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What Is IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS?


Not long ago, clouds were just white, fluffy things in the sky that made rain possible. Now, cloud computing is one of the most popular terms in the IT industry. As more and more companies move towards cloud services, three different ways have emerged. They are:

  • SaaS (Software as a Service)
  • IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)
  • PaaS (Platform as a Service)

If you are also considering moving your business to the cloud you should know about these types of cloud computing.

The three terms stand for the ways a company’s IT infrastructure can go from being on-premise to completely cloud-based.

More companies are now relying on IT infrastructure, platforms, and software solutions. So, let’s take a look at what these three service models look like and their key differences.

What Is IaaS?

IaaS is an online cloud-based service that companies can use for pay-as-you-go services. These services can include storage, networking, and virtualization.

So, instead of having to buy costly hardware to maintain all these services themselves. Companies can take up cloud service from an IaaS third-party.

Moreover, this is a lot more scalable and companies get more flexibility as compared to on-premises solutions.

Hardware companies usually store servers in their building. The delivery for IaaS is solely through the internet so it is the virtual equivalent of the same basic layer of cloud computing.

It can be especially useful for small businesses that have neither the means nor the space for on-site resources.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • There are many compelling benefits for IaaS platforms. Here are some of them:
  • It is one of the most scalable computing models and you can design one specifically for your needs.
  • The solutions can help automate servers, storage, and networking tools.
  • You don’t have to purchase any on-site resources and can save costs on various fronts.
  • It helps you regain control of your entire infrastructure because of the customization ability.

However, there are some drawbacks to it as well. For instance:

You might have to upgrade your current legacy apps to make them fit well into the new infrastructure.

Getting staff on board with the new tools quickly and seamlessly is not effortless as they will need proper training.

It gives you full access control over OS, middleware, and apps but that means you are also responsible for mitigating cyber security threats.

What Is PaaS?

This type of cloud computing means that you get access to a platform through the internet. Here, you can develop apps and software to suit your company.

So, all the platform does is provide you with the right tools and framework to tailor solutions for individual needs.

You can have access to servers and data centers with PaaS as well but they are managed by third-party operators. So, you might call it the scaled-down version of IaaS.

The delivery of PaaS is similar to SaaS but there is a key difference. You won’t have access to online software, but the platform to create software.

It can be a game-changer for companies that have multiple developers on the same project. You can maintain performance and streamline all processes and workflow.

Moreover, you can add other vendors to the same platform as well. As a result, you can build apps and solutions with high levels of customization in a short time.

Pros and Cons

If you are considering adopting PaaS you should consider its pros and cons. Here are a few things to get you started:

Pros Cons
It is a simple and cost-effective method to develop and deploy apps. Third-party vendor systems mean that you have possible security threats to consider. 
Scale the project according to your needs with many customization options.  You can come across run-time issues as your developer team might not be versed with the framework. 
Easily migrate to a hybrid cloud model.  Legacy IT infrastructure might not be compatible with the cloud.
Developing team doesn’t have to code as much as before.  Automated workflows of PaaS might create fewer operational options for the end-user due to compatibility issues. 
Developers on your team don’t have to maintain the software. 

What Is SaaS?

what is saas

Software as a Service might be one of the most common forms of cloud computing. These are ready-to-use software solutions and can be run directly from a browser. So, businesses in countries with the fastest internet speed can benefit from it most.

The entirely cloud-based application services mostly do not even require downloads and installations. Most of the SaaS platforms are run on remote servers and the data centers are controlled and maintained by third-party vendors. As a result, the client doesn’t have a lot of responsibility.

It is ideal for smaller businesses that don’t want to invest in their own software solutions. If you don’t need a lot of customization for your app, SaaS can be your best option. It can work for startups, small projects, and even e-commerce companies.

Advantages and Drawbacks

Some of the most apparent pros for using SaaS platforms are:

  • They are usually a part of multi-tenant environments and can reduce costs for IT solutions.
  • You can scale the size of the project up and down based on your needs.
  • It is easier to integrate one SaaS platform with another without additional servers.
  • New software updates are easier to download.

They are very easy to use and usually have a simple interface.

  • Nothing can be perfect and the drawbacks can include:
  • You might be at risk of a security breach because of relying on third-party vendors.
  • There are limited options for customization in the app.
  • The end-user doesn’t have much control over downtimes or performance.
  • It can be hard to integrate other apps with SaaS platforms.

You need to keep a stricter eye on what SaaS apps your employees are using to minimize risk and unused or under-utilized apps.


Each cloud computing process can work differently and you need to understand what your requirements are. For instance, if you are trying something new with Metaverse, you might be looking for high customization options.

So, SaaS might be your least-preferred option as it can restrict what users can or can’t do.

Moreover, every model has its own set of advantages and drawbacks so you should consider what will add the most value to your business’s IT infrastructure. Because the ultimate goal is to increase your employees’ productivity and overall efficiency.

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