There’s no doubt; cloud computing has become crucial for the development of new apps and technologies. It supports most of the services we benefit from every day, thanks to the facility with which it allows us to manage both hardware and software with only an internet connection.
Generally, any cloud computing system is based on three elements:
- The storage, the disk space available for the application (and, consequently, for the end-user).
- The nodes, the architecture on which the app is functioning.
- The so-called controller, the logic or operating policy of the cloud software in question.
The use of the cloud is possible thanks to a provider that offers its services under a supply contract and a scalable payment plan (which is proportional to the actual use: in general, the more we use it, the more we pay). Within the industry, there are three distinct types of services, which correspond to as many methods of distribution and usage of applications: PaaS, SaaS, and IaaS. Let’s take a closer look at the characteristics of these three methods and how they’ve evolved over the years.
Cloud computing is a business model in which users benefit from the product or service remotely, based on their needs. All three delivery levels, PaaS, Saas, and IaaS, allow you to virtualize any level of use of the apps and software available on platforms, with a significant advantage in terms of scalability of use. As we’ve seen, the main difference between PaaS, SaaS, and IaaS consists of the respective service delivery levels that are made available to the end-user.
Regarding the target audience, Software as a Service is aiming at the end-user level of any software (for example, an employee or a freelancer who isn’t necessarily a computer scientist). The Platform as a Service is designed for the “new generation” programmers (and only for them), while Infrastructure as a Service is targeting system engineers and programmers with more advanced skills.
On a marketing level, SaaS can be a good fit for ready-to-use IT solutions (possibly also for reselling). On the other hand, PaaS is useful for developing and updating these solutions (consulting) while the IaaS model helps to host services and new generation servers (also with the possibility of reselling to third parties). For example, if we have a ready-to-use invoicing software as SaaS, PaaS could be its maintenance and development model, which is, in turn, based on a hardware and software infrastructure (IaaS). Any available tool is managed, maintained, and updated directly by the suppliers. This way, the users are free from the administrative burden, with additional costs benefits, as they don’t have to hire people specifically for the job.
Another critical aspect of the SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS models regards the straightforward and practical way of offering high-level services. From video streaming, films, and TV series to sports events and IoT services (Internet of Things), they’re all based on cloud computing.
This leads to a further aspect of these services. All three are models that can be replicated with relative ease, thanks to the fact that we have access to user-friendly and easy-to-use interfaces, as well as the cutback of maintenance and development costs.