3 mins read

IaaS, PaaS & SaaS, what was that all about again?

The cloud offers an infinite number of great possibilities, from saving money to machine learning and from security benefits to improving service. The infinite number of possibilities the services and features provided by the Cloud offer, however, may also cause confusion. That is why this blog will take you back to basics. The moment the choice is made to switch from on-premise to the cloud, choices have to be made between a variety of cloud services that are available: Iaas, SaaS, and PaaS. These terms will show up regularly, but what do they mean?

IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service

IaaS stands for ‘Infrastructure as a Service, and is often called ‘Cloud infrastructure service’. Of the various Cloud services, IaaS most resembles the on-premise service, as we have known it for the past few years. IaaS brings the infrastructure, together with all outside network elements, to the cloud. The user will keep control of the operating system, database, applications, and data. A big advantage is that hardware no longer has to be purchased by the organisation. Instead, they sign up for a subscription based on use (consumption). This means that an organisation only pays when actually using the infrastructure. You could compare it to your electricity bill. This can, for example, lead to reduced costs in testing environments.

PaaS – Platform as a Service

PaaS stands for Platform as a Service, also known as ‘Cloud Platform Services’. PaaS solutions will save the organisation a little more work when compared with on-premise and IaaS. Next to the hardware, the operating system and databases are also placed in the Cloud. Just like software development. PaaS may be seen as a computing platform where software can be developed, tested, and produced in a quick and easy way. Very effective, simple, time-saving and cost-efficient, while you won’t have to keep track of a complex upkeep and buying process for the software and infrastructure that it leans on.
The Enterprise PaaS model offers software developers in business a self-service portal. For example, the computing infrastructure and the installed platforms are managed on top of the hardware from a single, centralised IT operation. The use of PaaS is very suitable for a combination with IaaS and on-premise.

SaaS – Software as a Service

The third Cloud service on the market is SaaS: ‘Software as a Service’. At this moment, SaaS is the biggest cloud solution and it’s still growing rapidly. SaaS applications are used as web applications on the internet. This means the entire application is managed and controlled by the application’s supplier. That is to say, everything is taken care of: infrastructure, operating system, managing and development – everything is in the hands of the supplier. Because these are web applications, updates and bug fixes will also be taken care of fully online by the supplier. Instead of installing updates individually, the supplier takes care of everything, without an organisation having to do anything. Even more so, installations, updates and fixes will go over the organisation’s head, in a positive sense. Plenty of organisations already work with SaaS software like Salesforce, BlueDolphin, or Exact Online.

Visual representation of what the aspects do that are managed by the supplier or the organisation as a user.

Starting in a hybrid environment

Organisations can choose from plenty of Cloud services. Fortunately, the type of service can be decided upon later when the organisation embarks on a cloud trajectory. It is possible to combine various Cloud services and/or make combinations with your IT-environment’s on-premise components. With Cloud Assessment, an organisation can familiarise itself with the variety of cloud services that Microsoft offers, combined with one another and the on-premise IT environment. Within a few days, an overview of quick wins will arise which can be used to get to know IaaS, PaaS and SaaS in a hybrid environment