Saas Vs Paas Vs Iaas: A Comprehensive Guide (2021)


There are various service models of a cloud computing architecture. Service models are changing more than before as cloud providers are coming with new offerings as they are getting more competitive,  further their market share is also increasing.  Some of the cloud computing models include Information as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS), which are described in detail.

  1. What is SaaS?
  2. What is PaaS?
  3. What is IaaS?
  4. Difference between SaaS Vs PaaS Vs IaaS

1. What is SaaS?

It is a service model where an application is hosted as a service provided to clients across the Internet without the need to install the application on the client’s own computer. This is a well-established sector where even small businesses can get the same benefits as any commercial software at a reasonable cost. It includes a complete software offering on the Internet.

2. What is PaaS?

It provides clients with access to the basic operating system and optional services to develop and use applications without the need to buy and manage the underlying computing infrastructure. Its drawback is that it may lock the users into the use of a particular development environment and stack of software components.

3. What is IaaS?

It provides clients with access to server hardware, storage, bandwidth, and other resources. It serves as a foundation of cloud services. This model also caters to the need to scale resources as per the need of the user. It provides access to resources without revealing any personal detail of the user.

4. Difference between SaaS Vs PaaS Vs IaaS


  • It states how the user can use the software application.
  • Its user is the client (end-user). 
  • Its users get the service of web software and applications to complete the task.
  • Its cost is the cheapest among the three.
  • It is the least flexible among the three.
  • It is a secure model but can be accessed by the provider.
  • Examples – CRM, E-mail, games, virtual desktop.


  • It states how the user can build the software application.
  • Its user is the developers.
  • Its users get the service of virtual platforms and tools.
  • Its cost is in the mid-range.
  • It is a flexible model but has some limitations.
  • It is a secure model but is riskier than SaaS.
  • Example – Database, web server, deployment tools.


  • It states how the user can move the software application.
  • Its user is system administrators.
  • Its users get the service of the virtual data centre.
  • It is the most expensive of the three.
  • It is a very flexible model.
  • Here advanced knowledge in security is needed.
  • Example – virtual machines, servers, storage, networks.

SaaS Benefits:

This is the easiest model to set up and run. It can be easily accessible from either a web browser or any phone application and can be easily maintained.

PaaS Benefits:

This model is good for large or medium business types as the business will need a proper IT Team to handle data and software usage, in exchange for which the business will gain more control. Therefore, businesses with already good IT infrastructure may find it preferable to use.

IaaS Benefits:

Even though it requires more time investment from the IT department than the other two service models, the business gets full control over the model.

Saas Advantages:

  • Reduced time – Since under SaaS software is already installed and configured, any application will be ready to use in a very few time thus reducing the issues faced before software deployment.
  • Low cost – Since it is a shared environment the maintenance cost is shared by those using it hence it becomes very low per customer, further its hardware and software license costs are also low.
  • Scalability – This software has the flexibility to scale your use up and down as per your needs.
  • Upgrades – Upgrades are frequently being added to it thus keeping it up-to-date.
  • Easy to use – There are free samples provided with it from which we can test the software before buying. Hence we can select as per our comfort.

PaaS Advantages:

  • Saves Time – There is no need to set up and maintain the core software.
  • Cost Savings – No need to spend on hardware or expenses when the software is not in use.
  • Speed – Applications are created at a faster speed.
  • Secure – Huge amount is spent on security technology and expertise.
  • Scaling – software use can be scaled up and down as per needs.
  • Customizable – It can be customized by the developers as per the user’s needs.
  • Flexibility – It can be accessed and worked on from anywhere.

IaaS Advantages:

  • Pay-per-use basis – Here spent money only on the quantum of usage of the software.
  • Reduced capital expenditure – It is a monthly operational expenditure.
  • Scaling – software use can be scaled up and down as per needs.
  • Innovative – New capabilities can be added.
  • Easy Access – Can be accessed through simple Internet.

SaaS Limitation:

  • It can result in slower speed.
  • Good Internet required.
  • The vendor offers limited customization.
  • Less Control as the vendor manages everything, therefore there is too much dependency on the vendor’s work.
  • Riskier with sensitive data.

PaaS Limitation :

  • Too much dependency on the vendor.
  • Risk of unnecessary lock-in at a program that is no longer needed.
  •  Risk in security as the applications are built by normal businesses.
  • Compatibility issues with existing platforms may arise.

IaaS Limitation:

  • Unexpected costs like increased monthly usage may add up in expenditure.
  • While using this software IaaS may require changes in processes.
  • Risk in security as the applications are hosted by the businesses.
  • Public cloud users have limited control and may have the option of limited customization.
  • New vulnerabilities may cause security risks.
  • Shifting from one vendor to another can be challenging resulting in vendor lock-in.
  • Lack of mature service providers may need additional third-party expertise resulting in additional cost.
  • Here service level agreements can be difficult to understand sometimes.


All the above software possess certain benefits and challenges, it depends on the business size and needs of the business. The customer must analyze and compare various software on different parameters and then select the one which suits him the most.

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