SaaS, PaaS, IaaS Explained

SaaS, PaaS, IaaS Explained

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

What do these three concepts that are found each day a little more in blogs and other sites dealing with computer actually mean ? What is it, when companies in turn launch new offers as-a-Service ? Basically, the SaaS, PaaS and IaaS are somehow, the sub-categories of the cloud or on-demand computing solution.

SaaS: Software-as-a-Service

It directly affects the end user and, as its name implies, the software. The user accesses the data using a software via the web: a URL, username and password (for security) is needed to access the data on a server.

The payment service is in use, most often a month per user ( pay per use or pay as you go ), and the data and the computational logic are located on the platform vendor. These factors explain the concern expressed by some companies.

Finally the logic of this operation requires, in most cases to test the product for a free trial period (usually for a period of 30 days) software instances are pooled, it is easy to create new users and to enable this test.

And the software moves from one mode “product” (purchase – installation – updates) to a mode “service” (location – deploy – user support) more flexible (adding and removing users a monthly basis, which adjusts the Billing automatically) and cheaper (investment Vs operating costs, fixed costs variable costs Vs). These are the applications SaaS that have largely resulted in the evangelization of the cloud, as close to the user.

Few examples of SaaS: Outlook Web Access to Hosted Exchange, Google Apps, Salesforce.

PaaS:  Platform-as-a-Service

This brick on its part and allows developers to develop applications in the cloud, and the program. In other words, the company has a complete framework that allows it to develop custom applications or simply workflows.

The PaaS is fully equipped with a component like programming language, development tools and different types of modules. The user thus benefits from a managed development environment, hosted, maintained by a service provider, based on an infrastructure external to the company. It will have the opportunity to develop unique tools for business.
The main drawback of these platforms is certainly the “move” applications, because compatibility is not proven (languages and technologies are not the same: Python or Java for Google App Engine, .NET for Microsoft Azure, etc.).
Few examples of PaaS: Microsoft Azure, Google App Engine.

IaaS: Infrastructure-as-a-Service

To simplify the service, it is a level more concerned with system administrators. The principle is that companies can start or stop remote servers in data centers without having to worry about the physical resources required, nor of management costs inherent in their operation.

One can use the application for various additional components such as storage, virtual machines, CPU, memory, etc.. Often seen as the final offer (more difficult to pass), because it concerns the layer furthest from the user, the hardware layer.

E-commerce site can be a good example of IaaS that stores a certin seasonality. Here in IaaS the billing generally depends on the main variable (in GB for the storage, time for the VM, etc.).

Good example of IaaS: Amazon EC2

Author – Mac Wilson
Company – eUKhost Ltd

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