Cloud Computing models: SaaS vs IaaS vs PaaS

Published 05.02.2021

Author Hrittik Roy

Categories Engineering


Companies embrace cloud computing worldwide, and the forecasted size of 1025.9 billion USD by 2026 says the same story. Owning and managing infrastructure comes with a considerable cost and improper utilization of human resources. Companies are meant to foster innovation, and with traditional IT, most of their time is spent on proper management of infrastructure.

Cloud providers come into the picture and help you reduce IT management’s cost by up to 30%. The other advantage, especially for startups, is that they can focus on innovation with limited capital and don’t have to worry about buying and managing servers. Moreover, the cloud provides features that can help you expand your server as your company grows.

Every business has unique needs, and the need for cloud is a mix of various factors.

This post will go through the computing models designed to keep in mind these businesses’ unique requirements. By the end, you would be confident about which computing model your business needs to succeed. Keep in mind each model gives you flexibility way better than on-premises hosting.

Infrastructure as a Service

IaaS provides you maximum flexibility among all the models when you want to host apps with custom architecture and provide a general data center for data storage. You can imagine IaaS as your virtual data center, which you have full command via dashboard or API.


Let’s open a restaurant, and our specialty is baking pizzas. In an on-premises model, you need to own everything. Think of it as being on a secluded island, and now you have to manage everything from sitting arrangements, fire to ingredients like dough, cheese, etc.

As you can imagine making cheese from milk, smashing tomatoes for ketchup, and one by one, everything becomes so complicated and time taking. Probably you need to hire more people to do all these extra things—a better way is to buy ingredients.

Well, with laaS now, we don’t have to worry about making the ingredients from scratch.                We buy them, and we are good to make pizza, just like our ‘made at home’ pizzas.

Examples of IaaS:

Platform as a Service

PaaS, a model, built on IaaS removes the need for system administration. Quite helpful for developers who want to develop an application without thinking and managing the Infrastructure. As a developer, you don’t have to worry about updating systems or configuring them; your provider does all that for you. Think of all the hosting providers as an example.


This is quite an interesting visualization. Imagine this as a food chain that serves yummy pizza. You are not a good chef who can cook as yummy pizza like them.

Well, with PaaS now, you partner with them and serve the same pizza in your restaurant. Add in soda if your customer wants them, and don’t forget to keep them accompanied in a soothing ambiance. Basically, you sell the experience.

Examples of PaaS

Software as a Service

SaaS is a ‘ready to deliver’ solution that solves customers’ problems. It’s built on PaaS or IaaS depending upon use cases. Modern SaaS applications are delivered over the internet without downloading any software or needing to configure them.

An organization can’t develop all things on its own. With SaaS, everything becomes simple and more optimized. For example, we here in p3r. use Notion to manage our majority of workflows.


Think of it as you opening a franchise of your awesome pizza chain, and every time a pizza is sold, you get a cut without having to manage anything. You might build on top of the franchise to attract more users. Like, add some promotion. Uber Eats, a SaaS does this but in a different way.

Examples of SaaS

Final Thoughts

Each cloud model offers unique features and functionalities, and knowing the differences is crucial for your organization. There is a cloud service for you, even if your needs are unique.

I hope this post helped you to clarify each of the models. No matter which choice you select, the future of business and technology is moving to the cloud.

Happy Building!

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