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Cloud Stack SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS: Which is Right for You?

“Cloud computing” is an umbrella term—pun intended—for a variety of different programs and services, including Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). When referring to all three at once, they are generally called the “cloud stack.”

There is a lot of value in transitioning your document storage and businesses processes to the cloud, but first, you have to decide what kind you’re going to migrate to because there are countless options spread across the three layers of the cloud stack.

IMS SecureIT will help you navigate the alphabet soup of acronyms, and it will become clear which option for cloud computing is right for your business.

Software as a Service

At the top of the cloud stack is software as a service (SaaS), which is, put simply, a cloud-based software accessed via the internet. The easiest example most people would be familiar with in a SaaS platform is Dropbox. It’s a cloud-based storage software that gives any user with internet access the ability to access their files.

Software services are typically licensed to businesses as an on-demand service through a subscription or a pay-as-you-go model. The software is managed by the provider, which means that individual customers don’t have to worry about managing software upgrades or security patches. Software as a Service

SaaS solutions for businesses can range in flexibility and customization capabilities. They can either be extremely scalable for your business or personalization can be limited. Be sure to consider flexibility and scalability when comparing software solutions.

SaaS is a rapidly growing option in the cloud stack for many businesses because it allows you to focus on using the software instead of worrying about upgrades and management.

Platform as a Service

Platform as a Service allows you to create web applications without having to buy and maintain the software or infrastructure underneath it. It’s similar to SaaS, but instead of delivering software over the internet, PaaS is a platform that allows you to create that software. An example you may be familiar with is the Google App Engine.

If your business creates a lot of software, but you cannot afford to—or don’t want to—maintain the platform used to develop software, PaaS is a great option.

PaaS offers a web-based user-interface that would allow your team to create and test different applications without worrying about operating systems, software updates, or storage limitations. It’s a flexible solution for businesses that want to develop and deploy apps cost-effectively.

If you have multiple developers working on the same project, PaaS offers speed, flexibility, and scalability depending on how your project grows.

Infrastructure as a Service

Infrastructure as a Service is a way of providing cloud computing infrastructure, like servers, networks, and operating systems as an on-demand service. Instead of buying servers and dedicating precious office space to store them and electricity to power them, you can fully out-source them.

An example of IaaS you might be familiar with is Amazon Web Services (AWS), which offers a cloud computing platform most websites run on.

IaaS typically allows for dynamic scaling, so you can grow your usage of the IaaS as your business needs grow too. The cost is often variable with a utility pricing model of pay-as-you-go, making it ideal for growing businesses that can’t anticipate their future hardware needs.

Discover Your Cloud Computing Solutions with IMS SecureIT

“Cloud computing” doesn’t describe a single service, and you likely already use a little bit of SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS without realizing it. If you need help configuring a comprehensive cloud computing solution for your business, the team at IMS Technology Group can help.

Contact us today to take the first step toward a flexible cloud solution.


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