developers an online platform for application development. Data is provided, stored and managed online.s
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
IaaS refers to cloud-based infrastructure resources provided via virtualization technologies. These services are designed to help companies build and manage their servers, networks, operating systems and data storage. This is where the highest administrative share lies with the customer. Access to the servers for data management takes place via a dashboard or API.
IaaS vs PaaS vs SaaS – For whom is which category suitable?
So who should choose which service model? The following figure shows that the more tasks are taken over by the provider, the more control is relinquished. This is especially detrimental in organizations where a lot of control is needed.
IaaS gives administrators more direct needed, control over operating systems. However, more control always comes with more complicated administration tasks. PaaS therefore offers users a certain compromise between flexibility and ease of use. This model is particularly appealing to developers.
The SaaS model offers the highest level of usability and is accordingly interesting for customers who want to take over no to few administrative tasks.
IaaS vs PaaS vs SaaS – Technology of the future?
Cloud resources can be a valuable alternative to expensive, in-house hardware solutions. Of course, with external administration, a company loses control over its own data. However, the different types of service mean that compromises can be made that are tailored to the company’s own needs.
The advantages are obvious. Individual services can be accessed from virtually anywhere at any time, and high-performance computing can be operated cost-effectively. As network technologies become faster and faster, these solutions are increasingly coming into focus and will certainly become more and more important for companies and private individuals in the coming years.