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Saas vs Paas vs Iaas

As a business consulting, software integration and managed service provider company we get frequent questions about SaaS vs PaaS vs IaaS. We thought we would take this opportunity to explain the differences between SaaS vs PaaS vs IaaS. Over the course of this blog, we will level set our readers, and particularly our SMB clients, on these services and their importance. Primarily our clients are looking for assistance around deploying the best SaaS solutions to support their business. These terms often get mixed up though and can lead to confusion. And that is precisely why we chose to author this article.


IaaS stands for infrastructure as a service. IaaS in the discussion around cloud computing is important. IaaS basically is cloud computing. IaaS providers and services deliver all the hardware for cloud services including servers, networking, and storage. Leading IaaS providers include Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. IaaS is used less by business customers and more by SaaS providers who in turn provide solutions to business customers. IaaS is infrastructure only. Any IT department using IaaS will still be responsible for operating systems, databases, applications and more. IaaS provides maximum flexibility but is the most hands on offering for any cloud compute services. IaaS is 100% self-service and IT users access it through dashboards and APIs. IaaS usage is flexible and dynamic.


PaaS stands for platform as a service. PaaS in cloud computing includes everything that comes with IaaS plus access to operating systems and databases. PaaS provides developers and IT staff access to scalable platforms to build applications on. PaaS providers are often the same IaaS providers like AWS, Azure, and Google but they are simply expanding the services. Other PaaS providers include IBM / Red Hat Open Shift, VMware Cloud Foundry, Oracle Cloud Platform, Wasabi, Salesforce Platform, Zoho Creator, Cloud Foundry, Mendix, Dokku, Heroku, Engine Yard, and Digital Ocean, among others.


SaaS stands for software as a service. SaaS in cloud computing includes all the elements of IaaS and PaaS, plus software. SaaS is a huge product category as it includes any software application that runs in the cloud … which is pretty much every single software vendor out there! SaaS offers to not require a download or installation and are incredibly easy to use and launch. They are also extremely flexible. Typical SaaS solutions include CRM (Salesforce was a pioneer here), ERP, email, cloud storage, and many more. SaaS solutions typically run in a multitenant environment meaning that multiple users are accessing the same servers and instances in the cloud.

Private Cloud, Public Cloud, On-Prem and Off-Prem

Now that we have covered the difference between IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS let’s have a small bonus round. Let’s also cover what are private and public clouds and what are on and off prem platforms and solutions. Private cloud basically equals on-prem or on premises platforms and solutions. It is when an enterprise hosts application in their own data centers. Public cloud equates to off-prem or off premises. These terms basically mean using IaaS, PaaS and SaaS providers.

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Valenta is a consulting, software integration, and managed service provider. We are exclusively focused on providing services and consulting to small and midsize businesses. We can assist in any sort of application your business may require. We also provide outsourced staff for flexible engagements, for BPO type roles as well as IT and software administration roles. Please feel free to get in touch with one of our local managing partners to determine if we might be able to help you. We have local managing partners in the US, Canada, the UK, the EU and Australia. Our local managing partners have domain expertise in their areas of practice. They collaborate with our offshore experts to provide compelling and cost effective services and solutions for our SMB clients. Please Contact Us for a no charge consultation.

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