Cloud Words – IaaS, SaaS, PaaS – What Do All These Mean?

iaas saas paas what do all these cloud words mean

Many industries have a wide array of acronyms they employ in order to define certain industry-specific concepts, products, and services, and the field of information technology is no exception. While technology experts are typically well-versed in the meaning of the various cloud words, for the average layperson, they can present a definite challenge.

Of course, in order to determine which technology services will deliver the best results for a business, it’s important to understand all the various options available. In this post, we will discuss three acronyms used to define cloud services, specifically, IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS, to bring about a clear understanding of what these services have to offer to a variety of corporate settings.

Defining IaaS

IaaS is an acronym for “infrastructure as a service”

Companies who decide to select this type of service often do so because they don’t want to invest in substantial amounts of hardware in order to support their various software packages and apps. Instead, they invest in cloud services such as virtualization and server space to meet their needs. Buying hardware does mean more accessibility and control, however it also comes with a hefty price tag that smaller companies often find off-putting.

While IaaS provides the benefit of reduced costs and the time involved in maintaining hardware,  business owners are still responsible for maintaining their software. This means they either must have some degree of technological expertise to manage this on their own, or they need a dedicated IT person or perhaps a team to provide software support.

Defining SaaS

SaaS stands for “software as a service”

SaaS allows smaller companies to take advantage of pre-built cloud-based apps that have a defined purpose.  Rather than creating a custom software package to perform a task, smaller companies can simply incorporate third-party apps such as Dropbox for their file sharing requirements, or they can use Shopify if they need an eCommerce site platform. While outsourcing certain tasks does have certain advantages in that it may allow companies to get a certain project up and running faster, and they won’t be responsible for maintaining third party applications, there are some downsides.

Employing third-party software apps means a business will have little to no opportunity to customize the app to suit their specific needs.  They also have no control over third-party apps, which lessens their degree of control over potential security issues as well.  In addition, integration may be challenging with SaaS, since third party software may not work with a company’s current overall platform, or a new platform if they decide to change at some point in the future.


Last but not least, PaaS stands for “platform as a service”

If a company wants customized software to meet their needs, PaaS  can provide them with the cloud-based tools they need to build their own customized software. With PaaS, developers are given access to a vast library of pre-built elements, so they don’t need to code every process from scratch. Developing, testing, and deploying all happen in one environment, making it generally faster and easier to pump out software applications.

A downside to PaaS is that it is not a good option for companies who work with confidential data, which they may be required to keep on-site by law. Also, for businesses who already have some existing frameworks they would like to keep, this may present a significant challenge when trying to integrate them into a new PaaS platform.  

We’re Here to Help

When it comes to cloud-based platforms and services, there truly isn’t one right or wrong solution. The beauty of having the options such as PaaS, SaaS, and IaaS, is that it allows companies to choose the best solution to meet their specific needs.

If you would like more information on how to select the right cloud-based services for your unique setting, please contact us.

IT Support Why Cloud Network Migration Requires Guidance

cloud computing the future of disaster recovery
Cloud Computing

The business buzz surrounding cloud computing has the tendency to make it sound like an instant cure for every IT conundrum. Make no mistake, an effective cloud network migration will improve all of the following difficulties that dent the IT budget:

  • total cost of ownership (TCO) of IT resources
  • recurring expenses for proprietary software licenses
  • software upgrades and configurations management
  • cost of securing data resources, including malware protection, security architecture, and certified personnel
  • cost of hardware and labor needed to manage data storage
  • recurring costs and potential liabilities for backup and disaster recovery

However, cloud migrations require strategy. Leading cloud infrastructure providers have actually made it possible to spring up a fully-functioning virtual server in a matter of minutes. However, it is a tremendous folly to start signing up for services without any expert advice.

Cloud technology has taken years to mature, and has grown in scope and complexity. There is a small but knowledgable community that has come to the forefront of this field. The following issues, for example, are all questions that an experienced IT migration partner can resolve:

  1. Is it necessary to build a custom network with infrastructure as a service (IaaS), or can applications be simplified with the platform as a service (PaaS) model?
  2. Which storage solutions and software as a service (SaaS) applications will fit best with the business model and give the best ROI?
  3. How will data management and disaster recovery be addressed?
  4. Is scalability going to be an issue? Does the company have reasonable expectations of growth and, if so, is the IT infrastructure able to scale with it?
  5. Are there areas of the business model that have never been boosted by IT, and can a cloud migration reveal opportunities for any efficiency that has been looked over?

Rather than attempting a migration on your own, contact a trusted partner such as AE Technology Group.

AETG has a proven record of improving operations via a strategic and tailored move to the cloud, and can also manage the newly adopted services so that you can focus on your business mission.