IaaS, vs PaaS vs SaaS
Whether starting a new Cloud solution from the ground up or migrating existing on-premises systems to the Public Cloud, one vital decision that needs to be made is which cloud model you want to use for your organisation, IaaS, vs PaaS vs SaaS?
Photo credits: RedHat
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
What is IaaS?
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers rent virtualised computing resources like data storage networking and computing to their clients. As a result, you will get access to a fully-functioning data centre without dealing with the overhead and scalability issues that come with owning and maintaining on-premise networks and servers.
IaaS providers supply these computing resources from a pool of equipment installed in data centres. You select and provision these resources through web-based management consoles or APIs. Pricing usually depends on the number of resources you consume and how long.
Examples of major IaaS providers are Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
Why would you select IaaS?
IaaS gives you the most control, flexibility and elasticity over your infrastructure while providing the means to quickly stand up your infrastructure choice compared to the possibly lengthy process that comes with deploying an on-premise solution.
You only pay for what you use, which gives you the flexibility to scale up or down without being constrained by on-premise infrastructure capacity.
Despite divesting the responsibilities of running physical infrastructure to the cloud service providers, you are still responsible for protecting the resources you run up and the data on them. Therefore, training employees on managing and securing cloud infrastructure is also necessary.
As you are still managing any resources you provide, which are usually lower unmanaged constructs on your own, there is always a risk of downtime. However, this risk can be mitigated by adhering to sound cloud architecture principles and best practices.
While any organisation can make use of IaaS providers, organisations that may benefit from using IaaS specifically are:
• Companies that want to reduce costs through on-demand pricing.
• Companies who want to run a business are growing quickly and want to scale the infrastructure whilst maintaining control over the infrastructure
• Companies of any size whose workload demands are in constant flux
• Organisations who want to be able to jump into innovative technologies provided by the IaaS cloud providers.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
What is PaaS?
Platform as a Service (PaaS) providers bring in a platform where organisations need to build custom applications without building and maintaining all the server’s storage and networking. With that sorted out, developers can concentrate on building the software without worrying about the infrastructure.
PaaS vendors sometimes provide:
• Software development kits for a variety of languages and platforms
• Code samples for reference
• Documentation and support guides
• Development frameworks
• APIs for integrating with web applications
Pricing is also on an on-demand basis, with some PaaS offerings having the option of reserving blocks of resources for a fixed fee.
Examples of PaaS include: Salesforce, Heroku, Microsoft Azure and Adobe Commerce formally Magento Commerce Cloud
Why Choose PaaS?
PaaS allows organisations to leverage application platform frameworks to experiment and build custom applications without worrying about computing resources. As a result, PaaS may enable teams to ship out new applications faster and cut the time from planning to deployment.
It does this by providing developers with modern technologies and capabilities to build and run applications they never had access to in an on-premises world.
Because PaaS solutions are still cloud-based, they contain the same security and operational risks as other cloud solutions. In addition, you risk being locked into one vendor, as many PaaS implementations remain proprietary to one provider.
There are countless use cases for PaaS:
• Companies who need to bring their solutions to market quickly without worrying about the nitty-gritty of their implementation
• Organisations want some of the conveniences of pre-built functionality but require customisation to support their business needs.
• Companies that require specialised functionality like e-commerce, data analytics, Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning in their development
Software as a Service (SaaS)
What is SaaS?
Software as a Service (SaaS) providers deliver fully-functional applications through the Internet with web browser access to their users. In addition, the SaaS provider takes care of maintenance end-to-end; all the user needs to worry about is consuming the application.
Some examples of SaaS include Google Workspace, Dropbox, Slack, SAP Concur, GoToMeeting.
Why Subscribe to SaaS?
SaaS applications may save your organisation time and money because you don’t need to care about installing, managing and upgrading software — the provider does everything for you. In addition, adopting SaaS frees up time for your IT staff to spend on bringing more value to your organisation.
The ease of use does come at a cost, though:
• SaaS providers may be limited in their ability to support use cases outside of how the provider intends it to be used.
• Vendor lock-in is another major issue as vendors may not provide an easy way to extract data from their systems.
• If the application does not follow open standards for interoperability, integrating with your existing workflow can also pose a challenge.
• Data Security may be an issue when stored in shared resources on the Cloud
• Lack of customisation and feature limitations because of the shared nature of the applications could be an issue that needs to be considered.
• Unplanned downtime from cyber attacks or network issues may impact performance.
SaaS is an excellent option if you are a start-up or small company that needs software and eCommerce quickly without the hassle of server, software issues and maintenance. Companies want to add capabilities rapidly but do not want to build or manage in-house. Possibly applications that need both web and mobile access
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for deciding what combination of cloud solutions is suitable for your organisation.
It is critical to implement adequate security policies and tools to ensure your organisation is protected from security risks as you adopt more cloud solutions.
SYSPRO, the ERP product the my company sells and implements, can be installed in the following environments:
• On Premises – The traditional IT setup where you manage everything
• IaaS – Where you pay monthly for Server Storage and Networking and manage all the Virtualisation, Operating System and Software applications
• PaaS – Where Server, Storage Networking, Virtualisation, and Operating System are paid for monthly and you just manage the Application and data