Without a doubt, the cloud is the future of computing. Over the past decade, the cloud has been rapidly growing. Back in 2014, cloud computing services were holding potential of $56.6 billion industry and considering the growth it is forecasted to reach 411.4 billion dollars growth before the end of 2020. There is a significant growth in numbers because of the digital-first approach, and large as well as SEMs have widely adopted cloud computing services.
To leverage the potential of the cloud for the business, there are three significant ways: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IAAS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and SaaS (Software-as-a-Service).
What is Cloud?
According to IETF, Cloud computing is a pay-per-use model that provides available, convenient, on-demand network access; the user enters a configurable computing resource sharing pool, these resources can be produced quickly, with little administrative effort or little interaction with service providers.
Cloud Service Models: Saas, IaaS and PaaS
Let’s have a look in detail and understand the three main branches of cloud computing.
Software as a service (SaaS)
Software, as a service is a cloud application service, represents the most significant cloud market and still growing rapidly. Saas makes use of the web to deliver the applications deployed by third-party vendors.
What does this mean?
Instead of downloading software from CD like Microsoft Outlook, you can make use of the same software or similar functionality by logging into a web browser. The service provider host, maintain, update and customise it for the first and second level support. Customers as per the subscription can leverage the functionality.
Common SaaS offering types includes email, healthcare-related products, customer relationship management applications. Some of the large-scale application that has not thought as software vendors have adopted this business model and started building SaaS applications in order to gain a competitive advantage.
SaaS Examples: Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, Salesforce, and Dropbox
Common SaaS Use-Case: To replace the traditional on-device software
Technology Analyst Examples: Bill Pray and Amy DeMartini
Why Should You opt SaaS?
SaaS refers to Software as a Service that adopts a strategy of providing software that is accessed online through a subscription via the internet.
According to Wikipedia, SaaS sales in 2018 were expected to grow 23% to $72 billion.
- SaaS is a software licensing that is based on subscription and delivered online.
- If you are adopting SaaS, you don’t need to install and run any software apps on your system.
- When you log in to your account, everything is available.
- SaaS application is also called hosted and on-demand software.
- It is one of the most common delivery models for several business applications that include management software, CAD software, database management system software, customer relationship management, content management, office software, and so on.
- A third-party provider can centrally host it on a remote server.
- One can directly access the software from any device via an internet connection.
- Example: BigCommerce, Salesforce, HubSpot.
Examples of SaaS Companies
Google Apps is a cloud-computing service that provides Gmail, Maps, Chrome, Drive, Calendar, and Currents for communication. The additional feature comprises of custom email addresses at a domain, depending on the number of members and advanced settings. G Suite is ad-free service, and information does not get used for advertisement purposes.
HubSpot is a cloud-computing service that provides a better way to grow your business in the field of marketing, sales, and service software. The aim of HubSpot is providing tools for social media, CMS, SEO, and web analytics. HubSpot CRM is an easy-to-use service, and it gives freedom from updating requests manually.
Platform as a Service
Cloud platform services are known as Platform as a Service – PaaS. Software development organisations who want to implement Agile methodologies as a process are perfectly suitable to PaaS. PaaS based services are mostly used inside applications.
What does this mean?
Software developers can use PaaS as a framework to develop or customise applications. PaaS provides the hardware as well as software for building a platform, instead of developing it from scratch. PaaS makes development so easy testing even convenient. Just like the SaaS, PaaS is hosted, maintained, updated and supported by a service provider.
Enterprise PaaS Examples: The Google App Engine Common PaaS Use-Cases: Improve developer’s productivity and helps to build an application faster time-to-market
Common PaaS Use-Cases: Improve developer’s productivity and helps to build an application faster time-to-market
Technology Analyst Examples: John Rymer -Forrester, Richard Watson – Gartner, Eric Knipp – Gartner, and Yefim Natis -Gartner.
Why Should You Opt PaaS?
PaaS refers to Platform as a Service that provides cloud-based platform maintenance that allows developers to use frameworks to develop custom applications.
- PaaS is built on fundamental/underlying technology.
- Easy to implement without knowing system administration.
- Implementing Platform as a service, developers can customize applications without keeping in mind the maintenance of software.
- All the development-related services such as testing and deployment of applications are provided on this platform.
- Multiple users can access the same development application.
- The service provided by cloud computing is highly-available, reliable, simple, and allows migration to the hybrid model.
- Build, run, and manage the applications without any complexity of maintaining the infrastructure.
Examples of PaaS Companies
Google App Engine
GAP is a cloud-based service that provides an excellent platform for deployment and hosting of web applications. The app engine allocates more resources to manage the additional demand. By default, every app engine application contains at least one service that has various versions of the service as you like.
Heroku is the first cloud-computing platform that supports programming language such as Ruby, Java, Scala, and Python. The developer can build and run applications in a similar way across various languages, so it is said to be a “Polyglot platform.” With Heroku, you can quickly deploy your code with one command using DevTools like Github and Docker.
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
IaaS is similar to the SaaS and PaaS. Cloud infrastructure services are also known as IaaS. Startups and SMEs who do not want to invest in the data centre and looking for cheap infrastructure for their business can opt IaaS for a quick solution. SaaS and PaaS applications are more likely to store on some type of IaaS. Instead of purchasing traditional network infrastructure, it is advisable to use an IaaS to save resources, time and money. IaaS is an excellent option as it follows the pay-as-you-go model.
- IaaS Examples: Amazon Web Service), Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Engine and Cisco Metapod.
- Common IaaS Use-Case: Current data centre infrastructure for temporary workloads
- Technology Analyst Examples: Gregor Petri – Gartner EU, Drue Reeves – Gartner, Lydia Leong – Gartner, Kyle Hilgendorf – Gartner, Jeffery Hammond – Forrester, Tiny Haynes – Gartner EU, James Staten – Forrester, Doug Toombs – Gartner.
Why Should You opt IaaS?
IaaS refers to Infrastructure as a Service that provides cloud-based infrastructure ability that is delivered to the industry through virtualisation technology.
- IaaS provides rich APIs that can be used for computing various lower-level details of any network infrastructure
- IaaS is said to be the most powerful cloud computing model.
- Resources can be purchased on-demand.
- This category of cloud computing is highly-scalable, cost-effective, flexible, and dynamic.
- There are multiple users on a single part of the hardware.
- Owners of every business invest a lot of time and energy in making decisions related to technology and recruiting staff for managing infrastructure. So by implementing for a service-based IaaS model, the business can focus on resources where they are required.
- IaaS is most commonly adopted for startups and small-scale companies.
- This model is third-party service providers host operating systems, servers, storage systems, and hardware-equipment for customers.
- Cloud service provider focuses on managing the infrastructure, whereas the user can concentrate on managing and installing their software.
- A user that is working with the IaaS environment can easily access it from anywhere across the world
Examples of IaaS Companies
Amazon Web Services
Amazon Web Services is supplementary of Amazon that provides services related to cloud computing and APIs to various companies on a rhythm pay-as-you-go basis. Amazon E2C is a service that allows users to rent virtual computers to run their apps. It composes of 160+ services over a wide range, including database, analytics, mobile, and developer tools.
Microsoft Azure is a service created by Microsoft for managing, developing, deployment, and testing applications by Microsoft-managed data centres. It supports various programming languages and frameworks that specifically include third-party software. It composes of 500+ services globally, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things, and developer tools.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to identify which cloud services remains supreme amongst IaaS vs PaaS vs SaaS debate. To decide the best model that suits your business, evaluate your business’s strategy and action plan to march forward. Neither one is better than another; each has its own pros and cons, so better to make a choice considering the cost and benefits equation.
Cloud computing services are rapidly accelerating and soon will revolutionise within IT. Cloud computing is expected to become the default method of IT to move into the future. For the startups and SMEs, it is the right time to adopt this approach and should quickly move to the cloud sooner rather than later. Leverage our AWS cloud consulting services to build secure, reliable and flexible, cloud computing environments.