BlogIaaS, PaaS, or SaaS: Which is Better For My Business?

The three most common types of cloud service offerings are IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. They are also known as cloud service models or cloud computing service models.

IaaS, or infrastructure as a service, provides on-demand access to cloud-hosted physical and virtual servers, storage, and networking – the backend IT infrastructure for running cloud-based applications and workloads.

PaaS, or platform as a service, is a cloud-hosted platform that provides on-demand access to a complete, ready-to-use platform for developing, running, maintaining, and managing applications.

Software as a service, or SaaS, provides on-demand access to ready-to-use, cloud-hosted application software.

IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS do not have to be mutually exclusive. Many mid-sized businesses use multiple, and the majority of large enterprises use all three.


What is IaaS?

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)  is a type of cloud computing service that provides on-demand compute, storage, and networking resources on a pay-as-you-go basis. Its tools enable businesses to build and manage servers, networks, operating systems, and data storage without the need for hardware purchases.

IaaS customers can choose between virtual machines (VMs) hosted on shared physical hardware. And bare metal servers hosted on dedicated (unshared) physical hardware.

Benefits of IaaS

IaaS cloud infrastructure provides businesses and administrators with the most control and power over software and hardware. It also has the following benefits:

  • IaaS allows customers to build out computing resources as needed. And scale them up or down in response to traffic spikes or slowdowns.
  • Customers can avoid the upfront cost and overhead of purchasing and maintaining their own on-premises data center by using IaaS.
  • It eliminates the constant trade-off between the waste of purchasing excess on-premises capacity. This is to accommodate spikes and the poor performance that can occur because of not enough capacity to accommodate unanticipated traffic bursts or growth.
  • With IaaS, a company can easily create redundant servers, even in different geographies, to ensure availability during local power outages or physical disasters.
  • IaaS customers can locate apps and services closer to users to minimize latency and maximize performance because IaaS providers typically operate data centers in multiple geographies.

Cons of IaaS

The main disadvantage of using an IaaS tool is that you are still responsible for technological security. Furthermore:

  • You must ensure that your apps and operating systems are functioning properly and providing the highest level of security.
  • You are in charge of the data and if lost, you’re responsible to recover it.
  • IaaS tools are also the most hands-on because they provide the most control. IaaS providers only provide the servers and their API, and you must configure everything else.

What is PaaS?

Platform as a service (PaaS) is a complete cloud development and deployment environment with resources to deliver everything from simple cloud-based apps to sophisticated, cloud-enabled enterprise applications. 

You pay a cloud service provider on a pay-as-you-go basis for the resources you require. And access them via a secure Internet connection.

It provides a framework for developers to use when creating custom applications. PaaS is a platform that developers can use to create online software and apps rather than delivering software over the internet.

PaaS, like IaaS, includes infrastructure as well as middleware, development tools, business intelligence services, database management systems, and other services. It is also intended to aid in the development, testing, deployment, management, and updating of web applications.

The cloud services provider hosts, manages, and maintains all of the platform’s hardware and software. Including servers for development, testing, and deployment, operating system (OS) software, storage, networking, databases, middleware, runtimes, frameworks, and development tools, security, operating system and software upgrades, backups, and other services.

Users gain access to the PaaS via a graphical user interface (GUI). It’s where development or DevOps teams can collaborate on all aspects of the application lifecycle, including coding, integration, testing, delivery, deployment, and feedback.

AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Google App Engine, Microsoft Windows Azure, and Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud are all examples of PaaS solutions.

Benefits of PaaS

PaaS provides the same benefits as IaaS by providing infrastructure as a service. However, its additional features—middleware, development tools, and other business tools—provide you with additional benefits:

  • Reduce coding time. With pre-coded application components built into the platform, such as workflow, directory services, security features, search, and so on. PaaS development tools can reduce the time it takes to code new apps.
  • Increase development capabilities without increasing staff. PaaS components can provide new capabilities to your development team without the need for additional staff with the necessary skills.
  • Develop for multiple platforms, including mobile, with greater ease. Some service providers provide development options for multiple platforms, such as computers, mobile devices, and browsers, making cross-platform apps faster and easier to create.


  • PaaS tools are simple to use and register for.
  • Developers can work together on a single app with other developers.
  • Developers can easily customize and update apps without having to worry about backend software maintenance. Simply code and go.
  • If the app’s adoption and usage increase, PaaS platforms provide great flexibility and scalability.

Cons of PaaS

The PaaS model only allows you to control what is built on the platform. And that’s a disadvantage. If there is an outage or a problem with the hardware or operating system, the software will be lost.

  • The cloud provider is in charge of security, leaving businesses vulnerable to the whims of others.
  • Infrastructure Issues: Performance is frequently dependent on a company’s own infrastructure. Other issues may arise if the available options are unable to meet the demands of a PaaS solution. This could imply investing in on-site infrastructure updates or switching to an IaaS provider.
  • Compatibility Issues: Users may encounter difficulties of their existing operations are incompatible with current hardware. The providers generally customize the PaaS products, so users must accept whatever defaults the provider chooses, regardless of potential technological or operational incompatibilities.
  • Lack of Scalability: PaaS options are less flexible than IaaS solutions. The overall technology is a little more rigid. This can also be a problem for businesses that experience significant seasonality and periods of unusually high demand throughout the year.

What is SaaS?

The most popular option for businesses in the cloud market is Software as a Service, also known as cloud application services.

Users can connect to and use cloud-based apps via the Internet using SaaS. Email, calendaring, and office tools are common examples (such as Microsoft Office 365).

SaaS is a complete software solution that you can purchase from a cloud service provider on a pay-as-you-go basis. You rent the use of an app for your organization, and your users access it via the Internet, typically via a web browser. 

The service provider’s data center houses all of the underlying infrastructure, middleware, app software, and app data. The service provider manages the hardware and software, and with the appropriate service agreement, will ensure the app’s availability and security, as well as the security of your data.

Email, social media, and cloud file storage solutions (such as Dropbox or Box) are all examples of SaaS applications that people use on a daily basis.

Benefits of SaaS

The most significant advantage of using SaaS products is how simple they are to set up and use. All you have to do is log in to start using the applications since SaaS products are cloud-based. And there is no need to host the software locally on on-premises servers.

  • The main advantage of SaaS is that it transfers all infrastructure and application management to the SaaS vendor.
  • Many SaaS products provide a free trial period or low monthly fees, allowing customers to test the software to see if it meets their needs with little or no financial risk.
  • SaaS apps are on any device that has a browser and an internet connection.
  • Adding new users is as easy as registering and paying for new seats; customers can purchase additional data storage for a small fee.

Cons of SaaS

Because of the ease of use of SaaS tools, there is a significant disadvantage. When you use a SaaS product, you have no control over the cloud-based infrastructure it runs on, so if the software provider goes down, so do you. 

Using SaaS looks to be a very viable option for most businesses, but there are some downsides too. We have listed the additional disadvantages of SaaS development here:

  • SaaS tools may be incompatible with other tools and hardware in use at your company.
  • Integrations are typically handled by the provider, so “patching” an integration on your end is impossible.
  • You’re at the mercy of the SaaS company’s security measures — if a leak occurs, all of your and your company’s data could be compromised.
  • When collaborating with an external SaaS service provider to host multiple apps, an integration issue with existing in-house software may arise. The internal APIs and data structures may not work properly with external software. As a result, for better results, you should always perform compatibility checks with all SaaS applications.

Which is better?

IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS: these cloud services are best suited to different types of businesses.

Each cloud computing service has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. And you can simply select the service that best meets your needs. 

Let’s review.

  • IaaS is designed to give you the most flexibility when it comes to hosting custom-built apps and providing a general data center for data storage.
  • PaaS is typically built on top of an IaaS platform to reduce the need for system administration. It allows you to concentrate on app development rather than infrastructure management.
  • SaaS provides ready-to-use, out-of-the-box solutions that address a specific business need. The majority of modern SaaS platforms are based on IaaS or PaaS platforms.

Depending on the size and complexity of your business, you may choose to begin with one cloud computing service model. Or discover a need for all these three: IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS.
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