Thanks to the development of technology, cloud computing has became an industry with great potential in the technological development process. This new concept born in 2007 had aroused a technological revolution through 14 years of development. You may have discovered that cloud computing has expanded its functions in recent years, including IaaS, PaaS, SaaS.
So what are IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, and how they do play an important role in cloud computing? First of all, let us look at the definition of cloud computing.
The ‘cloud’ refers to a shared pool of configurable computing resources. It plays a vital role in integrating computing resources and realizing automatic management through online platforms. This means that users of cloud computing can reduce labor costs, and at the same time can achieve resource utilization efficiency.
Cloud computing means more in commercial activities. Through resource pooling, like all other commercial resources, the computing resources have become purchasable and have flexible liquidity. Their low prices also make them one of the top options for software developers or engineers.
As is shown in the picture below, there are 3 layers of cloud computing, including Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). I will introduce them more specifically in the following context.
2. Layers of Cloud Computing
To illustrate the concept of the 3 layers of cloud computing, let us begin with an example introduced by Albert Barron, an executive software client-architect of IBM.
If you are a caterer who plans to start a pizza business and you want to make handmade pizzas from start to the end completely on your own. But, the complicated preparation work may make you feel stressed. Therefore, you have decided to outsource part of your work to reduce your workload. Now, you have been provided with three plans:
Plan A. IaaS
The outsourcers provide you with resources including kitchen, oven, gas, etc. You can use these infrastructures to make pizzas.
Plan B. PaaS
Expect the infrastructures, the outsourcers also provide you Pizza crusts. All you have to do is to sprinkle your ingredients on the crust and let the outsourcer bake it for you. In other words, once you have customized your needs, the cloud platform will help you realize them.
Plan C. SaaS
The outsourcer has already prepared pizzas for you without your participation. All you have to do is to sell them. You can package them and print your logo on them if you would like to.
If we map the production of pizza to systemetic processes, we can easily see the differences between IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS.
According to the picture shown above, it is obvious that the workload is decreasing during the service application process. IaaS > PaaS > SaaS
Simply put, IaaS is the bottom layer of cloud services and mainly provides some basic resources. Users need to control the bottom layer by themselves to realize the use logic of infrastructure. For example, Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace, etc. In addition to being unable to change the infrastructure, users can install any operating system or other software on the infrastructure at will. However, the installation and use process are relatively complicated, with high maintenance costs.
PaaS provides runtime, which simplifies hardware and operating system details and is able to seamlessly scaling. Developers only need to foucs on their business logic instead of the bottom layer logic. Platforms including Google App Engine and AWS Elastic Beanstalk show this feature very well. Generally speaking, PaaS refers to updating cloud-built operating software for the users. Users only need to download and install the software they need on the built platform.
SaaS means leaving the development, management, and deployment process to the outsourcers, therefore release the worries regarding technological matters. All the resources provided are ready to be used at any time. The Internet services that ordinary users come into contact with are almost all SaaS, such as Facebook / Twitter / Instagram, etc. Its advantage is that resource utilization efficiency can be highly optimized. Because all applications such as the operating system have been deployed in the cloud, users can log in directly without any other operations.
All in all, what IaaS, PaaS, or Saas can do is to make our work and life more convenient. The charm of technological progress also lies here. In the world of cloud computing, what can be shared is not only information but also technology. Even if there is no maintainance staff who are specialized in the cloud computing industry, the multiple-choice service platform of cloud computing allows you to easily use its full functions. This advanced technology can help reduce the burden on your work and life.
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