Unless you have been living under a rock, you will have heard of the cloud, but did you know there are three unique cloud models? In this post, we’ll discuss SaaS vs PaaS vs IaaS.

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90% of today’s companies have moved to the cloud, demonstrating it’s been mainstream for a while now. Furthermore, experts stated 60% of workloads were running on hosted cloud services in 2019 — an increase from 45% in 2018 — which is sure to increase throughout 2020.

If you’re interested in moving your business to the cloud, you first need to familiarise yourself with the three cloud models available to establish which is most suitable for your needs. In this post, we’ll discuss the essential information and benefits of each cloud model to give more insight into the SaaS vs PaaS vs IaaS discussion. 

“Cloud is about how you do computing, not where you do computing.” — Paul Maritz, CEO of VMware

SaaS vs PaaS vs IaaS vs On-Premise

It wasn’t that long ago that every business’s entire IT system was on-premise and a cloud was, well, a white fluffy-looking thing floating around the sky. These days, thanks to the vast evolution of technology, you can use cloud platforms for pretty much all of your systems and processes.

SaaS, PaaS and IaaS are the three cloud models available to today’s business owners and have varying benefits and characteristics.

SaaS: Software available via a third-party over the internet.

PaaS: Hardware and software tools available over the internet.

IaaS: Cloud-based and pay-as-you-go for services such as networking, storage and virtualisation.

On-premise: Software installed on the computers in your building.

The Three Cloud Models Explained

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

IaaS businesses offer services such as networking, pay-as-you-go storage and virtualisation. This cloud model provides users with cloud-based alternatives options to on-premise infrastructure, meaning businesses can avoid the expense of establishing and maintaining on-site resources.

Maintaining on-premise IT infrastructure requires more in the way of funding as you’ll need a significant amount to get set up and then the funds to cover the cost of IT employees. Therefore IaaS is perfect for businesses of varying sizes with a range of budgets.

IaaS tends to require a more costly initial investment for physical hardware. Then it will benefit you to seek the assistance of external IT specialists to maintain the hardware and keep everything up-to-date and working. IaaS offers flexible and highly scalable solutions that can be accessed by multiple users and replaced as and when you need to.

PaaS (Platform as a Service)

A PaaS vendor provides hardware and software tools over the internet, and people use these tools to develop applications. 

PaaS is primarily used by developers building software or applications. This model means developers don’t need to start from scratch when creating applications — saving them a lot of time (and money) on writing extensive code. PaaS is a popular choice for businesses that want to create unique applications without spending a fortune or taking on all the responsibility. 

It’s kind of like the difference between hiring a venue to put on a show vs building a venue to put on a show. The venue stays the same, but what you create in that space is unique.

SaaS (Software as a Service)

SaaS platforms make software available to users over the internet, usually for a monthly subscription fee. With SaaS, you don’t need to install and run software applications on your computer. Everything is available over the internet when you log in to your account online.

You can usually access the software from any device, anytime (as long as there is an internet connection). This convenience also means you avoid the hassle of having an IT specialist install software onto every single one of your devices and regularly perform updates and maintenance. Software companies will update their product and fix bugs regularly — saving you the time, effort and hassle.

Another vital advantage is the SaaS payment structure. Most SaaS providers have a subscription model with a fixed, inclusive monthly fee. Therefore you know exactly how much your software costs and can budget accordingly, without any concerns about hidden fees or nasty surprises at the end of the month.

Conclusion: SaaS vs PaaS vs IaaS

The increasing popularity of SaaS, IaaS, PaaS is decreasing the need for on-premise hosting. Each cloud computing model provides you with choice, flexibility, and options that on-premise hosting cannot. Some cloud computing server models are more complicated than others, so it’s always a good idea to seek the advice and guidance of an expert to establish which is most suited to your needs.

So, let’s recap! What are the differences between the three cloud models?

  • IaaS provides you with maximum flexibility when it comes to hosting custom applications, as well as giving you a general data centre for storage.
  • PaaS is most commonly built on top of IaaS platforms to reduce system administration. This allows you to focus on app development rather than infrastructure management.
  • SaaS offers out-of-the-box, ready-to-use solutions that meet a specific business requirement (such as email or websites). The majority of modern SaaS platforms are built on PaaS or IaaS platforms.

Are you still unsure about SaaS vs Paas vs IaaS and want to know more?

Get in touch today to discuss your cloud computing needs with our team of specialists.

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