What are the Most Common Cloud Computing Service Delivery Models?
This blog was originally published by Alert Logic here.
Written by Angelica Torres-Corral, Alert Logic.
Cloud computing has transformed the way companies use technology, and your organization stands to gain a lot from migrating to a cloud solution. But which service delivery model is right for you?
Let’s look at the three main types of cloud computing service delivery models and how you can use them.
Common Cloud Computing Service Delivery Models
Cloud computing services are broken down into three distinct categories:
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
While they’re all driven by cloud computing, each model operates differently and provides companies with vastly different services.
1. Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS is the most well-known of the three because most people use SaaS applications every day, whether they know it or not. When people talk about “the cloud,” they’re often talking about SaaS applications like Google Drive, Dropbox, or even Netflix.
Some key benefits of SaaS include:
- It’s lightweight: Running SaaS applications doesn’t require as many computing resources as on-premises software.
- No need for software updates: The vendor manages and updates SaaS applications, so everyone has access to the most up-to-date version at all times.
- No more software licensing: Premium SaaS applications follow the subscription model, which means you don’t have to worry about buying and renewing software licenses.
2. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
IaaS was developed to help companies transition away from traditional on-premises infrastructure to cloud service providers.
Benefits of using IaaS include:
- Greater flexibility: IaaS lets you access infrastructure services on demand. You can scale infrastructure to support business growth and reduce it when needed.
- Cost savings: Your computing infrastructure is provided on a subscription basis, meaning your vendor is the one responsible for infrastructure management.
- Reliability: Your assets are stored in a remote data center, where it’s managed by cloud service providers. This service model all but eliminates the threat of a single point of failure.
3. Platform as a Service (PaaS)
This type of cloud service delivery model enables organizations to create, run, and manage cloud-based software without the need for onsite infrastructure.
Benefits of PaaS include:
- Improved efficiency: Since a third party handles your IT infrastructure needs, businesses can spend more time focusing on developing, testing, and deploying applications.
- Simplicity: PaaS gives businesses a platform with development tools, so they can develop, test, and host applications in the same environment.
- Better collaboration: PaaS requires teams to develop over the internet, eliminating the need to transfer files and manually sync data. Everyone works with the same up-to-date information at all times.
Which Cloud Computing Model Is Right for Your Business?
All three cloud models provide businesses with an excellent alternative to on-premises solutions. But each cloud computing model comes with its own benefits and drawbacks.
When you should use SaaS
SaaS is the best model for companies that need applications, but don’t have a need for developing an up-to-date infrastructure. As such, this makes SaaS a great excellent solution for small- and medium-sized businesses that:
- Need to support remote work
- Frequently require teams to collaborate on projects
- Don’t have the resources or need to deploy on-premises hardware
Keep in mind that SaaS prioritizes configuration over customization.
When you should use IaaS
If your organization requires more computing power but you don’t have the time or resources to upgrade your on-premises IT infrastructure, IaaS can help.
Then once an IaaS vendor is selected, you need to decide which type of service model you want:
- A private cloud that’s used exclusively by your organization.
- A public cloud that’s used by multiple organizations.
- A hybrid cloud that uses both public and private infrastructure.
When you should use PaaS
If your organization requires a flexible computing platform, PaaS is your best bet, as it gives you the tools to quickly build, test, and deploy applications, so you can develop iteratively and modify software based on customer feedback.
Here are some reasons why you may want to implement PaaS:
- You have projects that require collaborating with multiple developers.
- Your business model requires you to have shorter development cycles.
- You need a solution that enables you to scale your applications as needed, without putting a strain on internal resources.
Finding the Right Cloud Service for Your Organization
Successful cloud migration doesn’t have to be hard. Once you understand your company’s needs and strategic goals, you can choose a model that complements your business outcomes and delivers value to your organization.
Angelica Torres-Corral is a product marketing expert at Alert Logic. She brings over 15 years’ experience in security, ranging from data loss prevention and user and behavioral analytics to cloud technologies. She holds an MBA from California State University, Fresno and a bachelor’s degree from University of Chicago.
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