LaaS, PaaS, CaaS, IaaS, FaaS, and SaaS Explained

PayPro Global
  • Date Published
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What are Cloud Services? What ‘clouds’ are out there? How do they work? Let’s find the answers.

As technology develops, new variations of cloud computing services pop up. No two services are the same, but they share similar characteristics. Most importantly, they all exist in the same sky, ready to be accessed by the people below.

Before using the cloud server network, we need to ask some questions first. What are Cloud Services? What ‘clouds’ are out there? How do they work? Let’s find the answers.

What Are Cloud Computing Services? ☁️

Cloud computing services provide on-demand computing services to suit users’ needs. From storage to applications, they offer solutions by making IT infrastructure truly accessible.

How do cloud services work? These services operate via the internet on a pay-as-you-go basis. Instead of purchasing software or other computing resources, you rent the services you need from a cloud computing provider.

Cloud services give you the benefits of advanced IT infrastructure but not the burden of ownership. You pay, you access, you use. It’s that simple.

The Most Popular Cloud Computing Services 📈

The world of cloud computing services is vast and includes various different models. Sifting through the acronyms and understanding the nuances between the different types of services can be tricky.

In this article, we’re going to walk you through some of the most popular cloud services — what they are, why they’re popular, and what to look out for when choosing between them.

Licensing-as-a-Service (LaaS)

→ What Is Licensing-as-a-Service (LaaS)?

LaaS is first up on our list for popular cloud services. LaaS providers manage software licenses through web-based configurations.

When a customer buys software, a software license usually outlines its terms of use. This document dictates how much the customer pays, for how long, and which version of the software they’re paying for.

Traditionally, software developers have created in-house licensing engines to ensure protection. They’ve then issued perpetual licenses or mandated dongles to track software use.

However, as these methods are easily abused, modern alternatives have been sought. One such solution is LaaS.

→ How Does LaaS work?

Vendors stay in control of the terms of use for their software. They determine how, when, and who can use the software. And the LaaS provider makes sure the license is enforced with the end-users.

RLM Cloud is a great example of LaaS. It’s a simple-to-use cloud solution that hosts customers’ license services via an internet browser. Another LaaS company, 10 Dukes Entitlements, also provides modern licensing solutions to businesses.

→ The 6 Main Benefits of Licensing-as-a-Service (LaaS)

LaaS is overcoming the difficulties and limitations of traditional licensing methods. This type of service can:

  • Be used for various licensing models and application types.
  • Offer vendors more flexibility. Vendors can focus on creating software, not enforcing its protection.
  • Make monetizing software faster and easier, increasing scalability.
  • Be used to manage, track, and regulate software usage.
  • Be tailored to each software suite as providers can advise vendors on different licensing options.
  • Reduce friction in your business by alleviating the stress of manual license management.

→ The First Things To Look out for With LaaS

It’s not unusual to feel hesitant about migrating to the cloud for your software licensing needs. One thing to be wary of when using LaaS is making sure you choose a provider that understands your industry. If they don’t know what you’re selling, they’ll be unable to suggest licenses to protect your product.

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

→ What Is Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)?

PaaS is second on our list of popular cloud services. It provides hardware and application software platforms to customers, using cloud servers.

Typically, businesses have procured hardware for in-house use, choosing to run all their applications and store their data in on-site infrastructure.

But with the ever-changing complexity of technology, the hardware you invest in quickly becomes outdated. Luckily, PaaS offers a solution.

→ How Does PaaS Work?

PaaS provides a hosted environment where users can fulfill an array of computing needs. Users can develop, manage, and run their applications on the platform while the PaaS provider manages the infrastructure.

PaaS encompasses a wide range of offerings, from servers and networking tools to storage and operating systems. The Google App Engine is a great example, offering users web applications hosted from Google-managed data centers. Another is Microsoft Azure, which provides access to tools such as Windows and Linux Virtual Machines.

→ The 7 Main Benefits of Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

Among other benefits, PaaS allows users to:

• Get their products to market faster and gain a competitive edge.
• Develop and manage application programming interfaces (APIs).
• Analyze and mine data for business analytics.
• Store, maintain and manage a business’s database.
• Create frameworks to build customized cloud-based apps.
• Test new languages, operating systems, and databases.
• Cut coding time for platform functions like security features.

→ The First Things To Look out for With PaaS

Before signing on for a PaaS product, be aware of the security risks of placing critical data on online servers. The last thing you want is your data falling victim to cyberattacks.

Make sure the PaaS provider you choose has done their due diligence. They need to be vigilant about updating and maintaining their security features.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

→ What Is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)?

In the past, if you wanted to use software applications, you had to install them on your device. These installations would need to be updated, maintained, and uninstalled when you no longer wanted to use them.

That is until SaaS came along with its web-based apps.

SaaS works through cloud servers that host application software and provides ways to deliver these applications via the internet.

→ How Does SaaS Work?

SaaS works in two ways: Independent software vendors (ISVs) contract cloud providers to host their applications or software providers host their applications on their own cloud server or network.

Businesses using SaaS applications don’t need to worry about the setup or maintenance of the software. Any updates or improvements to the application are handled by the provider and not the user.

SaaS offers a ready-made solution for users’ problems in return for a subscription fee. Great examples of SaaS products are MailChimp, Dropbox, and Slack. Adobe, which licenses desktop and mobile apps for photography, video, design, is one of the world’s leading SaaS providers.

→ The 6 Main Benefits of SaaS

Users of SaaS get to enjoy the following benefits:

• SaaS makes fixing bugs easier and automatically performs updates, reducing the burden on in-house IT staff.
• Upgrades carry less customer risk and lower adoption costs.
• Users can run apps without having to worry about managing software or hardware. This saves costs of hardware and licensing.
• Businesses can integrate SaaS applications with other software that uses APIs.
• SaaS providers handle the app’s security, check its performance, and make sure it’s available to users.
• Users can customize their SaaS applications to suit their business processes. without any effect on their own infrastructure.

→ The First Things To Look Out for With SaaS

Using SaaS isn’t without its risks. SaaS services are outside of your control. You will have to place trust in your SaaS provider’s ability to manage your software.

SaaS offerings are also not exempt from security breaches and service disruptions. Make sure you understand a provider’s service level agreement (SLA) before subscribing and check that the SLA is enforceable.

Also note that rollouts and upgrades can happen, regardless of whether customers want them to. If you don’t like the new version, migrating your data to another vendor can be tricky. So, be prepared for occasional updates.

Read on and find out everything you need to know about CaaS, IaaS, and FaaS in our complete guide into the most popular cloud computing services on PayPro Global’s blog.