IaaS PaaS & SaaS are three Cloud computing models popular in the market. Depending upon the requirement a user can opt for any of the three models. Here we have explained IaaS, PaaS & SaaS model in the best possible way so that even a beginner can understand and differential among them.
What is IaaS? (Infra as a service)
IaaS provides the infrastructure such as virtual machines and other resources like virtual-machine disk image library, block and file-based storage, firewalls, load balancers, IP addresses, virtual local area networks etc. Infrastructure as service or IaaS is the basic layer in cloud computing model.
More elaborately IaaS is analogous to buying furniture from Walmart. You are given all the materials, you need to build it yourself. ie, you are given a computer without even an OS on it, and you can install the OS and all the software on top of it as you wish.
Common examples: DigitalOcean, Linode, Rackspace, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Cisco Metapod, Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Engine (GCE) are some popular examples of Iaas.
What is PaaS (Platform as a service)
PaaS or platform as a service model provides you computing platforms which typically includes operating system, programming language execution environment, database, web server. technically It is a layer on top of IaaS as the second thing you demand after Infrastructure is platform.
More elaborately, This is like ordering in a fast food joint like chipotle. You have your choice of toppings, but there only a few bases for the toppings – a bowl, or burrito, or taco, etc.ie, The computers that you get in an PaaS offering, have a fixed OS and software stack. You can run your software on top of this. Example, you can deploy any code on top of the Google app engine.
Common examples: AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Windows Azure, Heroku, Force.com, Google App Engine, Apache Stratos.
What is SaaS (Software as a service)
In a SaaS you are provided access to application services installed at a server. You don't have to worry about installation, maintenance or coding of that software. You can access and operate the software with just your browser. You don't have to download or install any kind of setup or OS, the software is just available for you to access and operate. The software maintenance or setup or help will be provided by SaaS provider company and you will only have to pay for your usage.
More elaborately – This is like borrowing a reference book from a library. You go, read the book, return it and come back. ie, you use the software available online, and that's it.
Common examples: Google Apps, Microsoft office365, Google docs, Gmail, WHMCS billing software
IaaS, PaaS & SaaS with car example
With IaaS, it’s like leasing a car. Keeping the car repaired is someone else’s problem, you just need to supply it with fuel (setting it up, maintaining software, etc.) and you get to go pretty much wherever you want to.
PaaS is a bit like getting a cab. You get in and choose where you want to go to and how to get there. Keeping the car running and figuring out the details is up to the driver.
SaaS is a bit like public transport. Cheap, someone else takes care of pretty much everything, you just get to use it. This comes at the price of not always getting as close as you want (less customizability)
Difference between IaaS PaaS & SaaS
In the following tabular format we will be explaining the clear difference between IaaS PaaS & SaaS
Basic difference between IaaS, PaaS & SaaS
|What you get||You get the infrastructure & pay accordingly .Freedom to use or install any OS, software or composition||Here you get what you demand. Software, hardware, OS, web environment. You get the platform to use & pay accordingly||Here you don’t have to worry about anything. A pre-installed, pre-configured package as per your requirement is given and you only need to pay accordingly.|
|Importance||The basic layer of Computing||Top of IaaS||It is like a Complete package of services|
|Technical Difficulties||Technical knowledge required||You get the Basic setup but still the knowledge of subject is required.||No need to worry about technicalities. The SaaS provider company handles everything.|
|Deals with||Virtual Machines, Storage (Hard Disks), Servers, Network, Load Balancers etc||Runtimes (like java runtimes), Databases (like mySql, Oracle), Web Servers (tomcat etc)||Applications like email (Gmail, Yahoo mail etc), Social Networking sites (Facebook etc)|
|Popularity Graph||Popular among highly skilled developers, researchers who require custom configuration as per their requirement or field of research.||Most popular among developers as they can focus on the development of their apps or scripts. They don’t have to worry about traffic load or server management etc.||Most popular among normal consumers or companies which reply on softwares such as email, file sharing, social networking as they don’t have to worry about the technicalities.|
The video below explains the difference between IaaS Paas & SaaS beautifully.
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