IaaS vs PaaS: Which One Is Right For Your Business

Feb 14 2022

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A Detailed Comparison Between IaaS and PaaS

Cloud adoption is accelerating across enterprises demanding more flexible options to achieve greater agility, scalability, efficiency, and innovation. While large organizations have successfully leveraged Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions or implemented cloud first strategy for new systems, many forward-thinking companies are aiming to move the bulk of their enterprise systems to the cloud using Infrastructure as a Service and Platform as a Service deployments.

Business cloud spending is soaring high, with organizations allocating more than 3.5 million each year on services for cloud-based services.

To begin with, many businesses are going digital, and are relying heavily on multicloud deployments to tap into the full value of cloud. However, the challenge comes finding the right one: IaaS vs PaaS to meet both transformational strategy and spending needs.

This blog will highlight key differences between IaaS and PaaS, the benefits & drawbacks, and how businesses find the best cloud deployment model.

What is Infrastructure as a Service?

Infrastructure as a Service provides the ability for IT resource provisioning such as processing, storage, networks and other pay-as-you-go virtualization services through a console or API. Consumers are then able to deploy software that runs on its own operating system and tools. Moreover, they can manage operating systems, storage, networking resources, and deployed applications on their own.

With IaaS, businesses leverage cloud benefits to achieve cost savings in their computing and storage layers. Agencies can access computing resources through utilization-based pricing, without spending much on hardware.

IaaS typically makes sense when:

  • You don’t have the large capital amount to build the infrastructure straight away. However, you’ve got a requirement for computing resources and the IaaS model allows you to use operational funds to keep up the digital initiatives and cater to the respective needs without waiting for the budget cycle.

  • You don’t want to hustle around for upgrading or maintaining IT infrastructure by yourself. It can be offloaded to cloud service providers. IT departments instead focus more of their limited computing resources on things that are going to add value to organization growth.

Related: Modernization - Bringing Agility and Responsiveness

What is Platform as a Service?

Platform as a Service offers businesses the flexibility to deploy on to the cloud infrastructure, which is customer-created, or applications created using programming languages and tools provided by the cloud vendor. The consumer doesn’t have full access to cloud infrastructure such as networks, servers, or storage, but has control over the deployed applications and perhaps the hosting environment.

In PaaS, the cloud service provider manages the cloud environment, which eliminates the IT administration overheads. The PaaS cloud service is an efficient method to use application and data management layers to run applications like SaaS, mobile, and enterprise apps.

For example, New York Road Runners, a non-profit running organization, transformed its existing digital and IT infra solutions by opting for PaaS cloud service that enabled them to prepare for traffic spikes during peak times of marathons and running events. Auto-scaling using Azure Web Apps has helped the organization to deliver a world-class experience to its running community.

PaaS makes sense when:

  • Businesses need greater IT staff and resource efficiency as cloud service takes care of the infrastructure management and optimization aspects.

  • There is a need for better security management. Cloud service auto applies patches and updates without human intervention.

  • It comes to achieving overall high performance during the time of demand spikes and valleys.

  • You need better resiliency and round-the-clock business uptime. The cloud service will automatically deploy high availability and fault-tolerant infrastructure.

IaaS vs PaaS

The most striking difference between IaaS and PaaS is that IaaS offers IT administrators more access control over computing resources like operating system, storage, and networking, but PaaS offers customers greater flexibility and ease of operation.

For example, if you want to start a website, you will need an IaaS product such as Amazon Web Services to host it. And if you want to add custom features to the application, you could choose a PaaS product like Google App Engine to create custom features and install them on the website.

With IaaS, you don’t need to expend huge capital to buy and install underlying hardware & infrastructure because you can outsource it from the cloud service provider. IaaS can let you buy what you need, when you need it, and purchase as your business grows.

When you compare IaaS with PaaS, IaaS can be more resilient and secure. And these two characteristics are completely dependent on the vendor you choose. Ideally, charged per hour on the basis of resource utilization, IaaS costs can speedily increase because of the precise nature of billing.

On the other hand, a PaaS solution provides the platform for developers to build unique customized software products. PaaS lets you handle advanced high-level programming by simplifying the development process. The development of apps will become more cost-effective and time efficient with PaaS. The price, however, picks up when an application needs upscaling. Once you commit to a cloud vendor for PaaS model, you’re locked in the cloud environment you selected for your software product.

Might Helpful: Migration to the Cloud - Is Your Organization Ready?

Benefits and Drawbacks

IaaS offers fully-fledged control but demands increased management of IT hardware. PaaS, on the other hand, is good with standardization but demands greater service dependency from the cloud vendor.

IaaS Benefits

Build over time - This cloud deployment model allows you to take charge of underlying IT infrastructure. That’s what makes more sense to scale up the resources over time with your cloud strategy.

Adaption at scale – In the modernization and transformation process, IaaS provides the most suitable way to adopt and integrate new solutions.


Increased Complexity - With the continuous need to keep track of cloud services, IaaS deployment is most suitable for companies that have in-house DevSecOps teams.

Security Ownership - Choosing IaaS deployment implies that you’re signing up to provide robust security. Right from networking to storage and software, the business needs to look after for security best practices.

PaaS Benefits

Standardization — PaaS enables businesses to commoditize software development by ensuring standardization across different data & computing resources.

Cost optimization — PaaS offers the most efficient way to cut down common costs associated with agile development at scale.

Related: Why cloud native is a modern approach to software development


Vendor interlocking – Most PaaS solutions come up with vendor interlocking. Standardized services make the process costly when making a shift to other cloud models after deployment.

Data management- As PaaS tools include middleware solutions, they require a closer look at the data- where does data reside? How is it encrypted? Who has access to the data?

How do Businesses Choose IaaS and PaaS?

Choosing between IaaS and PaaS is completely dependent on your business needs. Is your organization on the brink of growth or change? What’s most imperative for growth- complete control or standardization? Scalability or application development?

Use IaaS cloud service when you need to make changes in the underlying hardware or software configuration of your web application or product, or you need specific security amendments that require a private cloud & databases.

Use PaaS cloud service when your company has a digital transformation strategy, resources, and time to build software, but you don’t want to get your hands in all the nuances of setting up the infrastructure and managing databases. PaaS will keep the record of users’ information alongside other users, but security measures like encryption and containerization will keep your data at bay from any suspicious activities.

Still wondering about the best fit cloud service for your business! Consult with Icreon. We are a team of cloud experts that can assist you in your cloud deployment journey to drive successful results.