Chances are you have already taken your business online. With almost everything done online these days, businesses are largely dependent on the cloud for the collection, storage, and processing of data, many of which happen to be sensitive and crucial.
To make the process easier, and most importantly, to make sure that those data stay safe online, companies seek out to the expert solutions offered by cloud-based web applications.
The cloud is a really big deal, especially when you think about how you can access a wide range of services and use a variety of features, all from any internet-connected device. And IaaS and PaaS are two of the three primary categories of cloud computing, the third being SaaS.
Since Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is perhaps the well-known category of the three and widely used by small business, the other two are often used by bigger businesses, along with SaaS, to develop their overall IT infrastructure.
What is IaaS?
Infrastructure-as-a-Service, or IaaS, is basically the hardware infrastructure that you can obtain from an external service provider, which you can use for data storage, networking, and more.
With this service, you get to eliminate the need to develop and manage your very own on-site infrastructure, which can be highly expensive as well as labor-intensive; furthermore, with the IaaS cloud offering, you get make use of all the resources and tools required for your business.
One of the huge benefits of IaaS is that it is a flexible and scalable offering, which enables you to purchase more features and resources as your business expands, which typically means that you can future-proof your business.
Some of the most popular examples of IaaS are: Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, and Rackspace.
✓ IaaS is known to be the most flexible cloud computing type
✓ It is highly scalable, perfect to future-proof businesses
✓ It provides high level of control over the infrastructure, thereby making it easy for businesses to manage the same
✓ Since IaaS is a pay-as-you-use model, you get to pay only for the resources you utilize and not a penny more, and therefore, cost-efficient
− Potential outages can cost your company in different aspects, and with total control in your hands, you will be responsible to make sure it doesn’t happen
− Security is another common concern with IaaS cloud computing
What is PaaS?
Platform-as-a-Service, or PaaS, is a cloud computing model where you get the cloud platform and the required structure to build and run custom applications over the internet.
All the necessary resources, including network, server, storage, OS, virtualization, etc., will be provided to you by your cloud vendor and will be managed by them as well.
The fact that you won’t have to deal with data storage, operating systems, servers, infrastructure, etc. is the major attractive aspect of this model, and this is known to be ideal for those businesses that mainly involve in building custom applications.
Some of the well-known providers of PaaS cloud product are: Microsoft Azure, Google App Engine, AWS BeanStalk, Heroku, and OpenShift.
✓ Since the PaaS cloud model is based on virtualization in terms of technology, it is designed to be easy to use, even for those with less or no technical knowledge or background
✓ It completely eliminates the need for the development and maintenance of in-house hardware infrastructure
✓ Offers users high level of control over the custom applications built
− The control you get is only on the apps you build on the platform and not over other aspects, including hardware and operating system, which can be troublesome when there is an outage
− It can get expensive over time
Should You Use IaaS or PaaS?
The IaaS cloud computing model would be suitable for those companies that have the infrastructure and all necessary resources to develop and manage applications on their own, without requiring help from the cloud service provider.
Let’s say your IT team has already built an app and all you need now is the infrastructure to host the same; this would be an ideal scenario to go for IaaS.
In addition, it can also be helpful when you cannot obtain the features or components you are looking for from the other two cloud computing models.
On the other hand, if your company doesn’t have the necessary resources and infrastructure to build and manage applications, you could choose PaaS.
Even if you don’t want to spend a whole lot of money setting up the infrastructure to support app development, or you want your employees to focus on something more crucial rather than dealing with data storage, security, and the like, this would be the right choice for your business.