Cloud Computing – Demystifying SaaS, PaaS and IaaS

Is cloud computing the next biggest thing since the Web? The answer is YES. After Mainframe, Personal Computer, Client Server Computing and the Web, this is the next big thing. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) October 2008 report, projected Cloud IT Spending in 2012 will be $42 Billion; a growth of about 27% from 2008. IDC forecasts that Asia Pacific spending on IT cloud services to grow fourfold, reaching $3.6 billion by 2013. IDC sees that new uses of cloud technology will be introduced to include those markets which cannot yet take advantage of cloud computing.


Cloud computing is broken down into three segments: “software”, “platform” and “infrastructure”.

Each segment serves a different purpose and offers different products to businesses and individuals around the world.

Software as a Service (SaaS) is the service based on the concept of renting software from a service provider rather than buying it yourself. The software is hosted on centralized network servers to make functionality available over the web or intranet. Also known as “software on demand” it is currently the most popular type of cloud computing because of its high flexibility, great services, enhanced scalability and less maintenance. Yahoo mail, Google docs, CRM applications are all instances of SaaS. With a web-based CRM all that employees need to do is register and login to the central system and import any existing customer data. The service provider hosts both the application and the data so the end user is free to use the service from anywhere. SaaS is very effective in lowering the costs of business as it provides the business an access to applications at a cost normally far cheaper than a licensed application fee which is possible due to its monthly fees based revenue model. With SaaS user need not worry about installation or upgrades.

From SaaS, now the industry is moving towards Platform as a Service (PaaS). PaaS offers a development platform for developers. The end users write their own code and the PaaS provider uploads that code and presents it on the web. SalesForce.com’s Force.com is an example of PaaS. PaaS provides services to develop, test, deploy, host and maintain applications in the same integrated development environment. It also provides some level of support for the creation of applications. Thus PaaS offers a faster more cost effective model for application development and delivery. The PaaS provider manages upgrades, patches and other routine system maintenance. PaaS is based on a metering or subscription model so users only pay for what they use. Users take what they need without worrying about the complexity behind the scenes.

There are basically four types of PaaS solutions – social application platforms, raw compute platforms, web application platforms and business application platform. Facebook is a type of social application platform wherein third parties can write new applications that are made available to end users. The CRM solutions provided by the companies are examples of business application platform. Developers can upload and execute their applications on Amazon’s infrastructure which is an example of raw compute platform. While the Google provides APIs to developers to build web applications which is an example of web application platform.

The final segment in the cloud computing is the infrastructure. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is delivery of the computing infrastructure as a fully outsourced service. Some of the companies that provide infrastructure services are Google, IBM, Amazon.com etc. Managed hosting and development environments are the services included in IaaS. The user can buy the infrastructure according to the requirements at any particular point of time instead of buying the infrastructure that might not be used for months. IaaS operates on a “Pay as you go” model ensuring that the users pay for only what they are using. Virtualization enables IaaS providers to offer almost unlimited instances of servers to customers and make cost-effective use of the hosting hardware. IaaS users enjoy access to enterprise grade IT Infrastructure and resources that might be very costly if purchased completely. Thus dynamic scaling, usage based pricing, reduced costs and access to superior IT resources are some of the benefits of IaaS. IaaS is also sometimes referred to as Hardware as a Service (HaaS). An Infrastructure as a Service offering also provides maximum flexibility because just about anything that can be virtualized can be run on these platforms. This is perhaps the biggest benefit of an IaaS environment. For a startup or small business, one of the most difficult things to do is keep capital expenditures under control. By moving your infrastructure to the cloud, you have the ability to scale as if you owned your own hardware and data center.

So we could see that where SaaS offers a complete application as service and PaaS offers the ability to develop an application, IaaS doesn’t care about the application at all. If you have already written a lot of code or have a software package you want to install and run in the cloud, then you’ll be looking for IaaS. If you have no software or want to build something from scratch to solve a problem for which there is no package available or the packages are too expensive or complicated, then you should go for PaaS. The unit of deployment varies from the server to the application and these three types of services offered in cloud computing will have great effect on the nature of IT operations.


Full Source: e2eNetworks

About CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading authorities in connected technology information and services.

We embrace and instill thought leadership insights, relevant and timely news related stories, unbiased benchmark reporting as well as offer green/cleantech learning and consultive services around the world.

Our vision is to create awareness and to help find innovative ways to connect our planet in a positive eco-friendly manner.

In the meantime, you may connect with CloudTweaks by following and sharing our resources.

View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Infographic: IoT Programming Essential Job Skills

Infographic: IoT Programming Essential Job Skills

Learning To Code As many readers may or may not know we cover a fair number of topics surrounding new technologies such as Big data, Cloud computing , IoT and one of the most critical areas at the moment – Information Security. The trends continue to dictate that there is a huge shortage of unfilled…

Utilizing Digital Marketing Techniques Via The Cloud

Utilizing Digital Marketing Techniques Via The Cloud

Digital Marketing Trends In the past, trends in the exceptionally fast-paced digital marketing arena have been quickly adopted or abandoned, keeping marketers and consumers on their toes. 2016 promises a similarly expeditious temperament, with a few new digital marketing offerings taking center stage. According to Gartner’s recent research into Digital Marketing Hubs, brands plan to…

The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us to Do Better The cloud has made our working lives easier, with everything from virtually unlimited email storage to access-from-anywhere enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. It’s no wonder the 2013 cloud computing research IDG survey revealed at least 84 percent of the companies surveyed run at least one cloud-based application.…

The Global Rise of Cloud Computing

The Global Rise of Cloud Computing

The Global Rise of Cloud Computing Despite the rapid growth of cloud computing, the cloud still commands a small portion of overall enterprise IT spending. Estimates I’ve seen put the percentage between 5% and 10% of the slightly more than $2 trillion (not including telco) spent worldwide in 2014 on enterprise IT. Yet growth projections…

Surprising Facts and Stats About The Big Data Industry

Surprising Facts and Stats About The Big Data Industry

Facts and Stats About The Big Data Industry If you start talking about big data to someone who is not in the industry, they immediately conjure up images of giant warehouses full of servers, staff poring over page after page of numbers and statistics, and some big brother-esque official sat in a huge government building…

Why Hybrid Cloud Delivers Better Business Agility

Why Hybrid Cloud Delivers Better Business Agility

Why Hybrid Cloud Delivers Better Business Agility A CIO friend of mine once told me that a hybrid cloud model enables him to “own the base, rent the spike” when it comes to unplanned events. Let’s face it – maintaining unused infrastructure for rare or random IT events is expensive and unnecessary in a cloud…

Report: Enterprise Cloud Computing Moves Into Mature Growth Phase

Report: Enterprise Cloud Computing Moves Into Mature Growth Phase

Verizon Cloud Report Enterprises using the cloud, even for mission-critical projects, is no longer new or unusual. It’s now firmly established as a reliable workhorse for an organization and one that can deliver great value and drive transformation. That’s according to a new report from Verizon entitled “State of the Market: Enterprise Cloud 2016.” which…

The Industries That The Cloud Will Change The Most

The Industries That The Cloud Will Change The Most

The Industries That The Cloud Will Change The Most Cloud computing is rapidly revolutionizing the way we do business. Instead of being a blurry buzzword, it has become a facet of everyday life. Most people may not quite understand how the cloud works, but electricity is quite difficult to fathom as well. Anyway, regardless of…

Cloud Computing Price War Rages On

Cloud Computing Price War Rages On

Cloud Computing Price War There’s little question that the business world is a competitive place, but probably no area in business truly defines cutthroat quite like cloud computing. At the moment, we are witnessing a heated price war pitting some of the top cloud providers against each other, all in a big way to attract…

Why Cloud Compliance Doesn’t Need To Be So Overly Complicated

Why Cloud Compliance Doesn’t Need To Be So Overly Complicated

Cloud Compliance  Regulatory compliance is an issue that has not only weighed heavily on the minds of executives, security and audit teams, but also today, even end users. Public cloud adds more complexity when varying degrees of infrastructure (depending on the cloud model) and data fall out of the hands of the company and into…