…and in fact, it is another IaaS, PaaS, and Saas explanation. You may be familiar with the -as-a-Service terminology for cloud computing services delivery. As it’s good to be clear about what we mean by what here on Netstero.com, let’s go through this topic together. This is the most common classification used by all of the biggest cloud services providers like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform. So, this is a general concept:

Models of cloud services delivery - on-premise/private cloud, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

On-premise / private cloud – your own cloud computing

The “private cloud” term means the same as “on-premise”. You (or your company), as a final user, own the whole technology stack. It starts down at the bottom with the assurance of power supply, climate control, fire prevention, and other data center facility features. All IT hardware is provided and maintained in-house in this model. This aspect is in fact what makes many organizations stick with this model at least partially. They have 100% control of where their data is stored and processed. They are willing often to sacrifice costs, sometimes redundancy, and even complex security features for that. This is the starting point from where you may wish to move services to a public cloud.

IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service

IaaS is the lowest of the public cloud models. With IaaS you don’t own the infrastructure, on which you operate not the datacenter it sits in. It means that you don’t have to take care of all of the datacenter issues like a power supply or climate control. You get all of the networking, servers, and storage together with their maintenance, security, and modernization processes. Cloud service providers sell all of them to you as a service. What you cover are installation and configuration of the operating system and all other software components needed for your use case. You are responsible for the maintenance and updates of all applications installed by you. If your software causes any trouble, the vendor comes to you or even blocks your services to secure other clients. It’s still quite convenient, as a lot of work needed to keep the hardware in good shape is performed by the provider. The provider usually does it on a big scale. It lowers the unit price and makes it easier to deliver a highly available environment. If you wish to use quite standard components and prerequisites for your solution, you may be interested to go for higher models of cloud services delivery.

PaaS – Platform as a Service

In the PaaS model, the vendor takes responsibility not only for hardware but also for a wide range of software components needed for your application to run. You get an operating system, database system, and many other prerequisites. The vendor manages maintenance and security of them to keep them up to date and secure. All you take care of is your application and your data. The most common version of this model are web hosting services. You just upload your website there. It runs on OS and web servers provided by the hosting company. You don’t install database software too. You just upload your data to the preinstalled database server. This is the model where you delegate as much as you can, but still are using your own software or a highly customized one. If you want some particular application delivered, many service providers can give you an even more complex solution.

SaaS – Software as a Service

This is classified as one of the models of cloud service delivery, but many users don’t even see it as a cloud service. As a user you just see it as an application available to you via the Internet. The vendor takes care of literally everything together with the application. You can put your data there of course, but only in the way that the vendor lets you do it in the constraints of the application. You cannot modify the application in any other way that is designed in the application itself. If you need more customizations, you have to ask the provider to implement them for you. Utilizing SaaS often doesn’t even require much assistance from the IT staff – as the final user you can purchase and use it mostly by yourself.

Other variants

As the …-as-a-Service terminology got popular and even fashionable, some companies began naming their services “-as-a-Service” to sell them in a trendy – cloudy convention. You can find SecaaS (Security-as-a-Service), DBaaS (database-as-a-service) or WaaS (Windows-as-a-Service). If you see any of these, you may want to double-check what it really means. Most often it would fit some of the wide definitions, which we presented to you above. Sometimes it means that the licenses of the software are sold in the subscription model. Just be sure what you’re buying before paying.


This post is to present you only some definitions and concepts about the cloud services delivery model. If you’re looking for any deeper analysis, please stay tuned to Netstero.pl, as we will cover it in upcoming posts!

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[…] it has been properly prepared beforehand, it’s just the beginning. As you may see in the It might look like another IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS explanation post, regardless of which service delivery model you choose, the data is always yours. It is […]