On-Premises, IaaS, PaaS… Which cloud service type to choose?

Joni Moilanen | 25.01.2020
Reading time 2 min

There are several ways to publish services to the Internet, but what is the difference between cloud service types, and which works the best for you? In addition to the initial investments, it is also important to consider the long-term costs of continuous maintenance and growth of the service.

Image by Microsoft.

Image by Microsoft.

On-Premises – when you want to take care of everything by yourself

There are still companies that prefer to use their own servers when publishing their services to the Internet. It can often be the easiest and cheapest way if the service is not particularly demanding and the increase in user volumes is slow and predictable.

Fast-growing service requires more preparedness in the form of datacenter, virtualization and skilled personnel. At worst, there’s a huge investment in a data center, and if the service doesn’t turn out to be a success, all the expenses are wasted.

Infrastructure-As-a-service (IaaS) – Own servers in the cloud

When the service load increases and the maintenance of your own servers become more challenging, the easiest solution is often to transfer your own virtual machines directly to the cloud, such as into Azure Virtual Machines.

This certainly saves on hardware costs, but IaaS solutions also require virtual networks, virtual server maintenance and another extra effort on top of building the actual software. The scaling of the service is not that much easier than it is with on-premises servers and the infrastructure must be carefully planned at an early stage for the future.

Platform-as-a-Services (PaaS) – The best option

The most ideal solution is to build the service directly to the cloud, using the platform-as-a-service, PaaS, service model.

In PaaS, the entire infra is the concern of the cloud service provider, and only the construction of the service is left to you. Maintenance and monitoring are considerably easier and even auto-scaling based on load is possible. iPaaS (Integration-platform-as-a-service) is a variation of this. In practice, it means running your integration solution in the cloud.

It’s cheap to get started, often almost free. If the product or service isn’t a success, it won’t be as expensive, as the above-mentioned options. When failing is cheaper, it is safer to take risks with new ideas.

We at Zure only invest in PaaS solutions, as they are the most practical and cost-effective solution for both our developers and our customers.

Software-As-A-Service (SaaS) is what the customer finally sees

Whatever the service solution you choose, the result is what matters. All web services are in practice SaaS (software-as-a-service) solutions from the users’ perspective, and the service provider takes care of everything else.