What is the difference between IaaS and PaaS?

11 June 2019

If you’re new to cloud computing, concepts like Infrastructure as a Service and Platform as a Service can be baffling at first. In reality, the cloud works on shifting all your on-premise equipment requirements to distributed server farms owned by cloud giants. Therefore, everything they offer is served via the as-a-Service model.

Let’s say someone offers Azure Infrastructure as a Service Dubai, then they’d be giving you access to the Azure’s large public cloud infrastructure resources to be utilized in your office.

The key terms in any cloud company are IaaS and PaaS. While these two are closely related, they have some key differences that you must keep in mind. When implementing cloud resources, knowing these differences can save you a lot of time.

Let’s look at both of these, one by one.

What is IaaS?

Infrastructure refers to the key hardware components that your workflow requires such as CPUs, Physical Storage, Networking Cables, and Servers, etc. You need these resources for everything from running applications and storing critical business data.

IaaS providers like Azure provide you with managed resources wherein where you don’t have to configure the resource on your own. You just have to define usage limits and price points, everything else is done by the cloud provider on your behalf.

In a typical IaaS, the following components are managed by the subscriber.

  • Applications
  • Runtime
  • Middleware
  • OS
  • Data  

All of the above correspond to the things that you control in-house. Your business applications and your OS requirements are all handled by your IT.

Example – Suppose you have deployed an HRMS in your office. You can buy VM resources from Azure, but the application and OS installation will be done by you. After that, all the server activity is managed by Azure as you continue to use your application.

What is PaaS?

Platform as a Service goes beyond IaaS and offers a higher degree management-less services for your needs. In this case, you not only get Infra resources from the cloud provider but you reduce your involvement on how these resources are managed.

You get to choose an entire ready-made “platform” where you just have to deploy your workflow and you’re good to go. Azure Backup as a Service in Dubai is one such service. It doesn’t require you to deploy any kind of application but you can use the service off the shelf.

In a typical PaaS scenario, you manage the following components.

  • Application
  • Data  

Example – Google App Engine is a prime example of Platform as a Service. Developers can straightaway deploy their code onto it and the App Engine scales up and down according to usage automatically. No fixed usage quotas, you pay only for what you use.

Conclusion

IaaS and PaaS are, more or less, cousins of the same service. In case you need office-wide infrastructure to completely shift your pre-made applications to the cloud, you can subscribe to IaaS such as Azure Infrastructure as a Service Dubai. If you’re looking to host applications that you’d custom-build and let the cloud provider manage the resources, you should go for PaaS.