Iaas vs Paas vs Saas: Most Crucial Differences and Examples Among These Models in 2023

Iaas vs Paas vs Saas: Most Crucial Differences and Examples Among These Models in 2023

The IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS are the 3 most essential models of cloud services and are also known as infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS), and Software as a service (SaaS).

The services you obtain to use temporarily and let go of when you are done with them can be utilized “as a service” suffix. For example, a cab can be called a vehicle as a service.

iaas vs paas

You see, instead of buying a car, you can pay little to have someone else’s car, which can move you from one point to your desired point.

In the same way, the IT services embody the same model.

As you already know, IaaS Vs PaaS Vs SaaS, all of these three are models of cloud services, now you may think.

What the heck is this cloud?

Cloud refers to where and how data is stored and, probably the most important, where it is not. Instead of locally on one device, the cloud lets Software and services run on the internet.

It does it by storing the data remotely across various services. You can access this Software and services on any of the available internet browsers or using online apps, which can be accessed through different devices.

These services are becoming rapidly crucial in the business world and approx. all organizations use at least one kind of cloud service.

As you begin to switch your business to the cloud, it is more critical for you to clearly understand the advantages and the differences between the various clouds out there.

Types of as-a-service are growing day by day. Usually, there are 3 main models to compare:

  • IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)
  • PaaS (Platform as a Services)
  • SaaS (Software as a Service)

Today, we are going to look at the concepts, variances, and benefits of these. I’ll also help you understand the differences among IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS so that you can choose the one which suits best to your organization.

Key differences between IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS

For examining the key differences between IaaS Vs PaaS Vs SaaS, look at these terms under the umbrella of computing, including creating, building, and storing the data.

Now think about them in the same order they are presented below. The chart below outlines some of the major key differences between IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS.


Source:  Big Commerce

All the clouds have different pros and cons that vary from the others. If you want to have the right approach to the cloud that best suits your business, you should understand the structure of each.


Let’s start comparing IaaS vs PaaS vs SaaS.

Some common examples of IaaS, PaaS & SaaS

IaaS: (AWS) Amazon Web Services, DigitalOcean, Rackspace, Cisco Metapod, Linode, (GCE) Google Compute Engine, and Microsoft Azure.

PaaS: SAP Cloud, Windows Azure, Dokku, Heroku, Force.com, Apprenda Cloud Platform, Google App Engine, Salesforce Lightning, and Openshift.

SaaS: Dropbox, Cisco, Salesforce, Google Workspace, Concur, GoToMeeting, and WebEx.

What is Iaas? (Infrastructure as a Service):

(IaaS) Infrastructure as a Service is made up of highly automated and scalable compute resources. The IaaS provides many services for monitoring and accessing your computers, storage, networking, and other services.

Instead of buying hardware outright, IaaS permits all businesses to purchase resources as needed and on-demand.

Deliveries of IaaS:

When comparing IaaS Vs PaaS Vs SaaS, you should take a look at their deliveries if you want to choose the one which best suits your organization. By using virtualization, IaaS delivers us cloud computing infrastructure, operating systems, including servers, network, and storage.

Do you know? These cloud servers are provided to organizations through an API or a dashboard for giving the clients of IaaS full control of the entire infrastructure.

What’s special?

Without physically managing all the things, IaaS provides you all the same capabilities and technologies as a traditional data center provides you.

And the clients of IaaS can still access their storage and servers directly. But it’s all outsourced by using a “Virtual Data Centre.”

In contrast with PaaS or SaaS, IaaS will be responsible for managing all the aspects like runtime, OSes, applications, data, and middleware.

But, the providers of IaaS manage the hard drives, servers, virtualization, networking, and storage for its clients.

Let’s assume you, as a client, in this way, we can communicate better.

You know what? Some of the IaaS provides even more services for you, such as databases or message queuing and the virtualization layer.

Isn’t it awesome?

Advantages of IaaS

When comparing IaaS Vs PaaS Vs SaaS, you should always take a look at their advantages if you want to select the one which best suits your organization. If you choose to use IaaS, you are going to get many advantages such as:

  • You’ll get complete control of your infrastructure
  • You’ll get the most cloud computing model (IaaS)
  • Your hardware purchases will be based on your consumption.
  • Automate deployment of storage will be easy, servers, processing power, and more.
  • Highly scalable
  • You can purchase resources as needed

Characteristics of IaaS

While comparing IaaS Vs PaaS Vs SaaS, you should also take a look at their characteristics if you want to choose the one which best suits your organization. The characteristics of IaaS are listed below:

  • Services of IaaS are highly scalable
  • Resources are available as a service
  • Your organization will have complete control of the infrastructure
  • The cost of IaaS differs and depends upon the consumption
  • IaaS is a flexible and dynamic cloud
  • Multiple users can use IaaS

When should you use IaaS?

Similar to PaaS and SaaS, there are some particular situations when IaaS proves most helpful to you, some of them are listed below:

  • Large companies always prefer to have complete control over their infrastructure and applications, but these large companies want to buy things only what they actually need or consume.
  • Small companies and startups probably prefer IaaS to avoid spending money and time on creating hardware and Software and purchasing.
  • The companies with rapid growth admire the scalability of IaaS, and when needed, they can easily update particular hardware and Software.

Limitations & Concerns of IaaS

Just like PaaS and SaaS models, there are some limitations with IaaS, such as cost overruns, data security, vendor lock-in, and customization issues. Some of the limitations to IaaS are listed below:

  • Legacy systems operate in the cloud. You can run legacy apps in the cloud, but the infrastructure probably is not be designed to deliver you the controls to secure legacy apps.

Before migrating legacy apps to the cloud, you may need a minor enhancement to the cloud. It possibly leads to new security issues unless tested for performance and security in the IaaS system.

  • Security issues. The customer has control of the data, apps, middleware, and OS platform, but security threats can still occur from the VMS (virtual machines) or host.

What’s more?

The inner threat may expose the data communication between the VMs and host infrastructure to unauthorized entities.

  • Multi-Tenant security issues. The vendor is needed to ensure that other customers can’t access the data deposited to the storage by previous customers since the hardware resources are dynamically allocated to the users.

In the same way, to ensure that VMs are isolated within the multi-tenant cloud architecture, the customers have to rely on the vendor.

  • Internal training and resources. You may need some additional training and resources for the workspace to learn how to manage the infrastructure effectively.

Because monitoring and management of the resources probably will be difficult without suitable training and in-house available resources.

You know what?

The customer will be responsible for backup, data security, and business continuity.

IaaS Examples

Some of the famous examples of IaaS are listed below:

  • Linode
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • DigitalOcean
  • Rackspace
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Google Compute Engine (GCE)
  • Cisco Metacloud

What is Paas? (Platform as a Services)

Cloud platform services are also known as Platform as a Service (PaaS). Platform as a Services (PaaS) provides cloud components to some definite software and applications.

Do you know?

PaaS is used to deliver a framework for developers and enables them to build and use the customized applications.

All the networking, servers and storage can be easily managed by a third-party provider or the enterprise, while the developers of the cloud can manage the applications in PaaS.

Deliveries of PaaS

When comparing IaaS Vs PaaS Vs SaaS, you should take a look at their deliveries if you want to choose the one which best suits your organization.

The delivery model of both SaaS and PaaS is similar. But there is a difference in delivering; instead of delivering the Software on the internet like SaaS, PaaS provides a platform to create Software.

This Platform delivers its services via the web.

You know what?

Instead of being worried about software updates, operating systems, infrastructure, or storage, this Platform gives developers the freedom to focus on building Software only.

Amazing, right?

Now by using PaaS, your developers can easily concentrate on one thing (The software building)

With particular software components built into PaaS, it allows all the businesses to create and design applications.

And these applications are sometimes named middleware or scalable and highly available as they own some of the cloud characteristics.

Advantages of PaaS

When comparing IaaS Vs PaaS Vs SaaS, you should always take a look at their advantages if you want to select the one which best suits your organization. PaaS offers many advantages, no matter how big or small your company is. Some of the advantages of using PaaS are listed below.

  • Your developers can easily customize apps without worrying about maintaining the Software.
  • Simple to use, cost-effective deployment and development of apps
  • Only a significant reduction in the amount of coding is needed by using PaaS
  • The policy of automation of business
  • Easy migration to the hybrid model
  • Highly available
  • Scalable

Characteristics of PaaS

While comparing IaaS Vs PaaS Vs SaaS, you should also take a look at their characteristics if you want to choose the one which best suits your organization. There many characteristics of PaaS, which defined it as a famous cloud service. Some of the characteristics of PaaS are listed below:

  • PaaS provides different services to assist with the testing, development, and deployment of apps.
  • PaaS builds on virtualization technology so that resources can be scaled down or scaled up according to your business.
  • PaaS integrates databases and web services
  • Via the same development app, PaaS is available to many users

When you should use PaaS

Using PaaS is extensively beneficial, and most of the time, it is even necessary for some situations. For example, when multiple workers are working on the same project, PaaS can streamline their workflows.

PaaS can provide you the flexibility to the entire process and a significant speed also. It would be beneficial to use PaaS If you want to create customized applications according to your needs.

PaaS also simplifies many challenges that come if you are rapidly deploying or developing apps, it also reduces the costs.

Limitations and Concerns of PaaS:

  • Integrations: While using PaaS, the complexity of connecting the data stored in an off-premise cloud or onsite data center is increased. It probably affects apps and services.

Also, when not all IT system components are created for the cloud, then integration with existing infrastructure and services may be a challenge for you.

  • Running time issues: The PaaS solutions may not be used for your choice of frameworks and language.

Some particular framework versions may not perform with the PaaS service or may not even be available to you.

  • Data security: The data which resides in the third-party and vendor-controlled cloud servers contains several security issues and concerns; perhaps organizations can run their app services using PaaS.

By using PaaS, your security options may become limited as the customers of PaaS may not be able to deploy PaaS services because of specific hosting policies.

  • Vendor Lock-in issue: Technical and business requirements that make decisions for a particular SaaS solution may be applied in the future.

Switching to another PaaS option may not be possible without affection for your business if the vendor has not provisioned migration policies.

  • Limitations of operation: As PaaS limits operational capabilities for end-users, the customized cloud operations may not apply to solutions of PaaS.

Even though this aims to reduce the operational burden of the end-users, the loss of operational control can affect how the solutions of PaaS are operated, provisioned, and managed.

  • Customization of legacy systems: it may not play the role of plug-and-play solutions for the legacy apps and services.

Rather many customizations and configuration changes may be essential for legacy systems to work with the service of PaaS.

So what?

The resulting customization will lead to a complex IT system that can limit the value of the PaaS investment.

PaaS examples:

Some of the famous examples of PaaS are listed below:

  • Heroku
  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk
  • Google App Engine
  • Windows Azure
  • Force.com
  • OpenShift

What is Saas? (Software as a Service)

SaaS is also known as a cloud application service, and it represents the most commonly utilized option for businesses in the cloud market out there.

Do you know?

Software as a Service (SaaS) utilized the internet to deliver the applications, which are then managed by the third-party vendor to its users.

The majority of SaaS applications will run directly through your web browser, and it means they don’t require to download anything or any installations from the client-side.


Deliveries of SaaS

When comparing IaaS Vs PaaS Vs SaaS, you should take a look at their deliveries if you want to choose the one which best suits your organization.

The SaaS web delivery model eliminates the need for IT staff to install and download applications on each computer.

Budget-friendly, Right?

You see, by using SaaS, you don’t need to have professional IT staff, which charges many bucks for a single hour.

If you use SaaS, the vendor will manage all the technical issues such as middleware, data storage, and servers, resulting in streamlined maintenance and support for your business.

Advantages of SaaS

When comparing IaaS Vs PaaS Vs SaaS, you should always take a look at their advantages if you want to select the one which best suits your organization. SaaS gives various benefits to companies and employees by reducing the money and time spent on difficult tasks such as managing, installing, and upgrading Software.

SaaS frees up meaningful time for your technical staff, and now they can spend this precious time on the things which are more important to solve.

Characteristics of SaaS

While comparing IaaS Vs PaaS Vs SaaS, you should also take a look at their characteristics if you want to choose the one which best suits your organization. Some of the characteristics of SaaS are listed below, which helps you understand when SaaS will be utilized:

  • Easily accessible over the internet
  • You can manage SaaS from a central location also
  • Hosted on a remote server
  • The users are not responsible for the software and hardware updates

When you should use SaaS

Using SaaS proves extensively beneficial, and most of the time, it is even necessary for some situations. Some of the cases are listed below:

  • For short time projects which require easy, quick, and budget-friendly collaboration
  • For those small or startup companies which need to launch an eCommerce business quickly and don’t got time for software or server issues.
  • When you need to use an application, which needs both mobile and web access
  • Applications that are not required too often, like tax software.

Limitation of SaaS and concerns

  • Less integration support. Most organizations need deep integration with data, apps, and services. SaaS vendors offer limited support in this concern; it forces the organizations to invest the resources in managing and designing integrations.

What’s more?

The complexity of these integrations can limit how the SaaS and other services which depend on SaaS can be used.

  • Interoperability: if the SaaS app is not designed to follow the open standards of integration, then integration with the existing available apps can be a significant issue.

In this situation, the organizations have to design their own integration system or minimize their dependence on SaaS; it is not often possible.

  • Vendor lock-in: Vendors can make it easy to join the service but can make it difficult to get out of that service.

Not all vendors follow standard APIs, tools, and protocols, Yet this feature could be essential for specific tasks of business.

  • Limitations of features: SaaS apps usually come up with standard form so that the feature may be compromising against performance, security, organizational policies, or cost.

Also, vendor lock-in security or cost concerns may mean that it’s not easy to switch vendors or services to serve the new feature requirements.

  • Security of Data: In order to perform the essential Software functionally, a large amount of data may have to be exchanged to the data centers of SaaS apps.

You may have to pay a high cost if you want to migrate the large data workloads. Besides, transferring sensitive information of a business to a public-cloud-based SaaS service may result in compliance or security issues for you.

  • Lack of control: The solutions of SaaS include the control of the third-party service provider.

So what?

These controls are not limited to just Software in terms of the updates, appearance, or version, but also your data and governance.

You may need to redefine their governance and data security model to fit the SaaS service’s functionality and features to your organization.

  • Downtime and performance: You have to depend on the vendor to maintain service and performance security because the vendor controls and manages the SaaS service.

Although SaaS app adequate SLA (service level agreement) protection is in place yet, some planned and unplanned maintenance, network issues, or cyber-attacks may affect the performance of SaaS.

  • Customization: When it comes to SaaS, it offers a minimum number of capabilities. Because a one-size-fits-all solution is not available in SaaS, the users may be limited to the vendor’s specific integration, functionality, and performance.

On the other hand, on-premise solutions come with many software development kits (SDKs) that offer high-level customizations to you.

SaaS examples:

Some of the famous examples of SaaS are listed below:

  • Dropbox
  • Google Workspace
  • Cisco WebEx
  • GoToMeeting
  • Salesforce
  • Sap Concur

Let’s Recap IaaS Vs PaaS Vs SaaS

  • IaaS provides you maximum flexibility when you want to host custom built-apps as well as gives you a data center for storing data.
  • PaaS is usually kept on the top of the IaaS platform if you want to reduce the need for system administration. Instead of infrastructure management, PaaS allows you to focus on app development.
  • SaaS provides you out-of-the-box ready-to-use solutions which meet your particular business needs.


The continuously increasing popularity of IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS is minimizing the need for on-premise hosting.

So, it becomes more crucial to compare IaaS vs PaaS vs SaaS if you are willing if you want to select the one which best suits your organization.

Every model of cloud (as a service software) offers specific functionalities and features, so it becomes essential for you to understand the differences if you want to choose one for your organization.

Some of the cloud computing models are more complicated than the others, so it’s up to you which one to choose!

Whether you want complete control over the entire infrastructure without maintaining it physically or looking for a smooth platform that permits you to create customized applications, you can easily find a cloud for you.

One Response

Write a Comment