SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, FaaS, BaaS…

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The terms like ‘X’aaS where ‘X’ stands for the service name usually a service model that evolved over time with cloud. Cloud service providers offer services in various ‘X’aaS models.

‘X’aaS is an abbreviation for ‘X’ as a Service, meaning you can buy ‘X’ as a service or offload the management hassle for ‘X’ and buy ‘X’ as a service from CSP(Cloud Service Provider) and they will manage everything about ‘X’ for you. Only you have to pay for using the ‘X’ service.

SaaS(Software as a Service): SaaS refers the Software as a service model where you will use the software service. We use many cloud software everyday. The most common example is gmail. Many of us use gmail which is a software service offered by google. Other example include: google photos, dropbox, google drive etc.

PaaS(Platform as a Service): Usually, to deploy an application, we need to prepare the platform, install dependencies and then deploy the application. With PaaS, we can offload or buy the platform as a ready service and deploy the application without taking burden of building and managing the platform. For example, wordpress is a platform where we can create our website to write blogs, host ecommerce etc. Generally, we need to install wordpress and it’s dependencies before we can create our site on wordpress. Many cloud or hosting providers offer wordpress as a ready platform where wordpress and dependencies are pre-installed. You can buy the platform as a service and start building your wordpress site in no-time.

IaaS(Infrastructure as a Service): Infrastructure means the underlying components your application runs on. The components might include: computing, storage, networking etc. Almost all cloud service providers offer those as IaaS where you can buy their IaaS plan and build your architecture by using the infrastructure. You are offloading the Infrastructure management and taking this as Service from cloud Service Providers who manage this for you.

FaaS(Functions as a Service): If you never heard the term FaaS, it’s a service model where Function is offered as a Service. FaaS is tightly coupled with another service model called Serverless. Serverless is a service model without or less management of the server and does not necessarily mean without servers. You can run your service without managing the hardware or resources that are used to run your application. FaaS is a service model based on Serverless architecture. You can write a function and run without managing the underlying resources it runs on. You can customize or configure the resources needed to run the function. For example, AWS offers lambda function as a service. You can write your own lambda function in different programming languages and platform, upload the code and run. AWS fully manage the underlying resources and provision required resources automatically for you. Here, you are buying the service to run a function. You are offloading the infrastructure or platform management which is done by AWS for you.

BaaS(Blockchain as a Service): You can offload the underlying technological difficulty by subscribing Blockchain as a service. Many small to major cloud service providers offer Blockchain as a Service. You can focus on your business application and the CSP will manage/provision resources need to run the blockchain.

In general, any service can be offered ‘X’aaS model. Hope this article gives a clear understanding of the service terms used by the cloud service providers.

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