09/22 2023

What are IaaS, PaaS, FaaS, and SaaS? Master all four major cloud computing service models and serverless applications at once!

In previous articles of our serverless series, we discussed topics such as “Building a War Room with Serverless Services” and “Serverless x DevOps for Developing Modern Applications,” enabling enterprises to grasp the applications of serverless services and align them with relevant development concepts to achieve the goal of modernizing applications. Today, at BoHong Cloud, we want to take you through the “Origins of Serverless” and introduce you to the four major cloud computing service models, helping you understand how serverless computing evolved and how it has created different cloud computing service models to assist enterprises in adopting serverless services and expanding their businesses with modern models!

🌎 Cloud Service Models: What You Need to Know:
📍 What are IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS? How are they related to serverless computing?
📍 FaaS – a New Form of Cloud Computing that combines with serverless to empower you with computational secrets!
📍 Comparing the Four Major Cloud Service Models – Choosing the most suitable workload environment for your enterprise!

What are IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS? And what is their connection to the origin of serverless computing?

The concept of “Serverless” was first mentioned by Ken Fromm in his article “Why The Future Of Software And Apps Is Serverless” in 2012. In the article, Ken Fromm explained that as early as 15 years ago, the thought process for digital transformation in foreign enterprises had shifted from “Why adopt the cloud?” to “How to perform computations in the cloud?” At that time, the most well-known cloud computing model was “Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).”

What is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)?

The concept of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) involves public cloud providers offering fundamental cloud infrastructure, including virtualized computing resources (such as Amazon EC2 instances and Amazon S3 object storage) and networking resources, allowing enterprises to build relevant services on top of this basic infrastructure. Using the IaaS computing service model, enterprises can access a virtual infrastructure platform and create their application environments on top of it. The IaaS computing model offers high flexibility and freedom but requires engineering teams to manage the operating system, applications, and related resources themselves.

In essence, the maintenance of the “infrastructure” still falls on the users, and for those who are not very familiar with cloud services, this might lead to inflexible applications or inefficient resource utilization. Therefore, in 2011, AWS introduced “AWS Elastic Beanstalk” as a computing service, officially evolving from IaaS services, allowing “PaaS services” to thrive. Combined with integration with serverless computing services, it enables rapid application deployment.

The Integration of Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Serverless Concepts

With the rapid development of cloud computing models, the application of PaaS services has become increasingly widespread. Platform as a Service (PaaS) offers a comprehensive application development and runtime platform, including runtime environments, development tools, and database management systems. When using PaaS, developers can focus on application development without worrying about the underlying infrastructure, allowing them to build and deploy applications more quickly, achieving scalability and flexibility. The serverless computing model can be integrated with PaaS services, allowing developers to manage servers or virtual machine configurations effortlessly.

Booming Opportunities for SaaS Providers, Worry-Free Infrastructure

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a service model that provides complete software applications. Users can access and use applications directly through the internet via SaaS services without the need to install and manage software in their local environments. Common SaaS services include everyday office tools like Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems like Salesforce. SaaS service users only need to pay for usage and don’t have to concern themselves with underlying infrastructure and application management. Similarly, when building SaaS services on public cloud service platforms, developers don’t need to worry about application and function layers as AWS manages them all.

The new form of cloud computing model, FaaS (Function as a Service): Don’t Miss Out If You’re Considering Serverless!

When it comes to serverless computing and cloud service models, one concept that perfectly combines the two and allows developers to achieve the goal of “no server infrastructure management” is none other than “Function as a Service (FaaS).” FaaS is an implementation method of serverless computing. In FaaS, developers break down their code into small, independent functions. These independent functions are designed to perform specific tasks, and when they need to be executed, they are triggered and defined as “events” and automatically scale computational resources when needed.

FaaS provides an event-driven, highly elastic computing model. Developers only need to focus on writing the logic for individual task-executing functions and upload them to the FaaS platform. When specific events occur (such as a user issuing an HTTP request or a database update), the FaaS platform automatically triggers the corresponding functions to execute and provides the results to the user. With the FaaS model, developers can manage and write application logic in a more granular manner.

The integration of Function as a Service (FaaS) with serverless computing allows developers to write, deploy, and manage applications more flexibly. Developers can concentrate on implementing each function without worrying about server infrastructure management. This combination also offers higher scalability and performance, as functions are only executed when events trigger them, saving resources and costs, reducing development and delivery time, and enhancing product update speed.

In everyday life, applications of FaaS range from dynamic web data processing and data cleaning to chatbots and voice assistants. In the past, hosting static websites using Amazon S3 object storage was common, and for dynamic web pages with user login and data validation steps, FaaS services were used for processing. Additionally, popular voice assistants like iOS’s “Siri” or chatbots are common examples of FaaS applications. When users send requests, the corresponding functions and events are triggered to respond to user requests.

Common voice assistants and chatbots are representative examples of FaaS.

A Comprehensive Comparison of Four Cloud Computing Service Models! Choose Efficient Productivity for Your Needs!

After understanding the differences between IaaS, PaaS, FaaS, and SaaS, BoHong Cloud has compiled a comparison of the four cloud service models for you. This allows you to select the most suitable cloud service model based on your current company product requirements. Additionally, when combined with the serverless computing model, it enables you to effortlessly save time and costs associated with managing infrastructure, thereby enhancing internal development efficiency within your enterprise!

ConceptDeveloping with cloud computing platform resources while still needing to manage the underlying infrastructure.The Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) model allows enterprises to focus on application development without worrying about infrastructure maintenance.Combining the concept of serverless computing, running ‘functions’ triggered by ‘events’.Software as a Service (SaaS) enables direct access and usage of related services over the internet.
Automatic Scaling and Maintenance of Infrastructure
ApplicationProvisioning virtual machines for cloud computing.As long as you can upload code, you can deploy a highly available environment.From dynamic web pages and data cleansing to chatbots and voice assistants, all are applications of FaaS (Function as a Service).Such as Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, and others.
AWS Related Services“Amazon EC2 is an example of AWS, which itself is considered Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).”AWS Elastic BeanstalkFeatures like AWS Lambda and AWS Step Functions.Utilize AWS hosting and serverless-related services to begin building your SaaS service!

Are you still undecided about which cloud computing service model to adopt for your company’s products? Schedule a consultation with Nextlink Technology now, from AWS Lambda delivery to AWS hosting services, to help you eliminate the hassles of infrastructure maintenance and resource deployment during development!