Public Cloud Service models

On our previous publication, we read “What is Cloud? Concepts and Benefits”.

Now, once we know we can use the public cloud for our Information Systems needs, we see that there are different models and levels of responsibilities on administration of the different levels of components. These levels have the common postfix “aaS” that means “as a Service” because they are Services on Public clouds. Let’s take a look of the different components and how do they work.

As we have heard now, there is the analogy with having Pizza with the popular “Pizza as a Service”, there are new models on the market, so I decided to make a new analogy.


In this analogy, we will see all the element of a living space, and how we do not manage some expenses similar to the Service models. 

Cloud Service models compared to House as a Service model
Cloud Service models compared to House as a Service model

Traditional On-Premises  -> Buy a house.

When we have or services On-Premises, we own all the equipment (Hardware) and the software licenses, so we operate everything necessary for our computer services: Servers, Network, Storage, physical space and conditioning, among others. If we have a virtualized environment, we manage it, the OS of physical and virtual servers, the programs we use for the business needs, how to scale it according to needs, the code changes to the apps and finally the configuration for users and data.
This is similar to Buying a house, we buy the land, the house on it, we are responsible of property taxes, maintenance, bring our furniture, pay the city services like water, electricity, etc. Keep it clean, bring food and beverages, and finally enjoy of everything.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) -> Rent a house.

In IaaS, we take advantage of the virtualization technology we talk on “What is Cloud? Concepts and Benefits” and we rent Virtual resources on someone else’s hardware, with this, we stop managing the hardware (No more emails at 3 AM for a server down with bad motherboard) and we create Virtual machines, we are still responsible of the OS, updates, licensing, etc. the big difference is we do not worry about hardware. Similar to Renting a house or apartment, we are not responsible for maintenance, taxes or any physical aspect of the house.

Container as a Service (CaaS)  -> Rent furniture and a house.

In CaaS, we have Containers, Containers are packages of software that contain all of the necessary elements to run in any environment. In this way, containers virtualize the operating system and run anywhere, from a private data center to the public cloud or even on a developer’s personal laptop. Similar to rent the furniture for my rented house, where I do not invest on buying furniture, just renting for a period of time avoiding the depreciation of it.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)  -> Vacation Rental (Airbnb)

PaaS remove the need to manage the underlying infrastructure (usually hardware and operating systems) and allow us to focus on the deployment and management of our applications. This helps us be more efficient as we don’t need to worry about resource procurement, capacity planning, software maintenance, patching, or any of the other undifferentiated heavy lifting involved in running the application. This is similar to a Vacation rental, where all the house is already setup and we will rent it for a period of time, we are still responsible of cleaning and keep it in order, as well as our food and beverages. We rent the house according to the number of persons that will travel with us.

Function as a Service (FaaS)  -> Hotel Room

FaaS is a form of cloud computing that helps developers work better by removing the need for them to maintain application infrastructure. FaaS allows us to build and deploy a small piece of code, or a function, that performs a specific task. The cloud provider adds scale if needed when a function executes. Going to the similarity, is like going to a Hotel Room, the room is there, the furniture is there, and even the hotel takes care of cleaning and leave the room ready every day, we still have to pay for our meals and enjoy the room.

Software as a Service (SaaS)  -> “All Included” Hotel

SaaS provide access to application software often referred to as “on-demand software”. We don’t have to worry about the installation, setup and running of the application. Service provider will do that for us. We just have to pay and use it through some client, we only manage our configuration and data. This would be similar to a hotel “All included” where our payment takes care of everything, the room, the housekeeping, the installations, even the meals and beverages, we only have to enjoy of the services.

Thanks for reading and I hope it is helpful for you.
Your comments are appreciated.

Mariano Carro Arrubarrena.

The research of this newsletter was based on the following sources. For more details, please go to the following links.

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