Cloud Computing For Dummies: SaaS, PaaS, IaaS And All That Was

Cloud Computing For Dummies: SaaS, PaaS, IaaS And All That Was

“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;”

– From The Daffodils by William Wordsworth (1770-1850), famous English Romantic poet.


There was once a time when you entered “cloud” on Google, and the results you got on the first page were of the cumulo-nimbus and cirrus varieties, in other words, those that dealt with the clouds which form through condensation of atmospheric water vapor. Not so today.

Nowadays, you are more likely to find allusions to “cloud computing” than to garden-variety clouds that bring us rain. And as each generation gets progressively more dependent on the Internet for information, time is not far when a child looking up at the clouds will associate them more with computation than precipitation.

A lot of terms have become part of the cloud computing lexicon, none more popular than SaaS, PaaS and IaaS. Here’s an attempt to remove the layers of complexity and present them in a language even technophobes can understand.

SaaS: Software as a Service (SaaS)
is software that is deployed over the Internet, available to the end user as and when wanted. Hence, it’s also known as “software on demand”. Payment can either be as per usage, on a subscription model or even free if advertisement is part of the equation.

While SaaS offers several advantages like accessibility from any location, rapid scalability and bundled maintenance, there may be certain security concerns, especially for users who desire high security and control, as that domain is in the hands of the provider. In fact, that is one of the arguments forwarded by open-source proponent Richard Stallman against SaaS. (See: Who Doesn’t Like Cloud Computing?)

SaaS may be considered the oldest and most mature type of cloud computing. Examples include Salesforce.com sales management applications, NetSuite, Google’s Gmail and Cornerstone OnDemand.

PaaS: Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a combination of a development platform and a solution stack, delivered as a service on demand. It provides infrastructure on which software developers can build new applications or extend existing ones without the cost and complexity of buying and managing the underlying hardware and software and provisioning hosting capabilities. In other words, it provides the supporting infrastructure to enable the end user develop his own solutions.

In addition to firms’ IT departments who use PaaS to customize their own solutions, its users include independent software vendors (ISVs) as well, those who develop specialized applications for specific purposes. While earlier application development required hardware, an operating system, a database, middleware, Web servers, and other software, with the PaaS model only the knowledge to integrate them is required. The rest is taken care of by the PaaS provider.

Sometimes, PaaS is used to extend the capabilities of applications developed as SaaS. Examples of PaaS include Salesforce.com’s Force.com, Google’s App Engine, and Microsoft’s Azure.

IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) delivers computer infrastructure – typically a platform virtualization environment – as a service. This includes servers, software, data-center space and network equipment, available in a single bundle and billed as per usage in a utility computing model.

IaaS is generally used by organizations that have the in-house expertise to manage their IT requirements but don’t have the infrastructure. They then hire the required infrastructure from IaaS providers and load up their libraries, applications, and data, after which they configure them themselves.

A popular use of IaaS is in hosting websites, where the in-house infrastructure is not burdened with this task but left free to manage the business. Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is a major example of IaaS. Rackspace’s Mosso and GoGrid’s ServePath are other IaaS offerings.

One important thing to note here: there is considerable overlap between SaaS, PaaS and IaaS, and with the rapid changes in the field, definitions are in a flux. In fact, the same service may be categorized into either of the three depending on who is making the categorization – developer, system administrator or a manager.

By Sourya Biswas

sourya

Sourya Biswas is a former risk analyst who has worked with several financial organizations of international repute, besides being a freelance journalist with several articles published online. After 6 years of work, he has decided to pursue further studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he has completed his MBA. He holds a Bachelors in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Information Technology. He is also a member of high-IQ organizations Mensa and Triple Nine Society and has been a prolific writer to CloudTweaks over the years... http://www.cloudtweaks.com/author/sourya/

One Response to Cloud Computing For Dummies: SaaS, PaaS, IaaS And All That Was

Join Our Newsletter

Receive updates each week on news, tips, events, comics and much more...

Can I Contribute To CloudTweaks?

Yes, much of our focus in 2015 will be on working with other influencers in a collaborative manner. If you're a technology influencer looking to collaborate long term with CloudTweaks – a globally recognized leader in cloud computing information – drop us an email with “tech influencer” in the subject line.

Please review the guidelines before applying.

Contributors

Cloud Infographic – Wearable Tech And Preventative Healthcare

Cloud Infographic – Wearable Tech And Preventative Healthcare

Wearable Tech And Preventative Healthcare There are so many exciting new opportunities available to utilize wearable technology in the future.  Areas such as nanotechnology disease monitoring, crowdfunding to wearable accessories are some excellent examples of the potential. Estimates vary, but appear to suggest that the market will produce between $14-50 Billion over the next few years. Included below

Ten Tips For Successful Business Intelligence Implementation

Ten Tips For Successful Business Intelligence Implementation

Ten Tips for Successful Business Intelligence Implementation The cost of Business Intelligence (BI) software goes far beyond the purchase price. Time spent researching, implementing, and maintaining your BI investment can snowball quickly and mistakes are often expensive. Your time is valuable – save it by learning from other businesses’ experiences. We’ve compiled the top ten

Knots And Cloud Service Providers

Knots And Cloud Service Providers

How Do These Two Compare? In Boy Scouts, I learned how to tie knots. The quickest knot you can tie is the slipknot. It’s very effective for connecting one thing to another via the rope you have. It was used in setting up tents, mooring boats to docks temporarily and lifting your food up into

Aggregated News

Popular News Sources

Storage Considerations for SharePoint Backups

Storage Considerations for SharePoint Backups

Storage Considerations for SharePoint Backups Wednesday, October 29, 2014 @ 9:00 am/12:00pm ET. Backup and Restore of a SharePoint environment can be a complex endeavor as the product consists of multiple components running at various tiers, each with their own backup and restore requirements. In addition, SharePoint documents are stored as Binary Large Objects (BLOBs) in

OpenDNS Deployment Leads to Twenty-Fold Decrease in Malware Infections at Hamamatsu

OpenDNS Deployment Leads to Twenty-Fold Decrease in Malware Infections at Hamamatsu

Decreases in Malware Infections at Hamamatsu OpenDNS, a leading provider of cloud-delivered security, today announced that it has enabled Hamamatsu, a Japanese manufacturer of optical sensor technologies, to virtually eliminate malware infections across its U.S. Read the source article at Finance News About Latest Posts souryaSourya Biswas is a former risk analyst who has worked with

IBM and Microsoft – What Are They Doing With The Hybrid Cloud?

IBM and Microsoft – What Are They Doing With The Hybrid Cloud?

What Are They Doing With The Hybrid Cloud? “Microsoft is committed to helping enterprise customers realize the tremendous benefits of cloud computing across their own systems, partner clouds and Microsoft Azure,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president,Cloud and Enterprise, Microsoft. “With this … Read the source article at CNNMoney About Latest Posts souryaSourya Biswas is a former risk analyst