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SaaS, PaaS and IaaS: Learn about theCloud Computing Options

SaaS, PaaS and IaaS: Learn about theCloud Computing Options

SaaS, PaaS and IaaS: Learn about theCloud Computing Options

Understand these solutions to choose the best alternative for your business.

For many years, we have been using cloud computing to access files that are not stored on a computer, but on email servers, social network websites, or internet pages, without the need of having anything installed on the machine.

However, more recently, this solution has also been adopted by companies of all sizes and segments to reduce costs and increase the flexibility, agility, and scalability of their operations.

In this sense, it is important to know that there are three cloud service models: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). With that in mind, we have prepared this article to help you choose the best option for your business. Here, you will see:

1. What are SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS in a cloud environment?

2. What are SaaS PaaS and IaaS with examples?

3. Is AWS IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS?

4. Conclusion


Enjoy your reading!


1. What are SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS in a cloud environment?

When we talk about the cloud, we mean how data is stored and where it can be found. Through this technology, information is stored remotely on several servers, allowing services to run on the internet.

Below are the differences between SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS, the three cloud computing models mentioned at the beginning of this article.


  • SaaS

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a turnkey, cloud-based  computer program. To use this solution, users pay a monthly or annual subscription fee and have a complete service at their disposal, which can be accessed from any web browser.

In this way, third-party providers manage the data, servers, and storage, eliminating the need for IT staff to review processes.

Also, with SaaS, there is no need to install, run or update software applications on the computer: all resources are available on the internet.

One of the main advantages of this cloud computing service is the ability to predict costs, avoiding surprises. Another benefit is that all infrastructure and application management is offloaded to the  vendor.

On the other hand, there are limitations and concerns related to SaaS. Among them, we can highlight:

  • Often, the SaaS application is not designed to follow open integration standards.
  • Limited support for deep integrations with local files, data, and services.
  • Compromised security and compliance as sensitive information is transferred to the public cloud-based SaaS service.
  • Minimal features for customization, which limits the functionality offered by the vendor.
  • Lack of control over data and governance.
  • Possibility of downtime, since customers depend on suppliers to maintain continuity of services.


  • PaaS

The main difference between SaaS and PaaS is that the latter does not deliver software online, but rather a platform, providing cloud components especially for software used in applications.

That way, developers can build custom applications and manage them, while all servers, storage, and networking are handled by a third-party company or provider.

This means developers can focus on building the software without worrying about issues like operating systems, software updates, storage, and  infrastructure.

Among the numerous advantages offered by PaaS, the development and implementation of simple and economical applications, scalability, high availability, and the reduction of the amount of coding required stand out.

On the other hand, this solution has someworrying limitations, such as:

  • Data security, as data is kept in cloud services managed by third parties, and it is not always possible to define specific hosting policies.
  • Integration with existing services and infrastructure, as not all elements of a legacy IT system are built for the cloud.
  • Migration to other cloud solutions, which is not always facilitated by vendors.
  • Need for customizations and changes for legacy systems to work as PaaS.
  • PaaS solutions may not be ideal for your organization’s language and structures, limiting their use.
  • Limitation of operational resources for end users, which affects the management, provisioning, and operations of PaaS solutions.


  • IaaS

IaaS, or Infrastructure as a Service, uses automated and scalable computing resources, enabling access and monitoring of computers, networks and storage, among other services.

With this technology, companies can purchase resources as needed with full control over the infrastructure. In addition, IaaS provides the same tools as a traditional datacenter without having to physically manage them.

Unlike SaaS and PaaS, it is the customers who manage factors such as applications, runtime, data, middleware, and operating systems.

Among its main advantages, flexibility, ease of automating storage, servers, network and processing power, total control of customers over the infrastructure and its great scalability stand out.

Concerns inherent to this cloud computing model include:

  • Security threats, whether coming from the host or other virtual machines.
  • System vulnerabilities or internal threats, which can expose data to unauthorized users;
  • Need to improve legacy systems, before migrating them to the cloud, with security and performance tests of the IaaS system
  • Need to train professionals to manage the infrastructure effectively.
  • Multi-tenant security to prevent current customers from accessing previous customers’ data and resources.
SaaS, PaaS and IaaS: Learn about the<br />
Cloud Computing Options

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2. What are SaaS, PaaS and IaaS with examples?

Check below some examples of SaaS, PaaS and IaaS. Examples of SaaS are:

  • Dropbox
  • Cisco WebEx
  • SAP Concur
  • Salesforce
  • Google Workspace
  • GoToMeeting.


Examples of PaaS include:

  • Force.com
  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk
  • OpenShift
  • Google App Engine
  • Heroku
  • Windows Azure


Examples of IaaS include:

  • Google Compute Engine (GCE)
  • Linode
  • Digital Ocean
  • Rackspace
  • Cisco Metacloud
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Microsoft Azure


3. Is AWS IaaS a PaaS or a SaaS

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a cloud computing platform developed and provided by Amazon that combines Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).

AWS services may include organization features, database storage, and content delivery services.


4. Conclusion

In this article, we covered the different cloud computing models. If you found this content relevant, please share it with someone.

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