Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) is a type of cloud-based computing solution. Together with infrastructure-as-a-service and software-as-a-service, PaaS makes up a huge chunk of what modern-day businesses rely on to successfully and efficiently run their day-to-day operations. Everything from email hosting platforms, data storage, authentication, and more run on some kind of IT infrastructure, and those outsourced follow one of these models.

There are plenty of reasons why a business might look into modernizing its infrastructure and adopting these solutions to form part of its operations. These solutions offer a way for businesses to gain access to state-of-the-art technology all whilst reducing costs, boosting reliability, and alleviating risk. If anything ever goes wrong, they have a vendor like Sangfor available to offer help and assistance, leaving you with more time to focus on what truly counts toward the success of your business.

But how do you know whether PaaS, IaaS, or SaaS is right for you? This article will go into detail about platform-as-a-service models including what they are, how they work, and what benefits they bring. Click for more information about either IaaS or SaaS.

What is Platform-as-a-Service?

What Is PAAS (Platform-As-A-Service)

Platform-as-a-service, or PaaS, is a cloud-computing model offered by a range of vendors that enables businesses to take advantage of a cloud-based system without having to take everything in-house. In this model, the vendor hosts everything from the operating system down to storage and networking. Effectively, using this platform means businesses will still maintain control over their applications and data, but other aspects will be managed by the vendor.

How does PaaS work?

As the name suggests, a PaaS cloud computing model operates on the basis of a vendor delivering a platform in return for either a monthly or yearly cost or depending on the use. This platform may be rolled out through a public, hybrid, or private cloud system. In the former, the vendor will supply everything needed for the business to run applications and utilize the cloud. In the latter, the vendor will cooperate with the business to run a more customized and unique cloud system, usually operating on the business's own data center. A hybrid model is some form of a combination of the two.

A business may opt for private PaaS software if they want more control over the PaaS model. They will be able to work alongside a more secure and highly customizable version of public PaaS solutions, effectively offering a combination of local networks and cloud-based versions. As such, they will have complete control over applications and tools.

However, some of the drawbacks of a private cloud mean that a public PaaS cloud is better suited for many businesses. First and foremost is cost. Public PaaS systems are typically much more cost-effective than their private counterparts. They are also considerably less complex and can therefore be set up much quicker, and require less maintenance.

What are the differences between PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS?

PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS are a range of options that businesses can choose when transitioning into a cloud-based model.

Ordinarily, before cloud-based solutions took over, businesses would host their network and all applications locally. While this meant they had complete control over how it was run, it also was a huge responsibility when it came to maintaining it, updating it to newer technology, and more.

Cloud-based solutions offered an alternative to this, whereby a portion or all of the hosting was transferred to a third-party vendor. IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS are simply versions of this with varying degrees of management outsourced to this vendor.

For example, in a SaaS model, everything is outsourced from the applications to storage. In a platform-as-a-service model, the applications and data are still managed by the business. Lastly, in an IaaS model, only the servers, storage, and networking are outsourced - leaving most to the business.

Choosing these varying degrees of control means businesses can choose a model which fits their needs. A PaaS model sits somewhere in between in terms of the level of control, and is, therefore, a good middle-of-the-road option for many businesses. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits.

What benefits do PaaS solutions bring?

The platform-as-a-service cloud model, as mentioned, is a great option for businesses that want a moderate degree of control over their network infrastructure. Most of the time, mid-sized businesses will be the ones to opt for this choice, as smaller businesses and start-ups may prefer the most cost-effective and efficient option, while huge multinational corporations typically prefer private clouds for the utmost security and control. Here are some of the benefits of a PaaS:

Business data is kept on-site

All businesses have sensitive data, and all deal with customer-sensitive data to varying degrees. Everything from addresses to credit card details and even medical histories need to be kept in a place that’s easily accessible and compatible with modern applications and systems (the cloud), but also in a safe and secure manner.

It is because of this that plenty of businesses decide to opt for a PaaS model whereby they can retain control over the applications and data used in their cloud network. Pairing in-house data storage with a range of cybersecurity solutions like those offered by Sangfor ensures that your business's own data as well as client information is kept completely secure, and cannot be accessed in the unlikely event that the cloud vendor is compromised.

You’re free to develop your own tools & applications

Within a PaaS model, the application layer is yours to manage and control. In a SaaS model, businesses are afforded a range of pre-programmed and public tools and applications. While this may be a huge benefit for smaller brands who want the most cost-effective option possible, brands that may want their own custom software will find this limiting. A PaaS system means they can get the flexibility they need without having to take everything else in-house as well.

Scalability is always an option

If you’re using a public cloud model, scalability is extremely easy with PaaS plans. Even private clouds are able to be transformed into public clouds if the need arises. Plenty of businesses undergo ups and downs when it comes to growth. Having a cloud-based computing model that can scale up or down based on your needs at that time is a huge benefit and helps brands stay agile in the face of difficulties like the recent pandemic.

Relatively affordable & subscription based

Compared to hosting everything in-house, PaaS infrastructure is far more affordable. Businesses who hire a vendor for PaaS can greatly reduce the amount of money they spend on IT and management, instead reinvesting it into growth engines. As a subscription-based service, PaaS plans are also easily adjusted as necessary and you only ever need to pay for what you need, when you need it.

Everything most businesses need, grouped in one package

From communication channels to APIs and even process management, PaaS solutions offer many businesses the ideal combination of in-house control and outsourced efficiency. They are a perfect building block and foundation for growing your business.

Drive growth for your business with Sangfor

PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS solutions are great foundations for businesses to thrive, and pairing the right model with your business can lead to significant success. If you want to learn more about platform-as-a-service solutions including what they are and how they work, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team today.

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