Today, we would like to dig into the distinctions between the types of cloud services that are available today. Those are the infrastructure as a service (IaaS), the software as a service (SaaS) and the platform as a service (PaaS). Each of the three platforms can provide the Company with distinct benefits and, indeed, some disadvantages. That being said, let’s dive in, define the three platforms, and discuss some pros and cons for each.
What is IaaS?
Cloud platforms are the building blocks through which an organization can deploy applications and IaaS is found at the lowest tier.Consumers can expect to find processing power (compute), storage , and network resources already deployed in a secure manner within the IaaS cloud. The provision of IaaS cloud services can be done very easily and this helps clients to deploy an application rapidly.
However, a traditional IaaS cloud solution provides security and management of the infrastructure only through the hypervisor. This leaves the responsibility of securing and managing the solution above the hypervisor to the customer. The portion of the infrastructure that is not typically covered includes virtual operating systems, virtual networks, applications, data, and the security controls that sit on top of the entire solution. When a customer is competent within himself to provide these capabilities or leverages an IaaS solution by delivering this expertise to a managed service provider ( MSP), the total cost of providing the solution will become very costly without this experience, and in the meanwhile, a customer can be introduced to a variety of security vulnerabilities.
What is PaaS?
The next tier up is a PaaS solution. This builds on the best features of the IaaS solution (computer management, storage and network resources) while also providing responsibility for deploying and managing virtual machines themself. Customers would no longer have to be responsible for the safety of virtual operating systems or the network layer above the applications and data. Just their apps and data themselves need to bother consumers.
For customers who have no IT experience in-house, need to streamline their IT infrastructure or have internal resources, but who want to reallocate those resources for other projects this is a perfect option. If a customer does have the in-house IT expertise, they may need to work with the cloud service provider (CSP) to make sure there is a clear division of responsibility and each party understands their role in the overall management of the solution. It is also the best thing in both worlds because customers don’t have to worry much about the cloud solution ‘s security, but can have full control of their applications and data.
What is SaaS?
A SaaS approach is the ideal choice for a customer who needs to outsource managing a managed service provider for the entire cloud infrastructure and applications. The magic of a SaaS approach is that customers lend access to host applications effectively. The customer will load their data into the application and may have some customization capabilities, but for the most part, they are paying for access to a pre-designed solution that is capable of being rapidly deployed.
Customers who simply want to run an application without the in-house IT expertise for the infrastructure or application(s) find a SaaS solution to be perfect for their needs. If a customer wants the ability to control aspects of the infrastructure or control the overall security of the solution may find the SaaS option a bit too restrictive.
When you are evaluating a cloud platform, take into account more than simply the Cloud Solution Provider’s (CSP) name. Really look at the type of cloud platform that the CSP is offering and look at your available resources and/or business and technical needs.