There are three basic pillars/tenets of cloud computing: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS). The first two are popular models of cloud. But what about PaaS? Below are frequently asked questions about this branch of cloud.

What is PaaS?

Online Tech provides PaaS, or Platform as a ServicePlatform as a Service, or PaaS, is a model of cloud computing that allows applications to be delivered through the Internet. A PaaS provider will have all the equipment needed for application development, including the hardware, middleware (databases, web servers, etc.), and software, offering it as a service to its users. It is hosted on the provider’s own infrastructure, and users manage the applications. This allows applications to be deployed and developed cost effectively because the provider takes care of the operating systems, virtualization, storage, networking and platform software itself.

Who uses PaaS?

PaaS is great for software or application developers and organizations who need a place to code, deploy and test their programs but don’t want to (or can’t) invest in buying, managing and maintaining the infrastructure associated with development.

Why use this model?

If you need to make constant software changes, such as updates to an operating system or customizing applications, it can take less time and resources to use PaaS than to buy and install all of the equipment (hardware, operating systems, databases, etc.,), the application itself and monitor its performance. This is especially useful for Java and .NET development, and can help increase productivity.

What are the pros and cons of PaaS?

Using Platform as a Service is more cost effective for businesses who develop or customize a lot of software, and it allows developers to focus on their applications rather than managing the equipment that comes with maintaining a Web application, increasing productivity. However, relying on someone else’s infrastructure to host your programming has its risks. As with any service provider, you’ll be subject to potential downtime or changes in the provider’s roadmap, which can affect your own plans.  You give up a lot of control over your infrastructure, but if you have a lot of coding projects that need collaboration, it is a very useful cloud computing tool.

What are some examples of providers?

AzureStack, Apprenda, Pivotal CF, and Red Hat Openshift are all providers of Platform as a Service.

What’s the difference between PaaS and IaaS?

PaaS models put the burden of managing the infrastructure of applications on the provider, whereas Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) models allow the user to purchase infrastructure equipment on a self-service basis, and users are responsible for managing applications, middleware and operating systems. IaaS providers are responsible only for the hardware, storage, virtualization and networking components of the infrastructure.