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SaaS Vs PaaS Vs IaaS: Know What’s the Difference and How to Choose

IaaS PaaS SaaS

The cloud is a popular thing for small businesses, large corporations, and everything in between, but it is still a big notion that covers a lot of internet ground. Understanding the distinctions and benefits of the various cloud services is crucial when you start to think about moving your company to the cloud, whether for application or infrastructure deployment. There are typically three types of cloud service models(SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS) to contrast, despite the fact that as-a-service types are expanding daily:
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
We’ll examine the concept, advantages, and limitations of each of these. In order for you to make the greatest decision for your firm, we’ll also assist you in understanding the primary differences between SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS.
So, let’s dive into it.

What is SaaS?

Software as a Service usually referred to as cloud application services is the most popular choice for companies using the cloud. SaaS makes advantage of the internet to provide its users with apps that are controlled by a third-party provider. The bulk of SaaS applications is browser-based, meaning they don’t need to be downloaded or installed on the client side.

SaaS Delivery

SaaS eliminates the need for IT professionals to download and install software on each individual computer thanks to its web delivery methodology. With SaaS, vendors take care of all potential technical problems, including data, middleware, servers, and storage, which streamlines corporate maintenance and support.

Examples of SaaS

Industry applications like the following serve as typical examples of SaaS applications:

Advantages of SaaS

  • You don’t have to install and run software programmes on your computer when using SaaS. When you log into your account online, everything is accessible online. As long as there is an internet connection, you can often access the programme whenever you want from any device.
  • Anyone else using the software is subject to the same rules. Each member of your team will have a unique login that corresponds to their degree of access. You are no longer required to hire an IT professional to install the software on numerous computers scattered across your workplace or to worry about keeping all of the systems’ software up to date. Everything is handled on the Cloud.
  • The payment mechanism is yet another significant benefit. The majority of SaaS companies use a subscription business model with a set, all-inclusive monthly account charge. Without having to worry about unforeseen costs, you can budget for the programme knowing exactly how much it will cost.
  • Services for maintenance, compliance, and security may be included in subscriptions. If you need a basic package, SaaS providers also supply pre-packaged, straightforward solutions that are easy to set up. Larger enterprises can choose from more complicated solutions. Within a few hours, you might have the essential software running, and you’d have access to help and assistance along the way.

SaaS Limitations

1. Interoperability

If the SaaS software is not made to adhere to open standards for integration, integration with current apps and services may be a significant challenge. In this situation, firms might have to create their own integration systems or cut back on their reliance on SaaS services, which isn’t always feasible.

2. Lock-in of vendors

Vendors could make it simple to sign up for a service but challenging to leave it. The data, for instance, might not be technically or economically transferable between SaaS apps from different suppliers without incurring a considerable expense or requiring in-house engineering rework. Although not every vendor uses the same tools, protocols, or APIs, the functionalities may be essential for some business operations.

3. No support for integration

Deep connections with on-premise software, data, and services are necessary for many enterprises. The SaaS vendor might only provide a limited amount of support in this area, leaving businesses with little choice but to devote internal resources to creating and managing connectors. The SaaS app’s or other dependant services’ ability to be used may be further constrained by the complexity of integrations.

4. Data protection

To fulfil the required software functionality, SaaS apps’ backend data centres may need to exchange large amounts of data. Sensitive company data migration to SaaS services based on public clouds may result in decreased security and compliance as well as considerable costs for massive data workload migration.

5. Customisation

SaaS apps have limited customisation options. Users could be restricted to particular features, performance, and integrations, as provided by the vendor since there is no one size, fits all solution. On-premise solutions, in comparison, offer a high level of customisability and come with a variety of software development kits (SDKs).

6. Lack of control

SaaS solutions includes giving the third-party service provider control. These restrictions apply to the data and governance as well as the software, regardless of its version, updates, or visual appearance. The capabilities and functionality of the SaaS service may need customers to modify existing data security and governance structures.

7. Limits on the features

SaaS programmes frequently have standardised forms, thus choosing features may require making a compromise with regard to security, expense, performance, or other business policies. Furthermore, switching suppliers or services to meet future feature requirements may not be feasible due to vendor lock-in, cost, or security issues.

8. Performance and downtime

Your clients now rely on vendors to maintain the SaaS service’s security and performance because the vendor owns and controls the SaaS service. Even with sufficient service level agreement (SLA) protections in place, planned and unplanned maintenance, cyber-attacks, or network problems may have an influence on the SaaS app’s functionality.

IaaS PaaS SaaS

What is PaaS?

Platform as a Service (PaaS), another name for cloud platform services, offers cloud components to specific software while being primarily utilised for applications. Developers who use PaaS receive a framework on which to construct specialised applications. While the developers can continue to handle the apps, the company or a third-party supplier can manage all servers, storage, and networking.

PaaS Delivery

PaaS has a similar distribution strategy to SaaS, with the exception that it offers a platform for developing software rather than distributing it over the internet. Since this platform is offered over the internet, developers are free to focus on creating the product rather than having to worry about infrastructure, storage, software upgrades, or operating systems.

Businesses can design and develop apps that are integrated into the PaaS using specialised software components thanks to PaaS. These programmes, which are sometimes referred to as middleware, exhibit cloud features such as scalability and high availability.

Examples of PaaS

Typical examples of PaaS subcategories are:

  • Load balancers, firewalls
  • Middleware – Application servers, HTTP servers
  • Runtimes
  • Libraries, and Integrated development environment (IDE)

Advantages of PaaS

  • Developers who are creating software or applications are the main users of PaaS.
  • When developing apps, developers don’t have to start from scratch thanks to a PaaS solution, which saves them time and money by preventing them from having to write voluminous code.
  • Businesses that want to develop distinctive applications without spending a fortune or shouldering all the duties frequently go for PaaS. It’s comparable to the distinction between developing your own venue and renting one to stage a performance.
  • The location remains the same, but what you produce there is unique.

Limitations of PaaS

1. Data protection

Using PaaS solutions, businesses can run their own apps and services, but the data stored on vendor-controlled, third-party cloud servers creates security risks and issues. As clients might not be able to implement services with particular hosting regulations, your security options might be constrained.

2. Integrations

The ability to deploy certain apps and services with the PaaS offering may be impacted by the complexity of integrating the data held in an on-premise data centre or an off-premise cloud. Integration with current services and infrastructure may be difficult, especially when not every component of a legacy IT system is designed for the cloud.

3. Lock-in of vendors

A particular PaaS solution’s current business and technological requirements could not hold true in the future. It might not be viable to transition to different PaaS choices without having an impact on the business if the vendor has not provided practical migration strategies.

4. Modifying existing systems

For already-existing legacy apps and services, PaaS might not be a plug-and-play option. Instead, a number of adjustments to setup and customisation may be important for legacy systems to function with the PaaS service. The complicated IT structure that results from the modification may completely negate the value of the PaaS investment.

5. Runtime problems

Along with having restrictions related to particular programmes and services, PaaS solutions might not be suitable for the frameworks and languages of your choice. It’s possible that certain framework versions won’t work well or be available with the PaaS service. It’s possible that customers won’t be able to use the platform to create bespoke dependencies.

6. A constraint on operations

PaaS solutions may not be suitable for customised cloud operations with management automation workflows because the platform tends to restrict operational capabilities for end users. The loss of operational control may have an impact on how PaaS solutions are managed, provisioned, and run, despite the fact that this is meant to lighten the operational burden on end users.

What is IaaS?

IaaS, or Infrastructure as a Service, refers to cloud infrastructure services that use highly automated and scalable computing resources. For accessing and managing computers, networking, storage, and other services, IaaS is entirely self-service. Instead of needing to purchase gear entirely, IaaS enables organisations to buy resources as needed and on demand.

IaaS Delivery

Through the use of virtualisation technologies, IaaS provides cloud computing infrastructure, including servers, networks, operating systems, and storage. IaaS clients often receive these cloud servers through a dashboard or an API, providing them with total control over the entire infrastructure. IaaS offers the same technologies and functionalities as a conventional data centre without the need to operate or maintain all of it physically. The servers and storage for IaaS clients are still accessible directly, but they are all hosted by a “virtual data centre” on the cloud.

IaaS clients are in charge of managing elements including applications, runtime, OSes, middleware, and data, as opposed to SaaS or PaaS users. The servers, hard drives, networking, virtualisation, and storage, however, are managed by IaaS providers. Even beyond the virtualisation layer, some companies provide additional services like message queuing or databases.

Examples of PaaS

Typical examples of IaaS categories of physical and virtualised resources:

  • Compute
  • Load balancers
  • Network
  • Storage

Advantages of IaaS

  • On-premise IT infrastructure maintenance can be expensive and labour-intensive because it sometimes necessitates a sizable initial investment in physical gear. Additionally, you’ll probably need to hire knowledgeable outside IT professionals to keep the gear updated and in working order.
  • With IaaS, you may purchase what you require as you require it and add to your purchase as your organisation expands.
  • IaaS solutions are very versatile and scalable, and you can change them whenever necessary without costing you money.
  • IaaS also gives you back control over the infrastructure, which is an additional benefit. You won’t need to depend on an outside IT contractor because you can access and manage IaaS products on your own, without needing to be an IT expert.


IaaS PaaS SaaS

Limitations of IaaS

The IaaS model shares several drawbacks with the SaaS and PaaS models, including data security, cost overruns, vendor lock-in, and challenges with customisation. IaaS has specific drawbacks, including:

1. Security

While the apps, data, middleware, and OS platform are under the customer’s control, security risks might still originate from the host or other virtual machines (VMs). The data connection between the host infrastructure and VMs may be made available to unauthorised parties due to insider threats or system flaws.

2. Operating legacy systems on the cloud

Although consumers can use legacy apps in the cloud, it’s possible that the infrastructure wasn’t built to give appropriate security measures for the legacy apps. Before moving old apps to the cloud, minor improvements are important. If these changes are not sufficiently vetted for security and performance in the IaaS systems, they may introduce new security risks.

3. Internal training and resources

The workers may need more help and training to learn how to handle the infrastructure efficiently. Data backup, business continuity, and security will be the responsibility of the customer. However, without sufficient training and internal resources, managing the resources may be challenging due to insufficient control over the infrastructure.

4. Tenant-wide security

The provider must ensure that other customers cannot access data deposited to storage assets by previous customers since the hardware resources are dynamically allocated across users as made accessible. Customers must also rely on the vendor to guarantee that virtual machines (VMs) are sufficiently separated within the multitenant cloud architecture.

Difference between SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS

Basis Of

IaaS PaaS SaaS
Full form Infrastructure as a service. Platform as a service.

Software as a service.


The network architects use IaaS. PaaS is used by developers. End users use SaaS.
Access Through IaaS, you can use things like virtual computers, and virtual storage. PaaS grants deployment and application development tools access to the run-time environment.

The end-user has access thanks to SAAS.


It is a service paradigm that offers online access to virtualised computing resources. It uses a cloud computing approach to supply the tools needed for application development. It is a service model in cloud computing that hosts software to make it available to clients.
Technical understanding It requires technical knowledge. The fundamental setup needs some familiarity.

No technical skills are needed because the company takes care of everything.


Researchers and developers like it a lot. It is well-liked among programmers who concentrate on creating apps and programmes. File sharing, email, and networking are all popular with both consumers and businesses.
User Controls Operating System, Runtime, Middleware, and Application data Data of the application



In this blog, we compared SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS, the three primary cloud computing service models. We examined the key distinctions, examples, and deciding elements between them.
Your company must be aware of the distinctions between the various cloud models because they each offer unique advantages and functionalities. There is a cloud service for you whether you require complete control over your entire infrastructure without having to physically manage it, cloud-based software for storage alternatives, an easy platform that enables you to construct bespoke applications, or all three.
The future of business and technology is cloud migration, no matter which option from SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS you select.


1. What does SaaS stands for?

Ans: SaaS stands for Software as a service.

2. What does PaaS stands for?

Ans: PaaS stands for Platform as a service.

3. What is the major difference between IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS?

Ans: Resources like virtual computers and virtual storage are accessible through IaaS. PaaS grants deployment and application development tools access to the run-time environment. The end-user has access due to SaaS. It is a service paradigm that offers online access to virtualised computing resources.

4. What does IaaS stands for?

Ans: IaaS stands for Infrastructure as a service.

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