What is IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS?


With the increased adoption of cloud environments, more and more businesses are moving away from on-premise IT solutions and have come to rely on IT infrastructures, platforms, and software offered as a service. 


You probably know that OctoStrategy has SaaS solutions for exchange services. But do you know what is “Saas”? Have you heard about other popular service models? If your answer is “no” it's time for you to make a cup of coffee and finally make sense of the differences between IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS.


IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS stand for Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, and Software-as-a-Service. Each describes a way how you can use the cloud for your organization. The service models don’t stand in direct opposition to each other but cover a degree of IT management, thus offering an alternative to self-managed on-premise IT solutions.


While traditional solutions require you to manage your own IT infrastructure and in-house software, IaaS provides a pay-as-you-go approach for storage, networking, and virtualization. In addition, PaaS includes even more services like hardware and software development tools available via the web. And with SaaS, you get the highest degree of vendor management by “renting” full software solutions. Let’s go deeper into this question. 


Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

IaaS stands for Infrastructure-as-a-Service. It allows organizations to purchase resources like networking and storage on-demand instead of having to buy costly hardware. IaaS is highly scalable and offers businesses more flexibility than on-premise solutions.


IaaS can be seen as the basic layer in cloud computing. The virtualized components available through the internet are equivalent to the servers and hardware companies would traditionally store in their building.


The IaaS provider is responsible for managing and maintaining servers, hard drives, storage, and virtualization tools. However, applications, runtime, OS, middleware, and data still need to be managed by the client.


Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)


The platform that can be accessed through the internet provides developers with a framework and tools to build apps and software that are tailored to the organization’s individual needs.


PaaS can be seen as a scaled-down version of IaaS. Just like IaaS, the customers have access to servers and data centers which are maintained and managed by the third-party provider. However, they mainly use PaaS for building custom SaaS applications.


PaaS delivery can be compared to the way SaaS is delivered. The only difference is that customers don’t access online software, but an online platform for the creation of software. And since tools and environment are ready-to-use, software engineers and developers can concentrate on building applications without having to worry about other components like operation systems, storage, and infrastructure. 


Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)


SaaS stands for Software-as-a-Service. These entire cloud application services are the most common form of cloud computing. They are ready-to-use and often run directly through the client’s web browser, meaning there is no need for installations or downloads like it with on-prem solutions.


SaaS is hosted on remote servers and fully managed, updated, and maintained by a third-party vendor. This results in less responsibility but also less control for the end-user.


SaaS is ideal for small companies or startups that don’t have the capacity to develop their software applications. From e-commerce to short-term projects, SaaS is the quickest and easiest solution if you don’t need highly customized applications. 


SaaS is delivered as a fully functional service and can be accessed remotely via any web browser, allowing clients to work from anywhere. The users connect to the app through a dashboard or API and rely on the SaaS provider when it comes to bug fixes, middleware, support, and any potential technical issues.


Okay, to make it more clear for you we make a little comparison.

IaaS vs. PaaS

Infrastructure-as-a-Service offers you a great deal of control over your operating systems. It is the foundation of your cloud-computing environment. With Platform-as-a-Service on the other hand, you can build apps without having to host them on-premise, so you benefit from more flexibility but get a little less control.


SaaS vs. PaaS

As described above, Platform-as-a-Service is used as a way to build new products on top of your already existing network. But Software-as-a-Service takes this one step further. SaaS products are entirely managed by the vendor and ready to use by your teams.


IaaS vs. SaaS

With a Software-as-a-Service product, you are getting the most service from your third-party provider in terms of software management and maintenance. With Infrastructure-as-a-Service on the other hand, the provider only supplies and maintains core components such as servers or storage


Which software solution do you think is the most popular?


The 2021 leading service in the cloud computing industry is SaaS with a 39.4% cloud computing market share, followed by the fastest-growing cloud service IaaS with 20.9%, and PaaS with 18.7%.


As you can tell, each cloud computing model is appropriate for different businesses and business needs. OctoStrategy provides a Saas platform that helps to make flow safer, faster, and more efficient.



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