Many words have been devoted to explaining the benefits of cloud computing: greater agility, faster time to market, increased innovation, and lower operational and security risks, to name a few. Above all, cloud computing is meant to make things simpler – but when you take a closer look, you can quickly find yourself drowning in an alphabet soup of acronyms ending with -aaS. So what do all those acronyms mean?
IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service gives you access to resources such as servers (sometimes referred to as compute resources), bandwidth, network connections and storage capacity. While the cloud provider takes care of running the data centres where all the physical hardware is located, you are entirely responsible for configuring and maintaining any operating systems and applications running on that infrastructure. If you're looking for a pure IaaS option, then you want something like Google Cloud Platform's Compute Engine.
PaaS - Platform as a Service adds a layer of tools running on top of the base infrastructure to create a complete environment for developing and deploying software quickly. This typically includes databases, file storage and software development tools, as well as the operating system. The cloud provider makes sure all of this keeps running smoothly and securely, letting your team focus on coding, testing, and deploying applications.
In GCP, for example, App Engine gives you everything you need to build web applications and backends for mobile apps. App Engine can be coupled with a range of managed file and data storage solutions. Similarly, BigQuery provides you with a fully managed scalable data warehouse, while a range of Cloud Machine Learning options let you quickly add artificial intelligence capabilities – such as image or speech recognition – into your applications.
SaaS – Software as a Service sees the cloud provider assume complete responsibility for everything that's needed to deliver an application to your end-user devices. You simply use the application on demand when and where you need it. SaaS includes both standard applications like G Suite and custom apps for vertical industries, such as our very own Ancoris Maps for Housing.
If you want to find out more about which flavour of cloud infrastructure – IaaS, PaaS or SaaS – will help your organisation enjoy the benefits of moving to cloud computing, come and talk to our Google Cloud Platform experts.