IaaS vs. PaaS vs. SaaS

What exactly is hidden behind the cloud service offerings IaaS, PaaS and SaaS? And which model makes sense when? We give you an overview.

The abbreviations IaaS, PaaS and SaaS stand for the three most popular types of cloud service offerings: Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service and Software as a Service. They are not mutually exclusive, but can also complement each other well.

To provide a better overview, we will start with a brief definition of the three service variants:

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)
This is understood to mean on-demand access to physical and virtual servers, storage and networks hosted in the cloud. In effect, a back-end IT infrastructure is rented to run applications and workloads in the cloud. An example of an IaaS offering would be our ccloud³.

PaaS (Platform as a Service)
This service model includes on-demand access to a complete, out-of-the-box, cloud-hosted platform for developing, running, maintaining, and managing applications. A good example of a PaaS offering is our ccenter.

SaaS (Software as a Service)
With this service variant, on-demand access to ready-to-use application software hosted in the cloud is rented. There is also an example for SaaS services in centron’s portfolio – namely in the form of our Premium Full Managing Services (Backup as a Service, Monitoring as a Service & Patch Management as a Service).

IaaS, PaaS & SaaS im Vergleich

The biggest common advantage of all three models is obvious: Like all “as-a-service” cloud computing solutions, companies can access all the IT capabilities they need at a predictable cost and scale them as needed – without incurring the cost and hassle of buying and maintaining everything in their own data center.

IaaS abstracts the physical compute, network and storage resources as well as the technology required to virtualize these resources. PaaS goes a step further and abstracts the management of the operating system, middleware, and runtime. SaaS delivers the entire end-user application as a service and abstracts all the rest of the stack.

Which as-a-service solution is suitable for which company or project depends mainly on the functionality that is needed and the expertise available in the company. For example, a company that does not have the internal IT expertise to configure as well as operate remote servers is not suitable for IaaS, and a company without a development team has no need for PaaS.

Source: IBM