There are hundreds of jargon used by professionals working in the technology industry. Some of these jargons are familiar, while some of them may sound entirely new. Cloud computing is quite familiar, but the particulars of it might be unfamiliar to many. Talking about cloud computing particulars, we are describing the three cloud computing services models of it namely,
- Software as a Service (SaaS);
- Platform as a Service (Paas);
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
In this blog, we would like to highlight the concepts of the three models, their benefits, and the difference between SaaS Vs. PaaS Vs. IaaS. This knowledge will help you in making a well-defined switch to cloud computing and make the best use of it.
You can analyze your business requirements and then decide which cloud service models should you choose because each one of these services comes with its uniqueness & exemplary offerings. We will first begin with the introduction of each of the service models, then go into the details, and then cover IaaS Vs. PaaS Vs. SaaS comparison.
Introduction to cloud computing:
Cloud computing allows organizations to share unlimited resources present virtually in the cloud. The devices connected to the network can access the resources using the internet, making the entire sharing & development process easy, flexible, and faster.
Organizations registered with the cloud can perform various organizational activities by just making use of hardware and software. The virtual servers take care of the data and are maintained by the cloud. Your sensitive data remains safe, and you get a solution for disaster recovery also. All the users connected with your network can access the stored data using the internet connection.
Moving forward with each cloud service models, let’s begin with,
SaaS is an acronym for Software as a Service. SaaS is the most commonly preferred option and accounts for almost 24% of enterprise workloads. The SaaS market globally is expected to reach 157 billion US dollars by the end of this year. Well, this figure is almost double that of the year 2014. It is also referred to as the “on-demand software” model in which a third-party vendor manages the internet and delivers the application.
The SaaS service provider is also responsible for managing the clients’ data and regular application updates remotely. This eliminates the manual task of downloading, upgrading, and managing the software every time. This means you do not need manpower dedicatedly working for this purpose; instead, you can use this workforce on other important tasks. The end-user needs an internet connection and a browser installed to run the application.
SaaS delivery model:
As mentioned above, the SaaS service provider is responsible for hosting the applications on a remotely managed server. The user or, say, the client will pay an amount to the SaaS service provider for getting access to the application’s copy. However, the source code of the application will remain the same as the original application’s code. The service provider will further take care of all the organizational activities and will be responsible for rolling out an updated version of applications as and when required.
The client/user is free to store the data on a local machine or access it directly through the cloud. However, this should be pre-decided in an agreement between the client and the SaaS development company.
SaaS offers a major advantage to the end-user by refraining them from the tedious task of updating and maintaining the application. The application is delivered over the internet, which can be accessed by the end-user using an online account.
Users will just need an internet connection to access the software from any device, irrespective of the time.
The payment structure of SaaS is also quite flexible. You can go for a subscription model that will require you to pay a small fee. This small fee will cover maintenance, compliance, and security services. There will be no hidden charges, which make the SaaS service model extremely scalable.
Also, large organizations can function seamlessly because all the organizational operations can be accessed over the internet from any part of the globe.
Well-known names using SaaS:
Dropbox, Google WorkSpace, Concur, GoToMeeting, Salesforce, WebEx, BigCommerce, MailChimp, ZenDesk, Slack, HubSpot, DocuSign.
When to use SaaS?
If you are a startup company or a software development company taking baby steps yet, SaaS can be a blessing in disguise. It allows you to release an eCommerce swiftly without investing much manpower and time.
Next, if you wish your application to be accessible across mobile and web both, you should go for SaaS.
Limitation and Concerns of SaaS:
- Vendor lock-in is of major concern for SaaS users. A vendor might log into the software but may find it difficult to log out. Vendors can easily onboard the SaaS platform, but may have to incur extra costs for transferring SaaS apps across platforms.
- You may find it difficult to integrate SaaS with existing apps if it is not designed to comply with the open standards for integration. You might require your own integration systems to support SaaS interoperability.
- You may face difficulties if you go to customize the application.
- A lot of data is shared and present over the SaaS platform. Since SaaS works publicly, security is of utmost importance. If you are to transfer sensitive business information, then you might have to worry about compliance and privacy issues.
PaaS is an acronym for Platform as a Service. PaaS is a cloud platform service specially designed for developers allowing them to build custom applications. It provides a platform with related infrastructure, components, networking equipment & servers that users can access for app development.
All the operations are maintained by third-party providers, end-users have to take care of the app management only. Additionally, the PaaS provider gives users the programming languages, libraries, and many more things required for developing an application. In short, you can buy anything that is required to build an application. The PaaS platform is accessible by multiple users, and it is very easy to run & implement.
PaaS is highly scalable and allows you to choose from various modes of resources. If we believe the reports, the PaaS service market is estimated to be worth 43.8 billion US dollars.
PaaS delivery model:
PaaS is also delivered over the internet. The entire framework is set up by the service provider that can further be accessed by the end-user. In other words, it is a platform for software creation. Various hardware and software tools are offered to the developers for app building over the PaaS platform.
However, the infrastructure is not open to developers or users. Instead, the platform provides an optimized environment as well as the platform to run applications over it. A special software component called middleware facilitates software development over the PaaS platform. A user can access the platform via a browser without worrying about any other platform maintenance activity.
PaaS applications are highly scalable and cost-effective. You can develop an application that can be made easily available to the users and customize it as per convenience. You do not have to sit back and waste time behind coding and thus deliver it faster than ever.
PaaS is built on virtualization technology, and you can access it without any prior knowledge of system administration.
PaaS framework supports easy migration to the hybrid model. Also, it is easy to integrate web services and databases using PaaS.
Well-known names using PaaS:Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services Elastic Beanstalk, Openshift, SalesForce, Google App Engine, Heroku, Apache Stratos, Magento Commerce Cloud.
When to use PaaS?
PaaS is a suitable option for large scale applications where you need to work collaboratively with multiple developers and align with each of them.
PaaS offers excellent flexibility for other vendors to join in and work together.
Also, if you are specifically looking for customization, PaaS can be a preferred option.
For businesses tight on budget, PaaS is again a preferable option.
Limitations and Concerns of PaaS:
- The entire control of the application is with the PaaS vendor, and that puts the data security and privacy concerns at risk.
- It might turn out difficult to migrate to a PaaS solution if the vendor doesn’t have a strong & convenient migration policy.
- You may face runtime issues if the PaaS software solution doesn’t get along with the framework of development you choose.
- If you already have a legacy application or services, PaaS should not be preferred. You might require to change certain customizations & configurations for PaaS to work with your existing legacy systems.
- The PaaS platform limits the operational capabilities of the end-user.
IaaS is an acronym for Infrastructure as a Service. It is a cloud computing service module allowing users to access various virtualized infrastructure assets like computers, storage, networking, etc. it offers a full-package to the users, making it a highly scalable option. Users do not need to buy any extra hardware for the project; instead, users can directly access it on-demand as and when required.
There is a rise in the popularity of this service module by 12%, and in the last year, the IaaS market crossed the 107 Billion dollar benchmark. The IaaS market is expected to grow by 26.9% in the year 2021.
IaaS is a very flexible & cost-effective model allowing startups and small companies (especially) to start their business without purchasing hardware and software. It offers pay-as-you-go infrastructure services on-demand. IaaS is delivered over the internet, which makes it a more preferable option for enterprises.
IaaS delivery model:
As mentioned above, IaaS is delivered over the internet via a dashboard or an API. The entire infrastructure is handed over to the end-user giving them complete control over the infrastructure.
However, in this model, the service provider is not responsible for managing the software; it is the responsibility of the end-user to manage everything. The registered end-user will have access to services like detailed-billing, load balancing, clustering, log access, data back-up, data recovery, etc.
The IaaS service provider sets up a virtual data center for the end-user. The client/end-user pays a specific fee to the service provider and avails it like a rented cloud space.
IaaS services come at an upfront capital investment; however, the arrangements are quite praise-worthy. You do not have to pay anything extra when it comes to hardware & software.
It is a flexible & scalable cloud-service model allowing the end-user to upgrade or downgrade the services as per their requirements.
IaaS service model allows you to purchase hardware & resources as per the need within a short timeframe. Users can subscribe to the service, get the work done, and unsubscribe it later. It is completely up to the end-user to decide the service subscription.
End-users do not have to rely on any external service provider for service management because they have the authority to access and manage the services by themselves. IaaS platform is accessible by multiple users.
Well-known names using IaaS:
DigitalOcean, Linode, Amazon Web Services, Cisco Metapod, Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Engine, OpenStack, Joyent, Rackspace.
When to use IaaS:
If you are a startup or a small company, tight on budget & time, you can go for the IaaS service model. The reason being, you can get every service virtually anywhere by just paying an upfront cost of “x” amount.
However, even enterprises who wish to have complete control over their infrastructure can go for the IaaS cloud service model. Also, if you are a growing company hoping to build a scalable application, you can go for the IaaS service model.
Limitations and Concerns of IaaS:
The end-user will avail of the services virtually, which again imposes a security threat for the data. The user is connected with the IaaS service provider via a virtual machine, and that may compromise the security. To overcome this issue, the service provider should ensure the end-user that the allocated cloud space will not be accessible by any other client/end-user.
Same as PaaS, the IaaS service model can not be customized for legacy systems. The infrastructure may fall short in giving specific controls that can secure the application.
Since the end-user will hold the complete responsibility of updating and maintaining the software, they will need adequate training for the same. For this, the end-user will need to invest time and resources behind the training.
If we have to conclude which one is best, IaaS Vs. PaaS Vs. SaaS, we would say each one of them has its peculiarities and disadvantages. You need to understand the IaaS Vs. PaaS Vs. SaaS comparison thoroughly to decide which one will be the best option for your project.
You can ask your prospective app development company or the hired mobile app developers to give their opinion on the same. They would be best to help you in breaking down the differences based on your project commercials.
You can also connect with us and take our expert guidance for the cloud service models. We would analyze the size & complexity of your app and help you decide the option. Stay connected.