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IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, a cloudy distinction!

IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, a cloudy distinction!

Here’s what you need to know about each.

Don’t we all have the same question? What the heck is the cloud? And the more we read or play around with it the more cloudy it becomes. It might seem such a simple question for one of the most overused words in IT nowadays. But the only thing I know for sure is that it seems to mean something different for everyone.

For me, the cloud is a method designed to make things as easy and convenient as possible. That can be tooling, hosting, services and much more but definitely not limited to “running my workload somewhere else”. There are beautiful “private” cloud solutions which run on-premise but can give you the same advantages.

In general, there are three different models when we look at cloud computing services; SaaS, PaaS and IaaS. Each solves a different need and has a different characteristic

What is SaaS?

Software as a Service is when someone makes an application available to consumers on a purchase or subscription base. Examples are dropbox, salesforce and google apps. The biggest advantage of SaaS is of course that it is easy to start with, there is no need for tedious tasks like installing, managing and upgrading software. That in itself introduces limitations like limited customisation and a great dependency on the provider.

What is IaaS?

Infrastructure as a Service is on the other end of the spectrum. It refers to cloud-based infrastructure that helps organisations to build and manage their own servers, network and storage. The big benefit, of course, is that it is a model in which you pay for what you use instead of having to do big upfront investments. The full flexibility and control come of course with the cost of having to maintain and install all the components and software. Examples are AWS and Azure.

What is PaaS?

Platform as a Service is the man in the middle. It provides software components and services so companies can build their own software and applications. Similar to SaaS it delivers powerful and up-to-date tools that are ready to use so anyone can create powerful applications and SaaS services. It usually runs on top of IaaS and therefore abstracts all the disadvantages of IaaS for the users but gives the capabilities for users to easily compose or build a SaaS solution.

We at DeltaBlue believe that a PaaS platform gives our customers the right tools for their needs. We not only provide tooling for modern API and containerised applications but also focus on what we call traditional applications. Within our user-friendly, non-technical, interface anyone can create blueprints for complex business applications. This can be a complete eCommerce site or form the basis for further development.

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