Understanding a Cloud Stack World
When you hear about a Cloud something business, what do you think about? Something on the internet, right? That’s easy, but now let’s go inside this world to know more about particular kinds of cloud businesses. Acronyms like SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS have been in our digital routine every day, and we will talk more about these concepts to understand what they are doing to improve business development.
SaaS — Software-as-a-Service
At the top of the pyramid is Software-as-a-Service (Saas), and it is the most known concept of the API world for non-developers. It is a service which provides a kind of integration with other businesses by using API or another type of data input, such as import files. A real life example of using SaaS is connecting with a paid channel on cable tv, the TV service router sends to the intermediate a signal to make this available or unavailable for you.
The aspects and functions of this environment can be charged by subscription (most typical model), pay-per-use or even free (though nothing is ever “free” — if you are not paying, you are the product, or it is working to turn you into a paid user).The benefits of a SaaS API starts with removing the need to install softwares on the client system and to start using it minutes after the registration.
These applications remotely process and store data, removing local control from the user, and the idea here could be a good or bad thing, due to the fact that the security risks are out of control for the internal team, it is a special worry for corporates or companies working with sensitive data.
PaaS — Platform-as-a-Service
Unlike SaaS, Platform-as-a-Service delivers the entire development environment for the consumer, and alternatively to the first one API which commands a remote application server to perform a job, a PaaS API describes that job in detail to the PaaS server, which performs and shares the manipulation on the client’s application request.
A good example is when you are processing an upload with tagging and editing video or images in your API, as the API provider you need to handle the data using algorithms for compression and data streaming, however, you must have a big server structure to do that in-house. Here is where PaaS enters to provide you with the capability to process all your data and returns to you, so you handle and deliver to your customer. In other words, you provide the service, and they provide the structure.
In a pyramid representation, PaaS fits in the middle because it has both physical processing systems and sub-application capabilities.
IaaS — Infrastructure-as-a-Service
IaaS is the base physical layer of the cloud computing. It is focused more on the physical properties of a system rather than the platform or applications (as we said about PaaS) on the system as a whole.
Whereas PaaS provides benefits through the inclusion of a platform, IaaS provides the physical infrastructure for data transmission, calculation, manipulation, and presentation.
An excellent example of this is the provision of Virtual Data Centers. As a startup, your company might have a significant need for storage space, high-throughput fibre-optics, and extreme processing.
Owing to the costs and complexion of releasing these services, mainly for small teams, IaaS shows up as a great solution to have an on-demand corporate structure with small budgets.
In conclusion, you have to analyze your business in different layers, because sometimes you will use all three concepts inside a simple business. Research about which API’s are available for each part of the development cycle because with that you can accelerate releases, keep the code complexity for what matters for you and have more time to focus on different areas that have a higher result than investing more time on building your own solutions. But the most important thing to do is to not just start using an API because it is cool, you have to analyze the pros and cons, discussing with the team and to make the final decision.