Cloud adoption has been one of the most trending topic for everyone – right from Enterprises to ISV to Individual. The rate of changes/innovation happening on cloud has left many wondering with multiple options but very little insight on how to decide the correct option.

In this blog we will look in to some of the major cloud models and what they offer to the consumer. One of the key decision parameters in selecting the cloud model is the amount of ownership the consumer is willing to retain within their control. Let’s look at this parameter in more detail.

Cloud Models

Cloud Models

Typical solution stack contains a lot of components ranging from networking, hardware, OS and Application. A detailed break up of these components is what highlighted in each of the boxes in the above picture.

In an on-premise (traditional) model, the consumer (which could be an Enterprise or ISV or Individual) takes complete ownership of each of the components. While this gives complete control for the consumer in terms of security and technical decision  making, this model has limitations when it comes to CapEx (upfront investments) and Scalability (to ramp-up/ramp-down quickly. This is where cloud becomes attractive. Let’s look at the 3 major cloud models and how they address these challenges.

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) – This cloud model targets to address the components that belong in the hardware level. This constitues of Networking, Storage, Server and Virtualization. A typical IaaS vendor will provide these components and take complete responsibility of managing these components. The best thing is these components are provided “as a Service” and therefore, the consumer can use as much as they want and pay only for what they are using.

PaaS (Platform as a Service) – This cloud model is an extension of IaaS model, where it additionally provides OS, middleware and Runtime for executing an application/software. As you can see, IaaS stops with the hardware level ownership where as PaaS goes beyond that and takes full responsibility to provide the hardware as well as the environment (Platform) to design, develop and deploy(run) applications. For example, if there is a new OS patch that is released by the OS Vendor, then in case of IaaS the ownership is with the Consumer to upgrade the OS patch where as in case of PaaS the PaaS Vendor takes care of applying the same along with the necessary housekeeping work to keep the OS running well.

SaaS (Software as a Service) – This cloud model abstracts all the components from the Consumer there by allowing them to just use the Software without worrying about any of the underlying technical details. As in the above cases, this model is also subscription based which means the Consumer has to pay as they use the sofware. Infact, there are several innovative subscription models that are available today. Ex: Transcation based pricing model (based on the total value of transactions perfomed through the software), Number of entities managed by the software (number of employees managed in a Payroll Software), etc.

To summarize,

IaaS – Works well when you want to give out hardware level ownership to another vendor but retain the architecture and technical decision making.

PaaS – Works well when you want to offload both the hardware and the architecture part to the vendor. You are interested in leveraging the existing Platform to build application/software.

SaaS – Works well when you are looking for pointed software solutions, but do not want to invest a lot in buying the software rather pay on an on going basis based on usage.

You might also be interested in our Cloud migration services, which helps you move to cloud with zero business impact.

In case of any quesries please feel free to contact me at [email protected]