SaaS, PaaS and IaaS Layers of Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing is a model that allows to conveniently access the network on demand to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (eg, networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal stress management or the interaction of a service provider. Cloud computing is not a technology, but rather an IT model which is based on services rather than products, and the following principles:

  • Shared infrastructure: multiple clients share a common technology platform, which includes up to a single instance of a particular application;
  • Ondemand services (on demand): either by number of users, transactions or the combination of several items;
  • Services are scalable: from the user’s perspective, there is a flexibility to request an extension of the offers, without limitation;
  • Priced based on usage: charging for the service prerogative used in a given period;
  • Diversity: acting in public clouds and private clouds homogeneous and transparent manner.

Many traditional software vendors and infrastructure use associated with their products and services the term Cloud Computing but truly do not meet in practice the basic principles listed above.


Understanding the layers of the Cloud Computing: SaaS, PaaS and IaaS.

SaaS ( “Software as a Service – Software as a Service”)

What it is and how it works:

We have used the concept of SaaS in virtually all internet services we consume today, as a search engine on the web (Google, Bing, Yahoo) or webmail. In general the concept of software as a service is much broader and more applied in the context of business applications.

In this service concept, the customer does not care about software installation, network configuration, server allocation, licenses for programs, etc. The service provider charges a fee to provide the service and give support, the software is used 100% via the web, or may have a local installation, such as antivirus, backup services, databases, etc. The main feature is the non-acquisition of licenses (but pay for the use as a “service”) and the supplier’s liability for the availability of the system in production.

SaaS Features:

To ensure the fact that a solution is sold as SaaS, it must meet the most common definitions accepted by the Cloud Computing including:

  • Access the application via the web;
  • The management application is performed in a centralized manner;
  • The user is not responsible for handling updates or application patches in the application;
  • The application is delivered to the model “one to many”;
  • Existence of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to allow external integrations.

The services of the SaaS type common in the market:

  • Google Docs
  • Gmail
  • Sales Force (salesforce.com)

PaaS ( “Platform as a Service – Platform as a Service”)

What it is and how it works:

“Platform as a service (PaaS) is the delivery of a computing environment in layers and solutions as a service. PaaS offerings facilitate the deployment of lower cost complexity applications in buying and managing the hardware, software and infrastructure provisioning capabilities, which provides all the necessary facilities to support the full life cycle of building and delivering web applications and fully available services from the Internet. ”

PaaS is analogous to SaaS, except that instead of software delivered over the web, is a platform (an environment) for the creation, hosting and software control.

The PaaS will become the predominant approach to software development. The ability to automate processes using predefined components prebuilt blocks, so that developing an application will be much easier.

Characteristics of PaaS:

There are a number of different ways to characterize PaaS, but some of the common features found in many providers are:

  • Environment to develop, test, deploy and maintain applications in an integrated and scalable to meet all the development process;
  • The multi-tenant architecture, where multiple concurrent users use the same application;
  • Scalability, including load balancing and failover (process in which a machine takes the other services when the latter fails);
    Integration with web services and databases through common standards;
  • Tools to handle billing and subscription management;
    integrated security;
  • Dimension environment and ready for use in complex applications (such as Microsoft © SharePoint, Dynamics CRM, Oracle Forms, among others …).

The services of the most common type PaaS on the market:

  • Google AppEngine
  • Salesforce Force.com

IaaS ( “Infrastructure as a Service – Infrastructure as a Service”)

What it is and how it works:

“Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a way to deliver cloud computing, where infrastructure servers, networking systems, storage, and all the necessary environment for the operation are hired as services. Rather than purchasing servers, software, data center space, customers use these resources as a fully outsourced service on demand. ”

In IaaS, there are some subcategories that are essential to make clear understanding of this layer. Usually the IaaS can be hired in the following ways: public cloud, private or a combination of both.

Public Cloud: It is considered a public cloud when the infrastructure available for hiring consists of shared resources, standardized and self-service over the Internet.

Private Cloud: It is the infrastructure that uses cloud computing features, such as virtualization, but as a private network.

Hybrid Cloud: It is the combination of public and private clouds, enabling use the best options for both features.

Characteristics of IaaS:

The solution offerings, costs, high availability and providers of professional level are the main factors of the adoption of IaaS. The main features of the IaaS are:

  • Resources are hired as a service;
  • You may have a variable cost for the use or defined previous form;
  • High scalability quickly and efficiently;
  • Advanced monitoring and managements;

Type services IaaS most common on the market:

  • Amazon EC2
  • Blue Cloud IBM

What kind of service use?

Well, we can see that Cloud Computing is a very broad term, encompassing several components hired as service. The importance of understanding the aspects of cloud computing, its features, its challenges, its need and opportunity are essential when evaluating how this technology will make a difference and add your company and its common needs with your company and what kind service will be important to your business.

Cloud Computing is a revolution treated by some as an unnecessary trend, however is mistaken who believe that, cloud computing is the next wave of technology, it is up to you to see it and use this technology to their needs in order to add value to you and your enterprise.

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