The differences between SaaS, PaaS and IaaS

06.07.2022 2,448 0

SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. They all sound like unreal words from a comic book.

Actually, they are all different implications of what we call “cloud computing”. SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS are the 3 most popular types of cloud computing that you can choose from. Each has its pros and cons. Let’s explore them and see the differences between them.

On-premice server (Local server)

First, let’s see a case, in which you have your own server, at your office. These are the categories that you need to manage on your own:

• Networking. This category includes your Internet, network devices like routers and modems, the network that connects the devices (computers, mobile devices, etc.), and more. Your whole network infrastructure.

• Storage. All the storage, HDD, SSD, etc for hosting your data.

• Servers. The devices (computers) that will act as servers for providing services. It could be a single computer that has multiple software servers for different applications or there could be multiple computers (servers) with different software.

• Virtualization. You can also create virtual machines for your business needs.

• OS. An operating system like Windows Server, Linux like Ubuntu, or another.

• Middleware. All the in-between software that makes the devices work together like, drivers for devices, APIs, application services, etc.

• Runtime. Frameworks and environments for devs and services that the applications need in order to work properly.

• Data. Managing and processing the actual data.

• Application. Individual applications and software, that will be needed for the work of your company.

You first need to know, what you need to manage on your own, so you can better understand the benefits of cloud computing like SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. Each of them takes care of some of these categories for a price. You can rely on them and have more time to focus on your core activities.

SaaS (Software as a Service)

SaaS is short for Software as a Service and it is a very common implementation of a cloud computing service. Some know it as subscribeware because many of the SaaS solutions are based on a subscription model with yearly or monthly payments.

This is the most well-known variant of a cloud. Many applications that you use are based on this model: Google Apps, Dropbox, OneDrive, and many more. The SaaS providers supply software and deliver it over the internet. Users can use it through their browsers, or applications, on a computer, tablet, or mobile device, thanks to the companies’ APIs. The user has software called client software, and the provider has the server.

Talking about SaaS you can enjoy the following SaaS from and DDoS protection. It can stop the DDoS attack and keep your server up and running, without such problems.

VPN (virtual private network). Neterra also offers a VPN service, that will offer a safe and reliable encrypted connection for your business.

BaaS (Backup as a service). You can have a cloud-based backup solution for your business that will facilitate data protection.

What do you manage with SaaS?

SaaS is ready-to-use software, that somebody else already develops

ed and offers to clients. You can use it, without worrying about any of the previously mentioned categories – networking, storage, servers, virtualization, OS, middleware, runtime, data, and application.

The SaaS provider will manage everything. It will provide software, fix bugs, add new functionalities, and so on.

What are the advantages of SaaS?

• SaaS is easy to start. You don’t need to invest in hardware and often you just need to pay the monthly subscription.

• Unmatched ease-of-use. SaaS is orientated to end-users, so typically such software is easy to use and users can learn to use it in a short time.

• You can connect from different devices. The advantages of this model are that the users can manage their data from different devices and a failure of a device doesn’t result in data loss.

No need for any maintenance. You don’t need to fix anything in the code, nor you should be worried about the infrastructure. It must just work, or else, the SaaS provider should fix it.

What are the disadvantages of SaaS?

No control over the development. Usually, the provider will take into account the feedback from the customers, but it is not guaranteed. And you won’t be able to do anything on your own.

Vendor lock-in. In many cases, the software that the SaaS provider offers will lock you in their ecosystem. You won’t be able to migrate your data in the future, and this can make you continue with the same provider, even if you are not fully satisfied.

Performance is not guaranteed. The performance depends on the servers of the SaaS provider and your connection to it. Sometimes, due to different issues, you can suffer bad performance. In some cases, even downtime, if the SaaS’s servers are down.

PaaS (Platform as a service)

PaaS is short for Platform as a service and it is another common type of cloud computing.

A typical example of this model is Microsoft Azure. Other popular PaaS solutions come from Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, Alibaba Cloud, and many more.

It is a platform where developer can create their applications straight away. It has all that is needed to develop and the hardware is managed by the provider.

Usually, people rent PaaS when they need an environment, ready for their test and they don’t want to worry about hardware or software.

What do you manage with PaaS?

When it comes to PaaS, the service provider will be responsible for: Networking, Storage, Servers, Virtualization, OS, Middleware, and Runtime. So, you can already imagine it, a ready-to-go machine, with all the hardware and software needed for your projects.

The part that the client manages is related to Data and Applications. You, as a client can develop applications and manage your data.

What are the advantages of PaaS?

Provides a secure framework for software development. It helps companies, by taking care of the hardware infrastructure; It provides a platform, that has tools for testing, developing, and hosting applications.

Cost-effective solution. PaaS let you see the real cost upfront. No hidden costs and surprises. You choose the plan that best suits your needs, or you can later upgrade to a better one.

Scalability. PaaS can be upgraded even on large scale. You won’t be able to do the same if you are using your own server.

Ready when you get it. You can start using PaaS right away. No waiting time for hardware installation, or software installation.

Easy to add new users. You can allow many users, and add more in the future in a fast way. This is very useful when you need to give access to many people.

What are the disadvantages of PaaS?

Compatibility problems. The PaaS provider that you choose, might not support everything. There could be runtime problems or another issue, that can break your workflow.

Can create dependency. The PaaS provider might supply specific developing tools, that could be extremely suited for your work. That is great until it increases the price. Then you might get in a bad situation, between continuing to use the service or finding a better price elsewhere.

Data security risks. The data is hosted on a third-party cloud (PaaS provider). You can’t guarantee 100% the security of the data.

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

IaaS is short of Infrastructure as a Service, and probably you are already using some. If you have rented a dedicated server or a cloud server, you are a client of an IaaS. Neterra is such a IaaS provider. Users can create virtual machines on it, and use it for networking purposes or storage solutions.
The client, won’t be able to change anything, related to the infrastructure, but they will be free to do what they want with the server.
IaaS is a very flexible solution and it is possible to scale it on a global scale.

What do you manage with IaaS?

You, as a client will need to manage the OS, middleware, runtime, data, and applications. It saves you the trouble of taking care of infrastructural needs. It is a lot easier than having your server at your office.

The IaaS provider takes care of the infrastructure. How the server or servers are connected, the whole network, internet access, electricity, environmental conditions, storage, virtualization, etc. None of these will be your worry.

What are the advantages of IaaS?

No infrastructural maintenance. You, the client, won’t worry about it and the IaaS provider will take full responsibility.

Price-effective solution. It is a lot more economical, and fast, to start with an IaaS than your own server. It will save you money and time. Instead of purchasing hardware and getting dependent on the ecosystem of choice.

Scalability. Just like most cloud computing solutions, you can upgrade quickly and have the chance to grow a lot. With many providers, you can get an instant server, in a different continent in a matter of minutes or even seconds.

What are the disadvantages of IaaS?

A lot of work is still on you. Ok, the infrastructure is taken care of, but all the rest is in your hands. It is not as simple as PaaS or SaaS, but it gives you more freedom.

It is easier to make mistakes. Since you have more control, it is a lot easier to make a critical mistake and have your server down for a while. You need the knowledge to use it properly.

You should still worry about security. You need to know well how to manage your server, so the data stay safe. The IaaS provider will probably take care well of the hardware, but the software is in your hands.

You need to take care of the data. You need to develop a process for backup and keeping safe all the data that is generated.

Which one to choose? SaaS, PaaS, or Iaas?

There is no simple answer to this question. It will depend on your budget, knowledge, time, resources, and business needs. If you are not fully sure better consult with a specialist and explain all your needs and worries. You can get a professional opinion from our technical team at

Get proper information and try renting first, until you know your needs perfectly. You can start small, and upgrade step-by-step, as your business starts to grow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.