Cloud computing has become the lifeline of all kinds of organizational set-ups- whether big or small. Through cloud computing, organizations can share unlimited virtual resources present in the cloud.
Cloud technology services are of three types:
Organizations that plan to move to the cloud platform can use the above services as per their requirements. Each of these services has its own uniqueness, service offerings, and advantages. Organizations, therefore, need to understand the differences between IaaS, SaaS, and Paas, before deciding on which services will suit them best in their organizational set-ups.
Let us have an in-depth understanding of each of the services of IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS. Each section will be explained under the following heads for your understanding and convenience:
1. What is IaaS/SaaS/PaaS
2. The Iaas/SaaS/PaaS delivery model.
In the end, we will be looking at the differences between Iaas, SaaS, and PaaS
Before getting into an in-depth understanding of IaaS, SaaS, PaaS, the differences between them and the quintessential question of IaaS vs PaaS, let us get a quick understanding of the importance of Cloud computing in the current organizational scenario.
Organizations can access and share resources such as networking, servers, databases, and storage through the internet, making the whole process faster, more efficient, cost-effective and flexible. Cloud computing makes it easier for organizations to store, access, manage and process data in an efficient manner.
Simply put, cloud computing is the process of using hardware and software that resides on the cloud, through the mode of the internet, in order to perform various complex organizational activities. In traditional business structures, all the data used to be stored in local machines and hard drives. With cloud computing, all the data is stored in virtual servers provided and maintained by third-party service providers. This also helps in Geo-Replication of data and for disaster recovery.
The third parties will also make software, applications, various infrastructural facilities as well as platforms available on the cloud. These can be accessed by the employees or users through a computer and an internet connection. This is where IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS come into the picture.
Let us now look at an in-detail explanation of the three services, IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS:
IaaS or Infrastructure as a Service, as the name suggests, is a cloud technology service, where the IaaS providers make available various infrastructural services on the cloud. For example, the provider hosts infrastructural components such as virtual machines, virtual LANs, networks, storage, hard drives, etc. through virtualization technology.
The IaaS provider provides his client with either a dashboard or an API, providing access to the end-user to all the services. This way the end-user has complete control over the entire infrastructure.
Along with infrastructural services, the provider will supply accompanying services that support these infrastructural services. Some examples of these services are detailed billing, load balancing, and clustering, log access. In addition to all the above, the IaaS provider will also enable data-storage related services such as data back-up, data replication, and data recovery.
IaaS can be compared to a traditional data center, in the sense that it will provide the end-user with all the infrastructure, technology and capability of a data center. The difference though lays in the fact that the client doesn’t need to spend a huge amount of money to buy and maintain all the infrastructure.
IaaS takes care of setting up a virtual data center and maintaining it for the client. The client, in turn, is completely responsible for their own applications, operating systems, middleware, and data. The client or the buyer rents space on the cloud through the IaaS provider. The IaaS provider, in turn, provides the client with virtual servers and virtual storage. The provider helps the client in building a network around these services. The end-users use their own operating systems and applications on the final platform, thereby cutting additional costs.
Examples of IaaS:
Applications of IaaS:
IaaS is used in the following scenarios in the current business environment:
Advantages of IaaS:
IaaS provides many benefits to its clients who are planning to migrate their organization to cloud technologies. Some of the key advantages include:
SaaS or Software as a Service, as the name suggests, is a cloud technology service, where the SaaS provider hosts various applications on the cloud and makes them available to customers over the internet. SaaS is also known as cloud application services and is one of the most commonly used cloud services.
The SaaS provider, apart from making the application available to the end-users, will also be responsible for providing services such as managing the client’s data, storage, and managing the application’s updates. Most of the SaaS applications will run on the web browsers directly. This means that the end-users will just need a computer with an internet connection and a browser to access the applications.
Consequently, business organizations using the SaaS model do not need to hire separate staff for tasks such as downloading, installing, upgrading and managing software on each machine separately. Instead, the staff can concentrate on more pressing and important tasks whole the SaaS provider takes care of all of those issues.
Let us now look at how the SaaS delivery model works. The SaaS provider hosts the applications at one central location. Ie., the cloud on a remote server. The client will pay the provider for all the application related services. The SaaS provider will provide the client with network-based access to a copy of the application. All the end users will then download copies of this application on their machines. In this case, all the end-users will have the same source code of the application. When any changes, updates, new features, etc have to be rolled out, it becomes easy for the SaaS provider as well as the client.
Depending on the agreement between the SaaS provider and the client, the client’s data may be stored either on the local machine or in the cloud or at both the locations.
Through SaaS, organizations can also use the provider’s help to migrate their own applications to the cloud-based system from where the provider will host and continue the maintenance of the applications.
Applications of SaaS:
In the modern organizational context, the SaaS model can find applications in the following fields:
Examples of SaaS:
Advantages of SaaS:
PaaS or Provider as a Service is a cloud technology service where the service provider provides a platform to the client or the end-user for the purpose of software creation. A PaaS provider will provide platform related infrastructure components such as storage, servers, operating systems, and networking equipment. The Provider is also responsible for configuring and maintaining all the above components. In addition, the providers also provide the client with services such as programming languages, database management systems, libraries, etc
The Paas Delivery Model:
The PaaS provider basically creates a framework that is then used by the developers to develop and maintain the applications. The PaaS provider is entrusted with the responsibility of providing various hardware and software tools to the developers that are hosted on the cloud. The PaaS architecture works in such a way that the infrastructure stays hidden from the developers and the users. The PaaS provider builds an optimized environment and platform for the users to install and run their applications.
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