The Rise of SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS—A Detailed Comparison of Three Popular Cloud Services


Cloud Computing provides a secure and easy-to-use environment where developers and users can find a large selection of resources, greatly facilitating application management. Here’s a SaaS vs. PaaS vs. IaaS guide to help you understand the differences between these rising cloud services.

In recent years, Cloud Computing has given a 180º turn to the management of resources in the field of computing, both for users and companies. XaaS models, understanding any element as a service, offer great flexibility. In addition, they open up a wide range of new possibilities in the medium and long term.

When developing applications in the cloud, it is important to know exactly how it will be done. As an expert software development company, we examine  the three popular Cloud Computing services, their features, and differences.

SaaS vs. PaaS vs. IaaS—Comparison of Three Popular Cloud Services

Professionals, users, and companies are increasingly using cloud services. This model, based on different layers, handles new terminology such as IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, etc., that lend themselves to be confused with each other.

Thanks to these services, companies refrain from making big software and hardware investments. These cloud services enable them to have all their applications in the cloud, offering multiple benefits, allowing their employees to access them in real time.

The market today offers a wide variety of each of these services, making it easier for users to find the most appropriate for their needs. Large IT companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google offer some of the best IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS services.

Here’s a description of the three services, SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS, explaining their differences and examples.

What is SaaS (Software as a Service)?

Finally, SaaS (Software-as-a-Service). Any service based on the web is defined as such, such as Gmail’s Webmail. In this case, users access the service without paying attention to the software. Both development and maintenance and other procedures are the provider’s sole responsibility.

Thus, users have minimal control over the service in question. They are located in the most superficial layer of it. Examples of SaaS are Dropbox or Google Drive.

With a SaaS, the company’s concern will only be how to use the software programs necessary for its operation, forgetting about the rest of the resources, such as required hardware, operating systems, applications, etc. The service provider will be in charge of keeping them working correctly and updated.

All users access SaaS applications daily since any online application that runs in the cloud and can be accessed through the Internet is a SaaS application.

What is PaaS (Platform as a Service)?

PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) is presented as the ideal alternative for those application developers who only want to worry about building the app. The platform provides the infrastructure and takes care of both its maintenance and management.

Unlike IaaS, building applications and managing the platform is very easy. And it is that PaaS solutions manage to maintain scalability automatically, making use of a greater number of resources if necessary. Even so, developers have to try to make their applications as optimized as possible so as not to consume too many resources.

One of the best examples of PaaS today is Jelastic. With this intuitive platform, developers can build their applications with support for Java, PHP, Node.js, Ruby, Python, Docker, and Kubernetes.

PaaS is the most difficult to understand because the term platform can be confused with software. A platform is a software in itself, which allows you to develop applications.

What is IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)?

IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) is the ideal system for developers who wish to take charge of the management and administration of their infrastructure. It offers more control than other alternatives, such as PaaS, so the developer is responsible for everything related to maintaining the infrastructure, even scaling their applications based on their needs.

The best example of IaaS is Amazon Web Service. It is a platform that offers a series of services so developers can manage virtual machines in the cloud, which also serve as storage space. It is the developers who choose the OS, Windows or Linux, as well as the memory capacity of each machine. The hardware is 100% transparent, so each developer can manage it how they see fit.


SaaS vs. PaaS vs. IaaS

The common thread of Isaas, Paas, and SaaS is the type of service they offer. All of them are online services whose operation occurs through the cloud. In addition, they offer the possibility of paying only according to the resources to be consumed and the use that will be given to them. All of them are scalable systems, allowing capacity to be increased whenever and wherever necessary.

The main difference between SaaS, PaaS, and Iaas is how the IoT consulting services provider offers support and maintenance. Whereas in IaaS, the application developer has to take care of everything, in SaaS, users don’t even have software access. On the other hand, in PaaS, they can manage the platform but not the server.

Therefore, depending on each company’s specific needs and preferences, they should opt for one  Cloud Computing service or another.


It is worth paying special attention to safety. In the case of IaaS services, the security of the infrastructure falls entirely on the provider that offers the service. Even so, the provider is in no way responsible for any type of security problem in the applications the user has installed.

In other words, if the user contracts an Iaas structure and later installs an outdated WordPress application with significant security problems and their website is hacked, it is the user’s responsibility, not the provider’s.

Regarding SaaS, the provider is in charge of the total management of the infrastructure. It is the provider who must be in charge of the application of the measures that are necessary to guarantee the safety of users. This happens with platforms like Dropbox or Google Drive, among others.


Another aspect that is interesting to highlight is latency, a matter of great importance today. It is best to go with a nearshore software development firm so that latency is as low as possible.

Examples of IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS

Now let’s look at some common examples where these technologies are used.

SaaS Examples

In SaaS, it would be the final part, so to speak, of the entire infrastructure to which the common user would have access. A user only needs a web browser and access credentials to access a SaaS platform.

Its clearest examples are the services offered by IT giants, such as Google Workspace and Office 365.

Although at the user level, WordPress would also be a SaaS service or even collaborative applications such as Slack or meeting services such as the popular Zoom since the service is accessed online, without the need to install the application on the device.


Examples PaaS

Developers use PaaS to create their applications without worrying about where they are hosted.

Here we would find more technical examples and less widespread use among common users.

Jelastic is a clear example of this, where a developer can use it to configure their development environment and applications.

The big platforms have their services, such as Microsoft’s Azure App Service or Amazon’s AWS Elastic Beanstalk, although the development environment is not as friendly as with Jelastic.

IaaS Examples

The IaaS infrastructures are the main ones and where everything necessary for PaaS and SaaS to work is managed.

The developer has to manage and administer everything- the service resources, what to install, and its maintenance, with the administrator being the most responsible.

All the big companies offer their IaaS services:

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform

An unmanaged VPS server could also be considered an IaaS service since users must install what they need and set up the services their development requires.

In unmanaged VPS, the company’s only responsibility is to provide the service online without having to carry out any type of maintenance or installation, in any case, that of the operating system that the user chooses, but nothing more.

Servers and Hosting with Vates

We hope this SaaS vs. PaaS vs. IaaS guide must have provided you with useful insights into these cloud services. If you are looking for the best IoT consulting services company, contact Vates.

At Vates, we have experts with over 30 years of experience developing IT strategies and solutions for companies. We are a trusted IoT Solutions & Consulting Company providing top-notch nearshore development services. We offer companies SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS options enabling them to create a cloud computing environment with the platform, applications, and infrastructure they need, avoiding distraction and nuisance.

If you want to know more about the custom software development and IT solutions we offer, do not hesitate to visit our website.

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