Understanding Cloud Computing: SaaS, PaaS, IaaS – Part II

Today, we continue talking about SaaS, PaaS and IaaS and what benefits can each of the areas offer you. If you haven’t read the first part click here.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

In short, it is software implemented through the internet. A software provider licenses the application and sells it as an on-demand service or through a subscription model. As we mention often, SaaS is a growing market and it won’t be surprising to see organizations rely on it on a daily basis.

SaaS is applicable in different situations. Whether it is a Customer Relationship (CRM) product or a file sync solution, SaaS often focuses on the specific needs of a company. Its implementation can be done in different ways, some combine distinct applications, others focus on a very specific task.

Is SaaS the best option?

There are no better or worst options, when comparing these three different scopes of Cloud Computing. However, in some cases SaaS might not be the best option.

  • SaaS might not be the most useful when applications need fast processing power of data in real time.
  • In situations where legislation does not allow hosting any data externally.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS offers the same benefits as SaaS for applications, but in this case it focuses on the software development market. One could define PaaS as a platform where you can easily develop web applications, avoiding complex software infrastructures.

The use of PaaS makes sense when there are many developers working on a project that requires significant interaction with external parties. PaaS facilitates the automated tests as well as the deployment of any service related to the project.

When should I not use PaaS?

PaaS in cloud computing seems to be here to stay, as it facilitates software development, an area that is booming at the moment. However, there are situations where it might not the best solution.

  • When the app needs to be portable spanning various hosts, PaaS might not be the most suitable solution.
  • If proprietary languages are used, it could maker PaaS automation processes more difficult to apply.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

As the name indicates IaaS delivers an entire Cloud Computing infrastructure, which includes: servers, network and operating systems as a service. Essentially, companies buy/rent these resources.

Today you can obtain IaaS as public or private infrastructure, or a combination of both. In the future we will delve deeper into the differences of public, private and hybrid cloud offerings.

As mentioned before the lines between SaaS and PaaS are becoming blurred. Vendors often offer tools as part of IaaS to help with the deployment of the cloud solution.

When not to use IaaS?

Similar to SaaS, the regulations would make the outsourcing of data storage difficult. If the company requires a high level of performance, it’s better to opt for an on premise solution.

An ever changing concept

Cloud Computing are two words that try to describe a variety of services that range from Service to Infrastructure. Companies seeking a Cloud Computing solution, should understand the different types of service available. Assessing the situation and deciding on what type of solution is appropriate is a crucial step for any company. Cloud Computing is quickly evolving and changing the IT world.


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