IaaS vs PaaS vs SaaS

The world has changed! Traditional software now looks to be a thing of the past as Software as a Service grows in popularity and functionality. Even the downside of IaaS PaaS SaaS solutions, such as the security measures vendors take, is making the technology more viable year upon year.

Although software as a service is now the obvious choice for a software solution, many companies don’t understand the difference between the options and what they are investing in. There are indeed few differences in some cases; at other times, differences are notable.

Understanding the differences between IaaS, PaaS and SaaS is important when deciding on software. For one thing, you want to ensure you get the most effective technology for your requirements, but choosing the right vendor is also crucial. Read on to find out more.

IaaS vs PaaS vs SaaS

IaaS vs PaaS vs SaaS

On-Premises IaaS PaaS SaaS
Target Users IT Adminstrators and staff IT Administrators Software Developers End Users
What you get Nothing, everything is done on premises Virtual IT data center, infrastructure, software and data services Virtual development platforms and tools for creating applications Software and applications for business tasks
Provider Controls Nothing Servers, storage, virtualization, networking Servers, storage, virtualization, networking, OS, middleware, runtime Servers, storage, virtualization, networking, OS, middleware, runtime, applications data
User Controls Servers, storage, virtualization, networking, OS, middleware, runtime, applications data OS, middleware, runtime, applications data Data applications Nothing

IaaS PaaS SaaS Examples

IaaS PaaS SaaS Examples
Cloud Services Examples
IaaS Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Compute Engine (GCE), Linode, DigitalOcean
PaaS OpenShift, Google App Engine, Heroku, Pivotal, Oracle
SaaS Google Drive, Dropbox, Salesforce, HubSpot

What is IaaS?

IaaS stands for Infrastructure as a Service. It is a cloud computing technology that provides companies network services and a high-level application programming interface (API). Along with APIs, IaaS also handles underlying network infrastructure like location and security.

IaaS services are fully automated and fully scalable. It means that businesses can access and monitor an array of infrastructure services relating to network, storage, monitoring, and more. Not only that, IaaS allows businesses to purchase hardware on-demand or as-needed.

IaaS signals a new direction for network services and monitoring solutions. Businesses no longer need to rely on in-house service personnel or inefficient hardware procurements. Instead, the needs of the business can be met through cloud computing technologies such as IaaS.

IaaS Delivery

In the past, companies used a data center to outsource their IT infrastructure. Things like servers, networks, operating systems, and storage were all contained in a data center that was managed and maintained by physical staff. With IaaS, these services are managed in the cloud.

With IaaS delivery, the servers, networks, operating systems, and storage are all virtualized. The company operates its business infrastructure from a dashboard or API, which gives companies complete control over the entire infrastructure without the need for physical staff.

Instead of an IT team that oversees the infrastructure, IaaS allows for better integration and more streamlined services. IaaS clients must manage their application, runtime, middleware, and data; however, the IaaS providers handle servers, networks, virtualization, and storage.

IaaS Advantages

IaaS can benefit businesses in several ways. For one thing, it cuts down on the infrastructure costs associated with a conventional IT network. For another, it streamlines infrastructure, so businesses only invest in the hardware that suits their consumption patterns. It’s also scalable.

IaaS cuts down on wastage and inefficiencies by giving companies the option to pay for what they use; the IaaS provider calculates what the business consumes via metrics – something like an energy company – allowing businesses to reduce their spending and increase their efficiency.

The scalability of IaaS is also a significant advantage. With a conventional infrastructure model, businesses couldn’t reduce their capacity during downtime and increase it when things were busy. This is entirely possible with IaaS, and everything can be arranged on the API dash.

Characteristics of IaaS

If you’re struggling to get your head around IaaS, think of it like this, it’s a middle person that puts your business in touch with a cloud provider with access to the services your business needs, such as network services or virtualization. So IaaS is a neat solution to infrastructure.

When you operate an IaaS for your business, you automatically reduce your costs, that’s because IaaS costs largely depend on consumption patterns. From the API dashboard, you can control and configure your network requirements, optimizing them for cost efficiency and more.

IaaS is a remote network service solution with many advantages. IaaS allows your business to configure multiple users for a single piece of hardware; the services are also scalable, meaning you can increase or reduce costs as required. IaaS also allows you to retain control with API.

When is IaaS Useful?

IaaS is useful at any stage of the business journey; that said, there are certain situations when IaaS is more helpful. For example, small businesses and startup businesses benefit from IaaS because they don’t have to spend extra money on hardware and infrastructure.

For larger companies that either have a conventional infrastructure or have an interest in reducing their bottom line, IaaS can be useful. IaaS allows larger companies to reduce costs and optimize performance, but it also gives them complete control of their applications.

Finally, IaaS can be useful to companies the experience rapid growth. Instead of investing in additional infrastructure to handle the latest demands, a business that uses IaaS can simple open its API dashboard and request additional infrastructure from the cloud provider.

The Downside of IaaS

While IaaS has many advantages for businesses of all sizes and dispositions, there are some downsides to be aware of. Like all software as a service, IaaS is vulnerable when it comes to cybersecurity. There might also be issues with legacy apps in the network and worker training.

Security is a central concern of IaaS providers, which is why they work hard to guard against the latest cyber threats. But there are some internal threats to security as well, with virtual machines and systems vulnerability. Therefore, it’s worth checking your IaaS provider’s security protocol.

Another downside of partnering with IaaS providers is the issue of legacy apps. Many businesses run apps that are central to their operations, but updates can render these apps obsolete in the cloud network, meaning companies have to update their apps or abandon IaaS.

How Does IaaS Compare?

IaaS is probably the most independent “as a service” type when compared to PaaS and SaaS. That’s because it focuses mainly on the infrastructure rather than the software side of things. That said, there is some commonality between them; all of them operate through vendors.

If you’re looking for a network and some hardware infrastructure without wanting to invest huge sums, IaaS is an excellent choice. IaaS can help you get your small business up and running quickly, or it can improve your bottom line significantly if you are an established global brand.

What is PaaS?

While IaaS is concerned with infrastructure and networking hosted in the cloud, PaaS is interested in delivering hardware and software solutions to businesses in the same way. Therefore, PaaS stands for Platform as a Service, it deals with software and applications.

Developing and launching applications was once a complex and involved process that required advanced hardware and software solutions as well as expert IT personnel. With PaaS, that is no longer the case. The infrastructure for app development can be provided remotely.

These days, there is a PaaS service for every application. In short, PaaS solutions have become the norm because software can be created and optimized for business without the need for coding or specialist services. In addition, it provides a framework for developers.

PaaS Delivery

PaaS is delivered via the web. It is delivered in much the same way as a SaaS solution, but unlike SaaS, PaaS provides a platform, or a framework, for the development of software. This allows developers to create software without worrying about OS systems, updates, or storage.

The web delivery system is highly convenient. The PaaS provider creates and hosts the platform needed to create innovative software solutions, eliminating the need for businesses to create their own infrastructure and code programs. Instead, they can simply log on and work.

PaaS contains applications that PaaS users can access. These applications can be created, designed, and modified depending on business requirements. These applications are called middleware, they have several cloud characteristics, and they are highly scalable.

PaaS Advantages

PaaS software solutions are suitable for businesses of any size. If your business needs an innovative and flexible software solution, using a PaaS cloud computing service makes sense rather than developing the software internally. PaaS is the latest and most obvious solution.

With PaaS, a business can enjoy the simple, cost-effective development of apps for any purpose; all they have to do is log onto their PaaS platform and use the interface to build software without any coding requirements. Moreover, these apps can be modified and updated.

PaaS software solutions are always available. No matter what time of the day or night you need to work on software, your account can be accessed, and work can be carried out from any location. Additionally, the software you build is fully scalable, so you can build from the bottom.

Characteristics of PaaS

As with SaaS and IaaS, PaaS is a cloud computing service. It provides services to businesses over the internet and web that once required physical hardware in data centers. It can do this because of innovations in technology that allow providers to host more physical infrastructure.

PaaS has all the characteristics of a cloud computing service. That said, it differs from IaaS and SaaS in several ways. First, PaaS is concerned with applications and platform services instead of networks and infrastructure, its service deal with testing and deployment of applications.

Although there are several key differences between PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS, there are also many similarities. As with other remote software providers, PaaS allows multiple users to operate on a single application. Additionally, PaaS integrates databases and web services in the same way.

When is PaaS Useful?

There are many situations in which it’s useful to have PaaS integration in your business. Of course, application development is the obvious one, and PaaS solutions are one of the best innovations in the field, but PaaS also streamlines workflow allowing multiple users to work.

It’s a great strength to have the capacity for multiple users to work on a single app simultaneously, but it gets better. Often, app development requires third-party integration; this can also be provided for with a PaaS solution. The app creation process becomes more flexible.

These days, apps are used for many purposes in a business, and app development has become so central to the process of growth that new apps need to be updated and rolled out regularly. PaaS offers excellent scalability and helps to reduce costs as the business grows.

The Downside of PaaS

Once again, security issues are a downside of PaaS. While companies can use PaaS solutions to run and modify their apps, there’s always a chance that data is stored on third-party vendor-controlled servers. naturally, this poses a security risk unless the protocol is tight.

Although PaaS offers plenty of advantages for integration, there are some issues that arise from the process of connecting data center technology with off-premise sites. The main difficulty is with legacy apps that don’t always integrate with the latest PaaS versions, creating challenges.

There are further issues associated with the long-term partnership with a vendor. As with all cloud-based software services, it isn’t easy to switch your vendor once you have partnered with them. That’s because of the data investment. Some PaaS providers may not offer migration.

How Does PaaS Compare?

On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference between PaaS and SaaS. Both of these software solutions provide software services to companies using third-party vendors; however, when you take a closer look, there are some important differences to acknowledge.

PaaS and SaaS provide software and applications to businesses via a web browser; however, PaaS is more functional, flexible, and creative. With “platform as a service,” you can integrate existing apps and modify them to tailor your business infrastructure around requirements.

What is SaaS?

SaaS stands for software as a service, a term that is sometimes employed to describe all forms of cloud-based computing software. SaaS providers deliver software solutions to businesses using the internet instead of traditional software – this cuts costs and improves efficiencies.

SaaS services are managed by third-party vendors who use databases to store data files. The software they provide – seamlessly across the web – is managed, updated, and secured by the vendor meaning that software users benefit from a modern system without much investment.

Another beneficial feature of SaaS is the lack of installations and downloads. All you need to access SaaS is a web browser and a subscription to the software vendor -you can then access the product on any device. SaaS also allows multiple users to operate on a single device.

SaaS Delivery

In the past, software had to be bought and installed, an expensive and time-consuming practice. It was especially inefficient since the software that was installed on multiple computers had to be updated periodically. SaaS innovates software procurement to eliminate the issues.

SaaS is delivered via a web browser, and vendors in data centers store the infrastructure and data. Vendors are also responsible for any technical issues that come up, along with data security. The end-user only needs to worry about navigating the software on their browser.

Along with SaaS services, SaaS providers are also available for technical support and software guidance. So instead of having an expensive IT team in your building, SaaS solutions give you expert advice when you need it to keep the wheels of your business in motion.

SaaS Advantages

As the digital area moves forward and continues to innovate, it opens up new possibilities for efficiency and productivity. This is no more visible than in the contemporary practice of SaaS solutions. SaaS is shown to increase productivity by reducing time spent on tedious tasks.

Software that needs to be installed, managed, and run securely from separate computers wastes time that can be better spent growing the business. Compare a business from ten years ago to one today, and there are significant leaps in productivity and growth – why fall behind?

Additionally, SaaS can provide any software required by the company right away. So whether you need software for human resources, project management, or customer relationship management, all you have to do is search online and sign up for a subscription service.

Characteristics of SaaS

With so many companies using Saas nowadays, it can be challenging to figure out exactly when SaaS is being used. There is a SaaS product for almost every application, so if you search for the software you need, chances are you will be presented with a remote SaaS solution online.

To determine whether you are using SaaS or not, find out whether the software is managed from a central location. If it is, chances are the software is SaaS, and you will need to sign up for the subscription service. Also, check whether or not the software is hosted on a remote server.

If you are still unsure if the software you have found is SaaS, simply check if it is available offline or if you can only access it via the internet. This is a primary characteristic of SaaS. It’s important to do your homework on SaaS because you are entrusting data to third-party vendors.

When is SaaS Useful?

SaaS is useful for a range of businesses and projects; it’s also highly useful for both short and long-term projects. Since SaaS is based entirely online and managed remotely, you don’t have to worry about installing updates periodically; you can simply get on with running your business.

SaaS is particularly useful for small businesses and startups – e-commerce businesses, for example – who need to launch their services quickly with low investment requirements. This is possible with SaaS because it allows you to use the software immediately at a low cost.

SaaS is also very useful for short-term projects that don’t require a significant investment in software but can still benefit from software services. In this case, a SaaS solution can be used as a temporary platform for the project. It is also useful for annual tasks such as accounting.

The Downside of SaaS

One potential downside of SaaS is the customization potential of the software. While traditional software might come with software development kits and customization options, SaaS does not. Instead, vendors take a one-size-fits-all approach to their software and limit its functionality.

As with other SaaS solutions – including IaaS and PaaS, the customer hands over data and other secure information to third-party vendors; this is always risky, especially if you are a data-rich company with security concerns. Traditional software gives you slightly more control.

Finally, performance is one of the primary advantages of SaaS, but it can be compromised every now and then. For example, when you partner with a SaaS company, you place all of the maintenance and technical upkeep in someone else’s hands – this can lead to downtime.

How Does SaaS Compare?

SaaS is the most popular form of “as a service” type. There is a SaaS solution for almost every practical aspect of business infrastructure; chances are, your business already cooperates with a SaaS solution. SaaS is much the same as PaaS but without high-level integrations.

When you sign up for a SaaS solution, you buy into a subscription service and pay a monthly or annual subscription fee. You have full access to the software that can be used immediately to grow your business from then on. SaaS is managed and secured by third-party vendors.


The “as a service” market continues to grow. More services of this type are available than ever before, but still, the three types of service that take the top spot remain IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. Unfortunately, unless you research these service types, you may not know the difference. In this article, the key difference between the services is outlined and each of them is compared.

IaaS is concerned with infrastructure primarily. This service allows businesses to access the network and hardware they need without huge outlays in infrastructure costs. Not only that, these companies can optimize the service to suit peak demands, improving cost efficiency.

The following two popular software service types are PaaS and SaaS. These types are similar in lots of ways – they both provide software to companies on subscription services via third-party vendors. The main difference between them is the levels of app integration. PaaS is better for app integration, but SaaS is probably more versatile overall, it is more common and practical.

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