|By Steve Jordan||
|February 25, 2013 07:00 AM EST||
IaaS, PaaS and SaaS, like many other acronyms in the IT industry, leave us lost in translation. With the initial confusion aside, they simply explain the three main developments in cloud computing. As a pooled collection of resources and services that are hosted on the Internet, the Cloud, often referred to as a stack, is categorized into three main service models: Infrastructure, Platform and Software as a Service translate to IaaS, PaaS and SaaS, respectively.
These services function thanks to virtualization, with the availability of high-speed networks and capabilities of modern browsers. With the use of these technologies, it has become less necessary for businesses to have their own infrastructure or software. Yet still IaaS, PaaS and SaaS remain a grey area, and many individuals struggle to differentiate between them to find the optimum solution for their business.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provides a cloud computing infrastructure that is rented to users, eliminating the need for purchasing expensive hardware. Physical or virtual machines (VMs), firewalls and load balancers are housed, run and maintained by the service provider. The Cloud infrastructure is then accessed over the Internet, but any additional applications that the user requires must be added and maintained by the individual user. IaaS is the most flexible Cloud model due to its fully scalable computing resources, such as RAM and CPU. It allows companies to design IT systems that are scalable, allowing them to pay for what they use.
Platform as a Service (PaaS) provides users with the ability to run and develop their software solutions from a computing platform, without having to buy or maintain the hardware or infrastructure themselves. The platform is maintained by the Cloud service provider and users can rent operating systems, databases and application servers, which are then accessed via a web browser. PaaS services such as Windows Azure and Google App Engine facilitate web application design, which are delivered on the platform. Virtualised servers and operating systems save businesses money due to the fact that the platform is owned by the provider, and gives the user control over the applications that they wish to run on it.
Lastly, Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software service that is managed by a provider and is installed over the internet. The user does not have to manage or control the network, servers or operating systems. Users ‘rent' or borrow online software from SaaS providers instead of actually purchasing and installing it on their computers. The main positive of SaaS is that it can be scaled to the user's requirements and it is generally charged on a pay-per-usage basis. Also with SaaS, there is the advantage in that it is accessible from any location and is easily scalable to fit the needs of the business.
If you have a business that could benefit from any of these services, click here to contact a Hyve business advisor.
While IaaS, PaaS and SaaS provide different services to users, they are all reliable, fast, scalable and cost-effective. What differs is the degree of control that the user requires over the cloud infrastructure and their primary business function. The cloud computing model offers a lot of flexibility for users, and increasingly more ‘as a service' models are being developed as the cloud landscape expands.