SaaS vs IaaS vs. PaaS: Differences, Pros, Cons and Examples

This will reduce the up-front cost that startups or smaller companies will need to get their business off the ground. SaaS is also a beneficial option for applications that are not used frequently, such as tax software. Furthermore, SaaS application users will have to collect and store data themselves, while in DaaS, this happens automatically. Generally, SaaS is considered the most user-friendly service model due to its simple and easy system and the fact that it requires very little maintenance. Through PaaS, you can build and maintain new cloud-based applications for your specific business use case, from the point of development and testing to the final step of launching and updating.

paas vs saas

Today, anyone who uses a or mobile phone almost certainly uses some form of SaaS. Email, social media, and cloud file storage solutions are examples of SaaS applications people use every day in their personal lives. Popular business or enterprise SaaS solutions include Salesforce , HubSpot , Trello , Slack , and Canva . Many applications designed originally for the desktop (e.g., Adobe Creative Suite) are now available as SaaS (e.g., Adobe Creative Cloud). Compared to traditional IT, IaaS gives customers more flexibility build out computing resources as needed, and to scale them up or down in response to spikes or slow-downs in traffic. IaaS lets customers avoid the up-front expense and overhead of purchasing and maintaining its own on-premises data center.

Our as-a-service solutions are open source and backed by our award-winning support and more than 25 years of experience and collaborative innovation. With Red Hat, you can arrange your people, processes, and technologies to build, deploy, and manage apps that are ready for the cloud—and the future. What SaaS saves you in time and maintenance, however, it could cost you in control, security, and performance, so it’s important to choose a provider you can trust. PaaS is a way that developers can create a framework to build and customize their web-based applications on.

IaaS Characteristics

With PaaS, you don’t need to buy and install the necessary hardware and software components for building and maintaining the application development lifecycle. The development teams can start the core development quickly by tapping into the CSP’s PaaS, speeding up the time to market. Developers can access fully-configured environments that automate the application development lifecycle, including integration, deployment, testing, and security. Besides the essential IT infrastructure, CSPs may also provide detailed billing, security, load balancing, and storage resiliency features. Businesses can use the IaaS model to support testing and development, high-performance computing , and hosting websites, among others. Platform as a Service model facilitates a platform that allows end-users to develop, run, and manage applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure.

Start-ups or smaller companies that may not have the human capital, time, or money to create and manage personalized software applications for themselves can effectively use Saas. SaaS will enable you, as a start-up, to quickly pick and choose what tools you need to use to begin to grow your business. Additionally, any short-term project would benefit from SaaS because it provides a fast, affordable, and flexible solution to many problems.

However, it’s important to do your research and see which one is right for your unique requirements. Whichever option you choose, IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS all provide modern alternatives to the more traditional on-site solutions. You have to manage on-site solutions yourself and constantly check to make sure they reflect your changing needs. It ultimately depends on the type of business you run and the level of management you need. Think of IaaS as renting a house, while using an in-house solution is like owning your home outright. With IaaS, you pay a monthly rental fee and if something goes wrong, the provider is responsible for putting it right.

SaaS is by far the most common cloud-based service, allowing companies and consumers to access cloud-based tools for everyday use. PaaS is the ideal solution if you want to create applications or software. The supplier manages the system, meaning all you need to be concerned about is the data and code you develop. Plus, as it’s in the cloud, multiple developers can work on projects at any one time. PaaS provides a platform you can use to develop, create, and launch your own cloud-based solutions and apps. The provider supplies the infrastructure and the tools you need, but you create the software.

Both PaaS and SaaS allow the organization to build new products on top of their existing IT environments. For example, PaaS providers host the hardware and software, allowing developers to accelerate the development and deployment of applications. This is an on-demand service that allows organizations to access cloud-hosted virtual servers, networking, and storage resources.

Metrics Every SaaS Company Should Care About

Software as a Service, also known as cloud application services, represents the most commonly utilized option for businesses in the cloud market. SaaS utilizes the internet to deliver applications, which are managed by a third-party vendor, to its users. A majority of SaaS applications run directly through your web browser, which means they do not require any downloads or installations on the client side. Also known as cloud application services, Software-as-a-Service is the most popular cloud service used by businesses.

SaaS provides numerous advantages to employees and companies by greatly reducing the time and money spent on tedious tasks such as installing, managing, and upgrading software. This frees up plenty of time for technical staff to spend on more pressing matters and issues within the organization. PAAS is not ready to use applications while SAAS comes from third party providers as read to use applications. PAAS is hosted anywhere in the developer’s system, whereas SAAS is hosted in a remote server by the third-party provider. The cost of SAAS includes maintenance, security, and all the compliance, whereas, in PAAS, we have to pay for each service individually.

paas vs saas

In a PaaS model, the CSP hosts the database on behalf of the organization. This can pose a security risk to application users in cases where there is an outage and the CSP is unreachable. While developers control the code and the databases, they cannot address emerging issues arising from compute, storage, and networking pros and cons of paas resources. Because of its inbuilt frameworks, PaaS simplifies how developers build, deploy, manage, and secure APIs. SaaS provides a readymade solution that doesn’t need any extra input from developers. On the other hand, PaaS also gives developers significant flexibility so that they can build their own systems.

The Ultimate Guide to Software as a Service (SaaS)

In addition to hosting the software, PaaS provides the underlying infrastructure, such as the operating system and database. Another key difference between PaaS and SaaS is that PaaS is often offered on a pay-as-you-go basis, while SaaS is often billed on a recurring subscription basis. That means that you only pay for what you use with PaaS, whereas with SaaS, you’ll be charged a recurring fee for use of the software, even if you don’t use it very often. But in some cases, any of the three ‘as-a-service’ models will offer a viable solution. In these cases, organizations typically compare the alternatives based on the management ease they offer, vs. the control they give up. Today, just about any personal or employee productivity application is available as SaaS; specific use cases are too numerous to mention .

SaaS, or software as a service, is on-demand access to ready-to-use, cloud-hosted application software. The complexity of connecting the data stored within an onsite data center or off-premise cloud is increased, which may affect which apps and services can be adopted with the PaaS offering. Particularly when not every component of a legacy IT system is built for the cloud, integration with existing services and infrastructure may be a challenge.

paas vs saas

It can be a good fit for startups that don’t have the time or resources to build their own custom software. You can choose from a wide range of software solutions, from accounting and payroll software, to customer relationship management software. And, since it’s hosted on the cloud, you don’t have to worry about scalability.

Single vs Multi-Tenant SaaS Architecture

In this regard, IT teams must ensure that applications and OSs are working perfectly to achieve the utmost security. With PaaS, you can run an app anywhere on any platform, due to high scalability. On the other hand, with IaaS, apps are first made in the cloud environment and you can reap the full benefits of cloud functionality. The performance of the language’s constructs is attributed to its persistent data structures and transactional memory.

  • The most significant disadvantage of PaaS is that you can only control what’s built on the platform.
  • SaaS allows the user to access software and data online from multiple devices.
  • PaaS can also offer additional services that improve applications such as security, scheduling, and directory.
  • However, SaaS companies deliver their software or apps to the end-user, whereas PaaS gives you a platform to build customizable apps.
  • Companies having such resources may feel these things are not within their core competencies and are not worth building or operating on their own.

Every type of cloud-computing is different and has pros and cons that vary from the rest. Understanding the structure of each one will help you determine the right approach for your business. The most significant disadvantage of PaaS is that you can only control what’s built on the platform. If there’s an outage or issue with the hardware or operating system, the software will go out with it. Because it provides the greatest amount of control, IaaS tools are also the most hands-on. IaaS firms only provide the servers and its API, and everything else must be configured on your end.

SaaS vs IaaS

SaaS is a software distribution framework where the CSP hosts the application and database on behalf of the customer and makes it available over the internet on a subscription basis. Unlike the PaaS framework, where in-house developers have access to the code, the CSP hosts everything — including the back-end IT infrastructure, databases, and the source code. SaaS is when a third-party service provider delivers software and applications through their own servers and infrastructure.


PaaS doesn’t deliver software over the internet, but rather a platform that developers can use to create online software and apps. IaaS products deliver storage systems, networks, and servers virtually to enterprise businesses. Organizations can access and manage their data through a dashboard and connect it to the IaaS provider’s API.

However, SaaS companies deliver their software or apps to the end-user, whereas PaaS gives you a platform to build customizable apps. Besides providing a development framework, organizations can also use PaaS tools for analyzing and mining their data. PaaS can also offer additional services that improve applications such as security, scheduling, and directory. Provides resources much larger than the customer’s requirements at any time.

IaaS, or infrastructure as a service, is a cloud-based service that allows resources to be delivered to organizations virtually . IaaS tools help organizations build and manage servers, networks, operating systems, and data storage without needing to buy hardware. The cloud computing model where a third-party provider provides both software and hardware tools is called PAAS . The tools are provided and used by developers for web development. Third-party providers give applications, and these applications are made available to customers on the internet.

You will likely need a bachelor’s degree to be accepted into cloud development training, ideally in a major related to software, data, or computer science. The most common majors for pursuing cloud computing are software engineering, data science, and computer science. Any other related discipline can be sufficient as long as it still covers the computer programming languages commonly used for cloud development. Since SaaS is usually paid for through a subscription model, you will only have to pay for application software when you need it for short-term projects.