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Infrastructure as a Service vs. Platform as a Service

Editorial Team
by Atlantic.Net (213 posts) under VPS Hosting

VPS Hosting is an amazing technology that has evolved to include a wide variety of solutions. These segments include software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and network as a service (NaaS), among others.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), sometimes known as hardware-as-a-service, refers to the leasing of computer hardware instead of purchasing and installing it in-house.  The hardware you rent may include servers, storage, networking technology, cables, firewalls, etc.  With IaaS, the cloud hosting provider provides the infrastructure required to build custom hosting solutions, the hardware is configured remotely, and then your hosting solution is installed on it.

When utilizing the IaaS model, clients will have access to anything and everything they need to run their cloud servers, including operating systems, firewalls, virtualized local area networks, and software bundles. The client is responsible for setting up and maintaining the infrastructure. This means that they will likely need to employ an in-house team of developers to design the software and operational framework. However, this total control leads to more flexibility—ideal for the cloud environment.

If you want to maintain control of your software environment but don’t want to maintain servers, go to an IaaS provider and request a virtual machine.  You can put whatever software you’d like on the server, and the IaaS provider gives you the storage and other resources as you need them.  The great thing about IaaS is that it offers companies more flexibility and adaptability.  If businesses need to scale up, they can do so easily by requesting more cloud servers and reconfiguring the load balancer.  If they need to scale down, they can rent less infrastructure from the cloud service provider.

Infrastructure as a Service is just one of the three approaches to VPS Hosting, the others being Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS).  The difference between these three approaches is primarily the separation of responsibilities between the business entity and the hosting provider.  PaaS is where you provide the applications and data while the rest of the platform is managed by the hosting provider.  SaaS is where you buy the service, and the provider figures out the servers, the virtual machines, the network equipment, etc. You just point your browser at it.

With the PaaS model, the service provider is responsible for setting up everything, including virtualization, setting up the operating system, and running applications. Additionally, the service provider takes responsibility for the automation, testing, deployment, and continued maintenance of the system. This allows the client to focus less attention on their cloud servers and spend more time running their business.

The PaaS model is more practical for small- and medium-sized businesses in terms of labor spent and cost-effectiveness. The majority of business owners do not have the available resources to allocate towards an IaaS model. However, for those who desire more control over their cloud hosting solutions, the IaaS model is perfect. In both instances, users pay only for what they use.

Which service to choose?

Whether choosing an infrastructure or platform as a service model, cloud servers are practical solutions in today’s world of constantly evolving technology. Since 1994, Atlantic.Net has been providing businesses with the best hosting solutions like our super-fast VPS Hosting. To learn more about our cloud server hosting solutions, including HIPAA compliant hosting, give us a call today at 800-521-5881.

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