Within the “as a service” world, perhaps the best known option is Software as a Service (SaaS). But there are two other formats, as much or more appreciated than this in all types of business environments: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). The bad thing is that on many occasions it is unknown what each of these two modalities offers and implies. Next we will reveal all its secrets, so that you do not have doubts about Which one does your company need when starting or expanding the use of the cloud?.
Infrastructure as a Service: definition and advantages
The Infrastructure as a service model it is used for a provider to offer technological services by assembling the computing infrastructure. Often this translates into setting up virtual machines, which it makes available to its customers over the Internet.
Infrastructure as a Service providers, therefore, offer their clients a tailored and on-demand platform that enables them to deploy and manage applications without having to buy or maintain hardware or software. What they do is rent access to the physical or virtual resources they need to perform their tasks and store data. These resources can range from servers and storage to virtualization and network components.
Therefore, providers are responsible for maintaining the physical infrastructure, security functions, and the hypervisor layer. This includes access and identity management. The client company is the one that is in charge of the systems operation, the execution environment, the data and the company applications.
It is, therefore, a very cost-effective method of using hardware and software, which, in addition to allowing the company to save, gives it the opportunity to worry less about maintenance tasks and have more agility for the deployment of infrastructure. , which can also be scaled to size.
The savings offered by IaaS to companies, since it usually works on a pay-per-use basis, compared to the traditional model, is due to the fact that they only pay for what they use at any given time. They do not have to set up an infrastructure on premises thinking about its future use. That’s why they save on hardware, systems, middleware and application software. Furthermore, all of this is maintained by the provider. Therefore, less costs in service maintenance personnel.
The IaaS model also saves deployment time. Since with an Infrastructure as a Service model there is no need to assemble hardware equipment or spend time equipping it, less time is invested in starting to use the infrastructure. In fact, it’s usually ready to start taking action on it in a few minutes. No need to waste time managing systems to run applications or work with data.
Of course, you have to be careful that contracting an Infrastructure service as a service does not imply excessive spending, you have to take certain precautions. Among them, correctly sizing the needs of the company at all times. On the other hand, turning off unused instances and not making low usage of them also helps to lower your bill. Also keep in mind that migrating applications without adjusting your architecture for cloud infrastructure, as well as leaving unattached storage active when instances go offline can add to the bill.
IaaS: scalable, flexible and agile
The Infrastructure as a Service It is also highly scalable, which means that companies can easily add or remove resources as their needs change. This, without a doubt, is an advantage for companies that have a variable demand. Also for those who need to respond quickly to changes in their environment.
This, coupled with the above features, gives companies great flexibility in choosing the type and amount of resources they need. Also the point at which the chosen resources will be deployed. This level of control can greatly help companies with very specific infrastructure requirements. So is the ability to rapidly deploy new applications or services without going through a lengthy and complicated purchasing process.
Disadvantages of the Infrastructure as a Service model
As with everything, the Infrastructure as a Service model also has its drawbacks. The first is that companies, and their IT departments, will not have complete control over the infrastructure they hire. This can be a problem for companies that have to meet very specific requirements. For example, those related to data sovereignty, which may require that these be stored in a specific geographical point.
Another potential problem that the IaaS model can give is certain doubts about its security. Without direct control of the infrastructure, or complete visibility into it, companies may be less able to protect it from threats. This is of particular concern to companies that have to manage sensitive data. However, there are times when an IaaS provider often offers its customers a better security posture than they could possibly achieve, due to resource and technical difficulties.
Platform as a service: what it offers to companies
Unlike the IaaS model, which only provides infrastructure, the Platform as a Service offers its clients who want to migrate to a cloud business model a complete suite of tools. This gives them a very high level of control over operations, in addition to making the cloud system that companies need as simple as possible.
This means that with a PaaS model, companies don’t need to have their infrastructure or software on hand to use the tools they need to function. Platform as a Service system providers guarantee their clients all the available cloud tools they need. The PaaS model is increasingly common among cloud providers, and the main cloud service platforms, such as Azure or AWS, offer PaaS among their services.
The use of Platform as a Service models offers numerous advantages to companies. One of the main ones, as in IaaS, is the reduction of costs with respect to investing in your own infrastructure and creating a local cloud platform, and your own. In addition, this model also allows rapid upward and downward scaling, depending on the needs that a company has at any given time.
On the other hand, cloud platforms offered by Platform as a Service providers are considered secure. The providers usually guarantee companies private digital storage and allow them to restrict access to software tools that they want to access from any point they choose.
Companies that work with PaaS can work remotely, from anywhere, without fear of security problems. In addition, Platforms as a Service often include collaborative tools that allow a company’s employees to access systems and multitask with different versions of software as often as they need to.
Disadvantages of the PaaS model
A Platform as a Service model also has drawbacks. For example, in terms of security, although it is one of its advantages, it can also be a disadvantage. Although business operations under PaaS are usually secure, there are always risk that the Platform as a Service provider may have an internal security issue. Since all data comes out of a cloud archive, such an issue could lead to a serious security breach for customers.
On the other hand, a PaaS model can have redundancies. That is, tools that companies do not need, for example, and that cannot be removed from the platform. This means that companies have to give up a certain level of control to achieve a simpler and more efficient system.
Businesses also need to keep in mind that each PaaS provider works slightly differently from the rest. Thus, a company that at some point wants to migrate its operations, or use the tools of a different provider, may find that the specific integration they want to do is much more complicated than it seems.
However, in general, the PaaS model offers more advantages than disadvantages for most companies. Especially for the smallest, and for those with fewer resources. Of course, before selecting a cloud model it is necessary to assess both its advantages and its disadvantages.
In the case of the Platform as a Service model, companies can achieve, among other things, a collaborative workflow thanks to its collaboration options, which increases productivity. Also more control over permissions and access to software, since companies using this model can easily grant or restrict access to various areas of the platform. Thus they can decide who, how and when each employee can access certain sections of the cloud.
PaaS systems, on the other hand, are not set in stone. Through code, automation and software tools, companies can customize them. Of course, not completely. There are parts of the platform that won’t support mods, which can lead to frustration.
Both the IaaS and PaaS models could not exist without the cloud. They are directly linked. In the first case, it allows companies to have virtual infrastructure deployed and maintained by others for their application deployments. Meanwhile, in the second, the cloud is the base that encompasses both the infrastructure and the tools and applications. use on it. Therefore, the cloud is the common base for both systems, and works once again, as a facilitator for companies.