Understanding Cloud service models IaaS, PaaS and SaaS – Cloud 3

You might have heard acronyms like IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, what do they actually mean? what are cloud service models?. This is the third part of the Cloud Series and aims to provide an answer to the above questions. This article will provide you with an overview of cloud service delivery models so that you can choose which service model is best suited for your business application.


Cloud service models

Cloud service models are models, based on which pre-packaged combinations of IT resources are delivered to the customer as services, by the cloud service providers(CSP). The three cloud service models following which the services are offered to the customers are Infrastructure as a service(Iaas), Software as a service(Saas), Platform as a service(Paas). Serverless is a cloud service execution model.


Other approaches by which CSPs provide service to the customers are

Backend as a Service
Backup as a Service

Banking as a Service
Blockchain as a Service
Business Process as a Service
Communications as a Service
Compliance as a Service
Consensus as a Service
Container as a Service
Crime as a Service
Crypto as a Service
Data as a Service
Database as a Service (DBaaS)
Datacenter as a service (DCaaS)
Desktop as a Service
Device as a Service Disaster

Recovery -as-a-Service (DRaaS)

Encryption as a Service
Feature Flag as a Service
Function as a Service
Games as a Service
Gaming as a Service
Graph Database as a Service
Graphics as a Service
Identity as a Service
Load balancers as a service
Metering as a service
Messaging as a Service
Mobility as a Service (MaaS)
Monitoring as a Service
Music as a service
Network as a service
(Private) Cloud as a Service (PCaaS)
Ransomware as a Service (RaaS)
Security as a Service
Sensing as a Service
Storage as a service
Storage Backend as a Service (SBaaS)
Supercomputing as a Service
Surface as a Service
Workplace as a Service (WaaS)

According to NIST standards, SaaS PaaS and IaaS are models for delivering services


Infrastructure as a service(IaaS)

Infrastructure includes  IT resources like Physical Server, Physical Storage, Networking Hardware, routers, cables, connectors, firewalls, other physical resources for support, Security for controlling access, Cooling, and other maintenance, etc. In the Infrastructure as a service model, CSP provides all these resources as service. Higher administrative control directly for the customers over IT RESOURCES.

Compute engine of google cloud offers its customers virtual machine instances. Customers can set up web servers or can do a hell lot of other tasks in these virtual machine instances.


Amazon has EC2  provides its customers with virtual machine instances.

Infrastructure as a service model provides customers more control as the customer is only accessing infrastructure as the service from the CSP. Configuring the resources and running the business is in full control of the customer.



Platform as a service(PaaS)

PaaS model provides the customers with ready to use environments to run their applications.Paas(Platform as a service) represents the delivery of pre-packaged products and tools for running the application. The PaaS service model serves the customers with a platform including operating system, runtime environment, etc which will help the customer run business applications without worrying about the infrastructure.

Examples are AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Windows Azure,  Google App Engine.

Google App Engine provides the environment for setting up Node.js Application .https://cloud.google.com/appengine/docs/flexible/nodejs/

Limited or No administrative privileges for the customer over the infrastructure resources compared to IaaS. Till the run time is provided by CSP. The cloud service consumer has to manage configurations for scaling the application.


Software as a service(SaaS)

In software as a service delivery model, softwares (can be 3rd party softwares) are provided as service to the cloud service customer. Customers have to pay for using the software but don’t have to worry about licensing/scaling/ infrastructure for using these applications. The consumer just has to do the user configurations of the software. Customers will be provided with access to the front end interface to work on the software. Some common examples for Softwares as a service are Google Apps, Salesforce, office 365, calendar, email, etc provided by google cloud, Microsoft cloud, etc.



Serverless is the type of cloud computing execution model in which the cloud service consumer does not have to worry about setting up the infrastructure or management as these will be covered by the cloud service provider. The customer can solely focus on the application code as other things including scaling and infrastructure management will be handled by CSP.

No Administration Scalability: Automatically scalable

Pay-per-use: Pay only per use

Serverless deployment is faster as the focus is solely on application code. The rest is managed by CSP.

AWS Lambda, Google Cloud Functions, Azure Functions

This article will provide you with an overview of cloud service models. We will learn about the different aspects of all these service models in later parts of the series.










No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *