Important Differences to Know – SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS

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Important Differences to Know – SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS

If you have been thinking of moving your business model to the cloud, you may have heard of the cloud service models SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. Understanding the differences between SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS is important to ensure that you choose the right model for your business.

What is SaaS?

SaaS, or Software as a Service, is a cloud computing model that allows users to connect and use cloud-native applications over the Internet. With SaaS, you do not have to install and maintain software. SaaS providers host and maintain databases, servers, and the code that makes up an application. Some common examples of SaaS platforms include Salesforce, Dropbox, Google Workspace, Concur, and Cisco WebEx. Cloud-based web scraping tools are also very popular. There are numerous JavaScript web scraper tools available that make data extraction a lot faster and easier.

It is possible to run a majority of SaaS applications through your web browser. Thanks to its web delivery method, businesses do not need to invest in IT staff to download and install applications on individual computers. SaaS is beneficial to employees and businesses, as it substantially reduces the time, money, and effort spent on installing, maintaining, and upgrading software.

What is PaaS?

PaaS, or Platform as a Service, is a cloud service delivery model where service providers offer hardware and software tools over the Internet. These tools are most commonly used by developers to build applications.

Since PaaS service providers host the tools on their own infrastructure, developers do not need to download or install hardware and software to build or run an application.

Organizations need to pay on a per-use basis and may find shifting to the cloud a cost-efficient alternative to on-premise options. Examples of PaaS include AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Heroku, Windows Azure,, Apache Stratos, Google App Engine, and OpenShift.

What is IaaS?

IaaS, or Infrastructure as a Service, offers virtualized computing resources over the Internet. IaaS allows you to host infrastructure on the cloud, public or private, instead of conventional on-premise data centers. Service providers offer essential computing, storage, and networking resources on-demand, and users can pay according to what they use.

By moving your organization’s infrastructure to an IaaS platform, you can save money on hardware costs and maintenance of on-premise data centers. Using IaaS solutions offers the flexibility to scale your IT resources according to your business requirements. DigitalOcean, Rackspace, Linode, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Compute Engine (GCE) are a few examples of IaaS solutions.

SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS: What’s the Difference?

Choosing the right cloud service delivery model can be a game-changer for your business. Let’s compare the three paradigms – SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS.


SaaS is mostly used by end-users, while PaaS is used by application and software developers. Network architects are the primary users of IaaS solutions.

Service Model

SaaS is a cloud computing service model that provides applications to users over the Internet. The PaaS service model delivers tools that application developers use to create or modify applications. The IaaS cloud computing model offers virtualized computing resources over the Internet.


SaaS provides direct access to the end-user. PaaS gives its users access to development and deployment tools for applications. IaaS offers access to resources like virtual storage, virtual machines, and other infrastructure.

Technical Knowledge Required

Extensive technical knowledge is needed for handling IaaS solutions. Since PaaS solutions are mostly used by application developers, they need to have an understanding of the tools and the basic setup.


SaaS is popular among consumers and companies for common tasks such as email, file sharing, and networking. PaaS is popular among developers focused on developing apps and scripts. IaaS is most popular among developers and researchers.


Regardless of the service model you choose, shifting to the cloud is the future of technology and business. The growing popularity of SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS is reducing the need for on-premise hosting. These service models are offering users the choice and flexibility that on-premise hosting solutions cannot offer.

About the author

Christoph Leitner is a code-loving father of two beautiful children. He is a full-stack developer and a committed team member at – a subsidiary of When he isn’t building software, Christoph can be found spending time with his family or training for his next marathon.

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