You have probably heard of this showdown more than once at least – which to choose among SaaS, PaaS, IaaS and on-premises solutions. The question is no longer whether you would need a cloud-based solution for enterprise anymore. It is all about when, which provider and how many services you would need. The market for cloud services has been growing steadily, giving evidence that running all your IT activities in the cloud is probably the wisest thing to do.

Cloud computing

With the array of business software alternatives in the market currently, there is no wonder there is confusion all around, making it clear that businesses need some guidance on what to choose for their requirement. Many enterprises do not wish to shift their entire IT services to the cloud, they do it phase by phase, prefer to have a hybrid set up where there is a mix of both cloud and on-premises or they shift entirely to the cloud in the first step itself.

In order to navigate through the maze of choices, you need to have informed decisions about all of them. This article aims to shed light on the benefits of these services, and based on the info you can reach a conclusion on which could be good for you.

Software as a Service or SaaS

Software-as-a-Service, as the name suggests, allows businesses to use software for storing data, building and deploying applications. Hence, it is also known as hosted software or on-demand software. It doesn’t require physical installations by the enterprise, nor do the clients have to bother themselves with the updates or maintenance part.

Businesses no longer need to worry about server space or software licensing fees as well. Depending on the number of users and type of projects deployed and handled, SaaS subscription can be managed online completely. The software solution is greatly flexible, hence it can be suited to fit any business requirement.

Examples of cloud-based services are Office tools like Office 365, Google Docs. etc; event management software tools like Planning Pad, Eventbrite; customer management software like Salesforce CRM, Pipedrive, Zoho and so on.

Platform as a Service or PaaS

Platform-as-a-Service works almost in a similar fashion to that of SaaS, but at a different level. It is meant for companies that wish to develop and host their own applications in the cloud. Heroku is a good example of a PaaS service provider and it provides servers, operating system software, and network infrastructure. The main flaw with PaaS is that if the provider faces any downtime, it would affect your application as well. And if the provider makes any changes to the cloud environment, that could also affect your app in a negative way.

Examples of PaaS Services are AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Azure App Service, Heroku, Force.com, Google App Engine, Apache Stratos.

Infrastructure as a Service or IaaS

Infrastructure-as-a-service is a cloud service that acts almost like a virtual data centre. The service provider provides all servers, networking and storage resources, so the enterprise can perform a number of activities right from hosting websites to analyzing and monitoring big data.

Examples of IaaS providers are Amazon Web Services, Google Compute Engine, and Microsoft Azure. These providers can handle the immense computing infrastructure required by your enterprise for data mining and analysis.

On-Premise Solution

As the name suggests, an on-premise solution would be when the infrastructure (the servers) is installed and maintained within the company premises. This is a traditional approach where you purchase the licenses for the required hardware and software. Nobody has a claim to this, and you will not have to share this with anyone.

As the company grows, you would have to extend the infrastructure. Tools like Spiceworks Cloud Monitor would help you calculate your cloud computing costs.

Many people gravitate towards SaaS. Here’s why:

SaaS solutions are meant for web browsers; they are designed to provide unique advantages over ASP (Application Service Provider) in terms of performance, security, service levels, software visibility, system integration and support.

However, there is a hitch to using SaaS that lies in utilizing the various SaaS applications at the same time. The applications themselves do not gel with each other, so there will be problems while trying to integrate data from multiple sources. Yes, there are some tools that would help you overcome this, but when you use those tools, make sure to get only those most secure ones.

The differences explained in simple terms

To understand the differences better, and to know how they would apply to you, you can think of on-premise IT services like owning your car, IaaS as leasing a car, SaaS as taking a bus, and PaaS as renting a taxi.

On-premises IT services – This is like owning your own car because you have complete freedom in the model and make, but the hassle of maintenance and upgrade is all up to you.

IaaS – This is like leasing a car because you can take it from the agency and drive it all you want, but you don’t have its ownership. If you need an upgrade, you will have to get a different car with a new lease.

SaaS – This is like taking the bus that goes down a particular route, and then take a different route if you want to go a different route. You will have to share the ride, naturally.

PaaS – This is like taking a taxi to travel down the route you need. Just you can select the type of ride you need, depending on the comfort level.

Choosing the service would be dependent on the level of management you choose to have.

on premise-iaas-paas-saas

In On-Premise Software:

You manage:

Applications

Data

Runtime

Middleware

O/S

Virtualization

Servers

Storage

Networking

In IaaS:

You manage:

Applications

Data

Runtime

Middleware

O/S

The cloud service manages:

Virtualization

Servers

Storage

Networking

In PaaS

You manage:

Applications

Data

The cloud service manages:

Runtime

Middleware

O/S

Virtualization

Servers

Storage

Networking

In SaaS

You manage:

None

The cloud service manages:

Applications

Data

Runtime

Middleware

O/S

Virtualization

Servers

Storage

Networking

The following chart shows the breakup of how resources are managed by the enterprise and the cloud service provider (here, Azure).

on premise-iaas- paas -azure

Closing Thoughts

Perhaps to fulfill the business objectives you need to choose a cloud provider that would provide certain levels of security, maintenance, and upgrade. Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services are the leading cloud service providers in the market, presently.

If you need more control with your cloud service, then you can choose IaaS, but you need to have extensive expertise to handle all the service’s computing infrastructure. With SaaS, you don’t have to manage the underlying infrastructure at all. With on-premises, everything is up to you, and you will have to spend exorbitant amounts for upgrades and maintenance. PaaS makes the developer’s life easy as he gets a complete suite of tools and rich APIs to create wonderful applications, but it is the least mature one of all of them.

Or perhaps you need to go for a hybrid approach to reap the real benefits of all of them. Exercise due diligence and caution because you have to consider the cost factors and ROI while improving operations.

PratikshaTechnologyaws,azure,cloud computing,cloud computing services,iaas,mobile app development,mobile app development company,on premises,paas,saas
You have probably heard of this showdown more than once at least - which to choose among SaaS, PaaS, IaaS and on-premises solutions. The question is no longer whether you would need a cloud-based solution for enterprise anymore. It is all about when, which provider and how many services...