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What Are the Three Main Cloud Computing Service Delivery Models?

Cloud Computing Service Delivery Models

Cloud computing advancements have unleashed the ability for businesses to scale their operations and make onsite IT infrastructure a thing of the past.

The shift has been led by some of the world's biggest tech companies, including two Seattle tech giants that have been especially influential in accelerating the adoption of cloud computing around the world: Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. Their platforms and other cloud computing services allow businesses to more easily access databases, programs, software, analytics, reporting and servers, and share data across multiple devices in real time.

There are three main cloud service delivery models:

  1. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
  2. Software as a service (SaaS)
  3. Platform as a service (PaaS)

All three models serve different purposes based on a company's IT requirements and budget. However, they all provide significantly more flexibility for businesses compared to onsite hosting. Each of these service models can be used independently or in conjunction with another, depending on business needs.

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Here’s an overview of how each model operates:

1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

IaaS can deliver networking and a large database for storage and servers, and enables a business to reap the benefits of its own data center. IaaS providers will create an environment depending on a company's requirements, which allows businesses to only pay for the space they use.

IaaS is arguably the most flexible of the three cloud service delivery models because it allows for almost complete control over a business's infrastructure. It is also easily scalable and allows for advanced customization. Traditionally, IT infrastructure is hosted in a data center on site. With IaaS, however, the infrastructure isn’t hosted on site, but rather, is based in the cloud. All things considered, businesses still have direct control over their operating systems, security components and applications.

In addition to the benefits of flexibility and effortless deployment, implementing IaaS enables businesses to take on temporary, experimental or frequently changing projects without having to upgrade on-premise infrastructure. IaaS also doesn't require a pre-built base, so the migration is smooth.

2. Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS allows users to instantly access a collection of applications on the cloud. Simply install software through the cloud-hosting service and then set up access permissions for multiple users in an organization. Apps can also be updated automatically, which — for businesses — offers the benefit of not having to manage software applications across multiple platforms. Instead, opt to subscribe to an all-in-one service.

SaaS is one of the most popular cloud computing platforms because it allows businesses to access cloud-based applications without the need to install multiple platforms. SaaS is ideal for lean companies that require lots of collaboration, especially if staff works remotely. However, it is important to note that SaaS-based applications may run slower than applications run on a business's own servers.

SaaS cloud service operates through a third-party vendor on a monthly or annual subscription basis. This makes SaaS fairly affordable for most businesses, because it provides the convenience of powerful tools necessary for daily tasks while also saving on costs. All the company needs is an internet connection.

3. Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS involves a third-party–hosted server or operating system. This can also be referred to as a "solution stack," because it typically contains everything a developer needs to build an application.

PaaS allows businesses to use a platform provided by a third party in order to develop and run applications. The third-party provider supports the platform by eliminating the need to install some on-premise software and hardware. PaaS simplifies application development and management because it eliminates a business’s need to maintain an onsite infrastructure. In addition, PaaS is scalable and allows for more cost-effective development because it already allows for the use of a solution stack, which contains many of the tools and software apps developers use every day.

Each of these three cloud computing service delivery models offer their own unique benefits and limitations, as well as varying levels of flexibility and control over the cloud's structure. Cloud service models also add several new resources for businesses that boost efficiency while lowering costs, especially when scaling operations, as these platforms often eliminate the need for in-house hardware and software.

The demand for cloud services is not slowing down any time soon. Eventually, depending on their needs, most businesses will rely on using one or all three models to keep up with the introduction of new technologies. Therefore, whether a business is big or small, cloud services are the solution for diversifying service offerings and empowering staff, all while adding more flexibility.

If you would like to learn more about cloud computing and cloud infrastructure, enroll in a cloud training course through ExitCertified. Our vendor-approved cloud training courses prepare you to efficiently utilize all the capabilities of industry-leading cloud platforms.

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