More Acronyms to learn – IaaS, SaaS, PaaS

As more and more cloud technologies are developed they have introduced more IT acronyms for everyone to learn.  Listed below are definitions and examples of these common cloud terms.

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
    • Infrastructure as a Service leverages cloud based hardware solutions.  Here you can create networks, Virtual Machines and Storage.  This model is effective when you need to do quick prototyping or have unknown future storage needs.  Typically, you only pay for the amount of infrastructure that you use.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
    • Software as a Service are applications that are completely hosted outside your network.  Salesforce.com is a great example.  You generally pay a month fee per user to access the software.  This model works well when you do not want to host the physical hardware and software onsite but need the functionality.  Microsoft’s Office 365 is a SaaS based solution for Email and Office products.  From a business value perspective you do not have to maintain servers, install patches or perform backups on these solutions which enables your IT staff to focus on other projects which can provide business value.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)
    • Platform as a Service is a model where an organization creates the software solution, deployment and configuration of the application.  The platform is provided by a 3rd party delivering the infrastructure such as network, storage and servers.  The Force.com platform is a good example of a PaaS.

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