The deployment of cloud computing is based on different service models. These categories or types of cloud computing services provide a way for service providers to organize and cater to the diverse needs or business and technology requirements of clients or end-users.
The Major Types of Cloud Computing Services
1. IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service
Infrastructure as a Service or IaaS is a service model in which a provider offers varied IT infrastructures that are accessible via the Internet or more specifically, through the cloud. These include virtualized physical computing resources, network hardware and host servers, and storage hardware.
Examples of IaaS providers are Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Compute Engine of the Google Cloud Platform. These companies provide end-users with access to IT infrastructures relevant to their IT capabilities.
2. PaaS: Platform as a Service
Platform as a Service or PaaS is a category of cloud computing service involved in providing a development environment to application developers that is accessible via the cloud. To be specific, providers host application development platforms and tools on their own IT infrastructure.
Examples of PaaS providers include Apprenda that provides .NET and Java development environment and Heroku that offers a platform for Ruby programming and PHP and Python development environment. Note that Amazon Web Services and the Google Cloud Platform have PaaS components in their service models.
3. SaaS: Software as a Service
Software as a Service or SaaS is another service model centered on a software distribution model via the cloud. Providers of SaaS host software or applications using their IT infrastructure and make them available to end-users via the Internet. SaaS is sometimes referred to as on-demand software.
Examples of SaaS providers are Salesforce.com and Oracle Sales Cloud that provide cloud-based CRM software. Google and Adobe also distribute their software via the cloud. Note that Google offers free web-based office productivity applications such as Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides. The Adobe Creative Cloud includes a set of applications such as Photoshop and Premier.
Other Types of Cloud Computing Services
1. BaaS: Backend as a Service
Backend as a Service or BaaS is a new category of cloud computing service involved in providing developers with ways to link their web or mobile applications to cloud services using application programming interfaces or APIs and software development kits or SDKs.
Note that BaaS is somewhat similar to IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. However, it remains distinctive because it focuses on addressing the cloud-computing needs of web and mobile app developers by giving them the means to connect their applications to cloud services.
2. FaaS: Function as a Service
Function as a Service or FaaS is another new service model for cloud computing based on serverless computing. Note that FaaS is a category of serverless computing. It is specifically a service-hosted remote procedure call that allows developers to execute code in response to events minus the need to build or maintain an infrastructure.
It is also important to note that serverless computing is a cloud computing execution model that involves a provider fully managing the starting and stopping of virtual machines. It is intended to take server management and low-level infrastructure decision-making away from developers.