IaaS, SaaS & PaaS – What’s The Difference?

For both global enterprises and small businesses, cloud computing is an important technology. If you are considering moving your business to the cloud, you should understand the definitions and differences of the various cloud solutions that are available today, be it for infrastructure or application deployment. There are three models of cloud service: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). Read on to learn more about their differences so that you can choose the best option possible for your organization.

What is IaaS?

When people come across the term ‘cloud computing,’ most of them quickly think of IaaS. This is the foundational layer of cloud computing that offers computing, networking, and storage resources that are needed to run and manage a business. IaaS is, in a way, a group of mail-order computers without the ‘mail delay’ factor.

What is PaaS?

Moving down the cloud stack, you will find the PaaS layer next. This layer offers platforms that allow you to build services and apps. However, very few businesses interact with a PaaS, if any. PaaS is mainly geared toward operations professionals and developers.

What is SaaS?

In most corporate cloud strategies, SaaS often lies on the top-most layer. It refers to software that is hosted on another party’s infrastructure. In addition, the software is delivered, as a service, to a client organization’s end users. That software can then be accessed via a specific web portal.

What are the Differences Between IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS?

SaaS is packaged software that an individual connects to. It looks the same for every single client. The main thing is that you do not get to control when upgrades happen. Yes, you still have access to several customization features, but the entire stack will be taken care of by a third party. Since software management is offloaded to a third party, that makes SaaS the most abstracted layer. Common SaaS users include sales professionals that need to use SaaS-based CRM. If your company consumes a lot of commodity software, SaaS will be very useful.

The delivery models of PaaS and SaaS are pretty similar, except PaaS delivers a platform for software creation over the Internet. Developers enjoy the freedom of building the software they need without needing to worry about infrastructure, storage, software updates, and operating systems. Middleware and applications built through PaaS are known to be highly scalable, due to them taking on certain cloud characteristics.

Next up is IaaS. It is great for small companies and startups that don’t have the time and/or resources to build their own software and hardware. IaaS is also suitable for large organizations that want to gain complete control over their infrastructures and applications, and at the same time, procuring what is actually needed or consumed. That’s not all. IaaS is also designed for companies that are undergoing rapid growth. These may be companies that don’t want to commit to a specific software or hardware as their needs evolve and change.

Agile can help as you explore any of these cloud service models – at the infrastructure level, platform level and/or software level.  To speak with an Agile specialist, Contact Us today.

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