IaaS, PaaS and SaaS Software: Which solution to choose?

Posted on December 14 2020

Reading time: 5 minutes

More and more businesses are following suit and adopting a cloud solution. Instead of spending a fortune on licensing and software installation material, cloud computing is a cost-effective and very attractive solution for many companies.

Saas, iaas and paas models

Cloud Computing is a shared storage network that allows data to be backed up remotely. It is a solution that does not require any physical installation of hardware and that allows the user to have access to all of its content from their mobile device or computer provided they have a Wi-Fi connection, 24 hours a day.

Cloud types can be public, private, or hybrid. Depending on your business’ needs, a private cloud solution may be better suited to your business than a public cloud solution, for example.

You can read our article on the advantage of adopting a cloud solution to learn more about these different types.

Note that there are also 3 different cloud models: software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS).

To clarify and help you choose THE model that exactly fits your business’ needs, here is a quick guide presenting the characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of each of these three types of cloud solutions.

difference iaas paas saas software board

The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model

SaaS caracteristics

The SaaS solution, or software as a service, provides software to a business available from the Internet. It is secure software only available on the Internet and supported by an external provider.

It is a popular model for commercial companies and can be used for both start-ups and larger companies.

There may be a monthly or annual subscription fee depending on the software and provider. Updates are made directly from the Cloud, so the user does not have to worry about this aspect or even have to pay an amount to get updates.

Benefits of adopting a SaaS solution :

  • The monthly or annual cost is usually very affordable because the SaaS does not require any hardware or installation expenses. To access your account, you simply need to be connected to the Internet.
  • This solution offers a multitude of packages to meet the different needs of businesses. They will be able to have a package that corresponds to their budget their consumption.
  • It is an accessible solution. You can access it directly from your mobile phone, or you can connect from a third-party computer if you don’t have access to yours.
  • It is customizable, users have unique usernames, which allow them to connect easily in order to have access to their folder.
  • The updates are done automatically, so companies don’t have to spend money in order to make updates or risk a fine because they forgot to renew their licence.
  • Software adoption is quick and easy.

Disadvantages of adopting a Saas solution :

  • Because SaaS software are vendor-controlled, companies have no control over system maintenance periods or server issues that could affect their work and affect system availability. However, it is still rare for a supplier not to notify you in advance of maintenance periods.
  • If the company uses a public cloud solution, there is no guarantee that the transfer of sensitive data to SaaS software will be done securely. However, providers can take steps to secure data through secure and encrypted transfer channels, with the goal of making data theft impossible.

The Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) model

IaaS characteristics 

The IaaS model offers a cloud infrastructure. It is the providers who manage and install the infrastructure, servers, hard drives, storage, and networking from data virtualization. Users manage operating systems, applications, and data.

This model allows users to pay an amount based solely on their consumption. It is not a fixed price and is subject to change according to the needs of the company.

IaaS takes the form of APIs or a dashboard, which allows companies to have control over the infrastructure, even if the database is not physically accessible to them.

It is a constantly evolving model that offers a flexible and beneficial service for companies that are experiencing rapid expansion.

Benefits of adopting an IaaS solution :

  • It is the most flexible of the three cloud computing models.
  • Companies keep control of the infrastructure, even remotely.
  • Material and resource costs are based on consumption.
  • Ease of automation for deployment of storage, networking, servers and processing power.

Disadvantages of adopting an IaaS solution :

  • As with any system, there can always be threats to data security.
  • If you adopt an IaaS solution and realize that your supplier is not right for you, it can be difficult to change.
  • Companies that wish to integrate an IaaS solution should consider the possibility of having to provide additional training to their employees so that they can acquire full knowledge of how the software works.
  • It is the customers who are fully responsible for ensuring data security.

The Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) model 

PaaS characteristics

The PaaS model, platform as a service, is a model essentially designed for developers. It is a platform composed of tools available on the Internet, to allow users to focus their efforts on the creation and development of applications.

It is a model accessible to several users at the same time and ideal for companies that are just starting out in the field of app creation. PaaS users will have all the resources they need to complete an application.

They will be able to carry out tests and ensure the deployment of their creation themselves. Servers and data storage are managed by an external provider and not by the user.

Benefits of adopting a PaaS solution :

  • Allows users to develop and market apps
  • Developers are independent from the software so they are free to customize their applications
  • Considerable reduction in coding for developers
  • Just like SaaS and IaaS, PaaS is a cost-effective solution for businesses that start in the world of app development

Disadvantages of adopting a PaaS solution :

  • The data is stored in external servers, which cannot be controlled by the client. Precautions must be taken to avoid compromising data security.
  • PaaS can be complex in terms of its integration.
  • PaaS is still growing, so it still has several limitations in terms of specific features that are not yet made available to developers.

ideal paas cloud solution for developers

Conclusion, what are the differences between SaaS, IaaS and PaaS models?

Although these 3 models are cloud solutions, their use varies according to the needs of a company.

The PaaS solution is a model designed primarily for developers, so that they can focus their attention on the development and deployment of apps. The IaaS solution is flexible, in addition to offering a data storage base. Finally, the SaaS model is probably the model that best meets a professional need.

How do you make the right choice for your business?

One thing is certain, all of these models represent great savings for your business. Now, it’s just a matter of seeing exactly which model best suits your needs.

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