Developing a technology solution is quite complicated nowadays. For starters, it requires thorough research on technology trends. Once you begin, you will be hearing the term ‘Cloud’ a lot; a service that’s gradually becoming the norm in the business world. There’s a lot to learn about cloud computing, and not everything can’t be covered in a single article obviously.
This blog will serve as a guide to using the three main categories of cloud computing:
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
So what exactly is cloud computing?
To answer this, you need to know what Cloud is. In a nutshell, the cloud is basically a sophisticated infrastructure technology. The important constituents include interconnected servers, databases, and computers. Multiple users can use the cloud but only based on their individual access permissions.
The main traits of cloud technology include:
- A simple sign up is all that is required to avail the cloud service unlike traditional IT services.
- Accessible across multiple platforms including mobile, laptops and desktops.
- Billed only for the usage (pay-as-you-go model)
- Scalable and flexible to meet your demands
- Multiple users can share resources uninterrupted
Let’s get into the details.
The most popular of all cloud services, SaaS might be familiar to you in many different forms including Google Apps, Netflix, DropBox etc.
- Accessible through web browsers
- Generally hosted on remote servers so the users need not be concerned about hardware upgrades, software updates and patches
- Integration with third party applications done using APIs
- Application is managed from a central location
Where it’s suitable
- If your applications considerably raises or reduces demand
- If your applications are meant to be accessible through web or mobile
- For short term projects where you will be billed only for your usage
- For startups that want to launch their websites without hassle
Like the name suggests, PaaS or ‘Platform as a Service’ provides a platform for creating the software which is later delivered over the web. PaaS and SaaS share a few common traits, though the former offers a platform for the developers to work on. The benefit of this is that the developers will be able to focus on developing the software without being concerned about storage, load balancing, operating system, software updates etc.
- Based on virtualization technology, which means you can scale up or scale down resources as per your requirements
- Integrated databases and web services
- There are tools to manage billing and subscription
- Provides services that facilitate software development, testing and deployment
- Multiple users can utilize a single developmental application
Where it’s suitable
- If the development process demands speed and flexibility, and if multiple developers and third parties are involved
- If agile methodology is practiced in software development, PaaS makes it easier for developers to overcome the challenges associated with the methodology
- Large organizations can use PaaS if they intend to personalize applications
- If the organization wants to reduce overhead costs by utilizing PaaS’s infrastructure
IaaS or ‘Infrastructure as a Service’, like the name suggests, provides a cloud-based infrastructure that includes storage, servers, network and operating systems based on the demands. This is a unique service that allows organizations to procure only the resources they need (as a service) rather than purchase the whole infrastructure.
- Resources can be purchased as a service
- Dynamic scalability priced based on the infrastructure
- Multiple users on a single piece of hardware
- Great control over the infrastructure
- One of the most flexible cloud computing models
Where it’s suitable
- If the organization needs complete control over the applications they use
- For startups who wants to go live faster without having to invest time in procuring the hardware and software
- For applications that need to be scaled up based on traffic spikes
- For organizations that are uncertain about an application and how its evolution will benefit them in the future
Everything mentioned above should have made one thing clear to you – each of the three cloud computing models offer unique features and functionalities. So the choice actually depends on the requirements of your business. The benefits are obvious, and as mentioned before, cloud will eventually be the norm.