If you are planning to take your business to the cloud, there are three important technologies you should understand:
- SaaS – Software as a Service
- PaaS – Platform as a Service
- IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service
These three technologies have recorded tremendous growth over the past few years. For example:
- 24% of all enterprise workloads are run on SaaS
- 12% of enterprise workloads are run on IaaS
- PaaS enterprise workload is expected to reach 32% by 2020
With the increasing uptick of cloud applications, it is only a matter of time before on-premise applications are entirely replaced.
Difference Between On-Premise, SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS
Before the early 2000s, nearly all IT systems used by companies were on-premise. The applications had to be installed, configured, and maintained inside the company’s IT department.
Technology would advance and software vendors began providing downloadable applications that were available by being installed on a computer. Some companies developed their own in-house applications as well.
Today, on-premise software applications are slowly being phased out in favor of cloud-based programs that are accessible over an internet connection. The benefits of cloud applications over self-hosted software make it an obvious choice for most companies.
- On-premise – Software that is installed in the same machine where it is accessed from and run.
- SaaS – Software that is deployed by a third party and made available through the internet.
- PaaS – Hardware and software tools that are deployed over the internet.
- IaaS – Cloud-based services, usually for virtualization, networking, and storage that are offered on a pay-as-you-use model.
SaaS (Software as a Service)
Over the past few years, the cloud market has experienced tremendous growth. Today, SaaS (Software as a Service) applications are used by both individuals and enterprises. The benefits of SaaS include faster deployment times, cheaper usage (pay-as-you-use model), and robust infrastructure provided by vendors.
SaaS applications are delivered by third party vendors through the web. Customers access applications through the client-side. The SaaS web delivery model ensures users do not need to install and run applications on individual computers.
Using SaaS makes it easy for enterprises to streamline their maintenance and support services. This is because the vendor takes care of everything, including applications, servers, virtualization, operating systems, middleware, data, runtime, networking, and storage.
SaaS is quickly replacing the traditional software model where users had to download and install applications on their machines. With SaaS, the applications can be accessed online through a web browser.
Common examples of SaaS services include Cisco WebEx, Citrix GoToMeeting. Concur, Workday, Salesforce, and Google Apps.
PaaS (Platform as a Service)
PaaS (Platform as a Service) applications are used for cloud development. These applications make the infrastructure for developers to deploy their SaaS products. PaaS frameworks make it easy, fast, and cost-effective for developers to test and deploy applications.
PaaS network providers manage OSs, networking, storage, services, virtualization, and PaaS software. On the other hand, developers deploy, maintain, and update the applications they create.
Through enterprise PaaS networks, software developers have access to a self-serving portal where they can manage the computing infrastructure from centralized IT operations. The PaaS network can be delivered through a hybrid model comprising of both public and on-premise infrastructures. However, there are also private PaaS infrastructures that can be installed on-premise.
PaaS networks enable developers to increase productivity and utilization rates while reducing the deployment times of their applications.
An example of a PaaS platform is Apprenda.
IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)
IaaS (infrastructure as a Service) platforms enable developers to access, monitor and manage remote data center infrastructures. Through the cloud service, developers can manage networking, storage, compute (virtualized or bare metal), and related services.
IaaS infrastructure works on a pay-for-consumption model. Instead of purchasing hardware and other infrastructure, developers can pay for what they use.
IaaS users have more control over their applications than SaaS and PaaS users. For example, IaaS users can manage applications, OSs, middleware, runtime, and data. However, the work of provisioning and maintaining hard drivers, virtualization, servers, and networking still falls on the IaaS provider.
IaaS platforms are commonly used to extend existing data infrastructure for temporary workloads. For example, during the Christmas holidays, major online retailers rely on IaaS platforms to handle the sudden surge of traffic.
Examples of IaaS platforms include Joyent, Google Computer Engine (GCE), Microsoft Azure, Cisco Metapod, and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
You can select one cloud computing service or choose a combination of all three depending on the size and needs of your business.