Types of cloud services: IaaS, PaaS, serverless, and SaaS

Most cloud computing services fall into four broad categories: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), serverless, and software as a service (SaaS). These are sometimes called the cloud computing “stack” because they build on top of one another. Knowing what they are and how they’re different makes it easier to accomplish your business goals.

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)

The most basic category of cloud computing services. With IaaS, you rent IT infrastructure—servers and virtual machines (VMs), storage, networks, operating systems—from a cloud provider on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Platform as a service (PaaS)

Platform as a service refers to cloud computing services that supply an on-demand environment for developing, testing, delivering, and managing software applications. PaaS is designed to make it easier for developers to quickly create web or mobile apps, without worrying about setting up or managing the underlying infrastructure of servers, storage, network, and databases needed for development.

Serverless computing

Overlapping with PaaS, serverless computing focuses on building app functionality without spending time continually managing the servers and infrastructure required to do so. The cloud provider handles the setup, capacity planning, and server management for you. Serverless architectures are highly scalable and event-driven, only using resources when a specific function or trigger occurs.

Software as a service (SaaS)

Software as a service is a method for delivering software applications over the Internet, on demand and typically on a subscription basis. With SaaS, cloud providers host and manage the software application and underlying infrastructure, and handle any maintenance, like software upgrades and security patching. Users connect to the application over the Internet, usually with a web browser on their phone, tablet, or PC.

Uses of cloud computing

Here are a few examples of what’s possible today with cloud services from a cloud provider:

Create cloud-native applications

Quickly build, deploy, and scale applications—web, mobile, and API. Take advantage of cloud-native technologies and approaches, such as containers, microservices architecture, API-driven communication, and DevOps.

Test and build applications

Reduce application development cost and time by using cloud infrastructures that can easily be scaled up or down.

Store, back up, and recover data

Protect your data more cost-efficiently—and at massive scale—by transferring your data over the Internet to an offsite cloud storage system that’s accessible from any location and any device.

Analyze data

Unify your data across teams, divisions, and locations in the cloud. Then use cloud services, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, to uncover insights for more informed decisions.

Stream audio and video

Connect with your audience anywhere, anytime, on any device with high-definition video and audio with global distribution.

Embed intelligence

Use intelligent models to help engage customers and provide valuable insights from the data captured.

Deliver software on demand

Also known as software as a service (SaaS), on-demand software lets you offer the latest software versions and updates around to customers—anytime they need, anywhere they are.

Schedule a call with one of our cloud experts today.

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About Plow Networks

Plow Networks is a leading IT services provider, connecting businesses to technology since 2012. With deep expertise in network, cloud, and end user support services, we partner with clients to leverage technology in ways that simplify operations and fuel growth. Plow Networks is based in Brentwood, Tennessee.

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