Have you ever heard of cloud services? Even for people who are somewhat familiar with the term, it still might be difficult to explain it, specially with all kinds of new service models emerging in the recent years such as SaaS, PaaS, IaaS and DaaS.
In this article we will give you an overview of the the most popular cloud service models SaaS, PaaS, IaaS and DaaS.
What is a cloud service?
Cloud services can include software, data storage, databases, servers, networks, computing and other services that are accessible on-demand though internet. As these services are externally located they are referred to as a cloud, thus the term “cloud services”. Anyone can use these services as long as there is access to the internet.
How are they different from traditional services?
Since not so long ago, users had to install software on their own hardware and store their data locally. However by making software and hardware accessible on-demand through the internet, cloud services eliminate the need for software installing and local hardware. This gives users the freedom to use services anywhere and on any device.
An example for this is Google’s popular email client Gmail. Users can use Gmail anywhere and on any device without installing any software.
Cloud services for businesses and private
As cloud services are unrestricted come with almost no restriction compared to traditional services, they are very popular not only for private use but are rapidly gaining popularity in the business world contributing to IT modernisation. With the increasing user base, cloud services diversified quickly to fulfil specific needs.
Cloud services are classified into the following 4 categories depending on the components used: IaaS, PaaS, SaaS and DaaS. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.
What is SaaS?
SaaS stands for “Software as a Service”. The provided service is software that is most cases centrally hosted and accessible through the internet by a browser client. With that customers can use the software without being concerned about computing resources or other money and time-consuming things.
SaaS has the following benefits:
- No need for software installation
- Data can be stored on the online
- Software and data can be accessed by any device
- Data can be shared easily and effectively between multiple users
- Highly advanced software can be used almost instantly
- Google Drive
- Google Calendar
- Google Sheets
What is PaaS?
PaaS stands for Platform as a Service. The provided service is a platform that the allows users to develop, manage and run applications through the internet. This can include middleware that connects applications with operating systems, programming languages, web servers and other parts that build an environment that enables fast development and easy management of applications.
In comparison to SaaS, Paas is very flexible when it comes to software as you can use existing software as well as in-house developed software, depending on your needs.
PaaS has the following characteristics:
- By providing a ready-to-use development environment, you save development costs and time
- You don’t have to worry about maintenances and backups as they are handled by the service provider
- As the infrastructure is provided and set-up by the service provider you can start using the service right away
- PaaS gives developers a lot of freedom such as choosing previously used applications for development and running them on the platform
An example of PaaS is Google App Engine on Google Cloud Platform which let’s users deploy application without spending time on the backend as it allocates and scales resources automatically and provides other automated tools for application development and management.
What is IaaS?
IaaS stands for “Infrastructure as a Service”. The provided service is a complete infrastructure accessible through the internet containing networks, servers, operating systems and anything else that is required for building and running systems. Unlike PaaS, the user has control over the backend, can specify hardware components and set up the operating systems exactly to their liking. After that the user can develop and run a system on top of it.
The user has a lot more freedom compared to SaaS and PaaS, however more responsibility as well. In order to set up the hardware, servers, network, security and other components, more technical expertise is required.
IaaS has the following characteristics:
- It comes with a ready-to-use development environment
- Gives the user the freedom of specifying hardware specs and setting up operating systems to use over the internet
- Provides easy to use resource scaling options
- Saves the user hardware maintenance and repair costs
An example of IaaS is the Google Compute Engine on Google Cloud Platform. It give users the option to set up virtual machines (VM’s) which operate very similar to traditional computers. However you can specify the specs and choose and set up an operating system and change scale the resources up or down at any given time. As it is provided by Google you don’t have to pay for anything else but the usage.
What is DaaS?
DaaS stands for “Desktop as a Service”. The provided service is a desktop environment that is accessible through the internet and is also sometimes referred to as “cloud desktop” or “virtual desktop”. The hoster provides all the required resources to run the desktop environment and any application within it as well as storing and saving data for each session.
DaaS can be divided into 3 different categories.
Private cloud DaaS
Private cloud DaaS is a desktop environment that is specifically developed and provided to only one company. The company can choose the operating systems, software and all other components as it likes and completely customize it to its needs. By that, private cloud DaaS gives the user a high level of security.
Virtual private cloud DaaS
Virtual private cloud DaaS is a desktop environment that is build and running on the hosters IaaS and PaaS. This gives the user relatively high level of customization and security.
Public cloud DaaS
Public cloud DaaS is a dektop environment with selected OS and software options that is offered and used by multiple companies at the same time making it less customizable and secure than private cloud DaaS and virtual private cloud DaaS.
What are the key differences between all of them?
The difference between SaaS, PaaS, IaaS and DaaS is the scope of service that is provided.
SaaS provides software in addition to PaaS.
PaaS provides a platform in addition to IaaS.
IaaS provides infrastructure such as servers.
DaaS provides a virtual desktop environment.
SaaS is ideal if you need a ready-to-use software and don’t want to spend time on anything else. However, if you need more customization options you should consider IaaS, PaaS and DaaS.
Understanding and determining the right scope of service that you need is important as it let’s you focus and work more efficiently on what you want to achieve. I hope I could give you an overview of the different options and help you with your decision.
Whether you want to deploy an application on Google Cloud and let it run, develop your own application on Google Cloud, develop and run a system on Google Cloud or anything else, we, at Cloud Ace, have a lot of experience with Google Cloud and can help you with anything related to Google Cloud.
If you want to know more about this topic or if there is anything we can help you with, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will get back to you shorty.