SaaS, PaaS, FaaS, IaaS, DBaaS… What Is It All About?

Posted February 7, 2021 in Blog, Programming Tips, Server

Looking at digital products online, or more specifically cloud services, you might have come across acronyms such as SaaS, PaaS, FaaS, IaaS, or DBaaS. They have all become very popular in recent years as we move more towards cloud-based infrastructures and also outsourcing services to focus on the core.

But what do they mean and when do you need them?

Common for all of them, except the writing format which you might already have noticed, is that “aaS” stands for “as a Service”, so this means that only the first 1-2 letters differentiate, this might make it a bit easier to remember them.

SaaS – Software as a Service

SaaS, known as Software as a Service, is the most basic kind of “aaS”. It’s basically a cloud-based software you rent to use.

The benefit for you is a lower monthly fee compared to buy an offline version of a piece of software. Also, you will always have the latest version since it cloud-based and maintenance is a part of the package.

Popular SaaS examples:

PaaS – Platform as a Service

PaaS, Platform as a Service, lets you run your own applications on a cloud platform. What this means is that the provider will provide you with a platform to develop and run your applications, while you don’t need to focus on underlying infrastructures such as hardware or network. Sometimes these can be customized through a dashboard.

As a public cloud service from a provider, where the consumer controls software deployment with minimal configuration options, and the provider provides the networks, servers, storage, operating system (OS)


Popular PaaS examples:

FaaS – Function as a Service

FaaS, Function as a Service, offers momentarily services to execute code remotely, for instance, in batches. For Laravel you can think of it as if you have a resource-heavy scheduled task. You don’t want to pay an expensive server just to execute this code maybe once per month. Instead, you use a FaaS to run it and only pay while it’s running.

Popar FaaS examples:

IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service

IaaS, Infrastructure as a Service, is more complex than the previously mentioned and will sometimes span over both of them. As the name suggests it’s a service to deliver infrastructure, on a technical level rather than an organizational.

The IaaS provider might deliver a set of SaaS or PaaS, but are also managing and structuring these. This could include monitoring services, continuous backup, load balancing, and security.

Popular IaaS examples:

DBaaS – Database as a Service

DBaaS, Database as a Service, is equal to SaaS just for databases. This means the term explains an implementation rather than a different type of service. It is however still worth mentioning as the acronym is used hence worth knowing about.

Popular DBaaS examples: