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Cloud Computing 101 - Types of Cloud Services

Cloud computing services fall into 4 categories: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), software as a service (SaaS) and FaaS (functions as a service). These are sometimes called the cloud computing stack, because they build on top of one another.

Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) IaaS is the most basic category of cloud computing services that allows you rent IT infrastructure (servers or VM’s) from a cloud provider on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Platform as a service (PaaS) Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) refers to the supply an on-demand environment for developing, testing, delivering and managing software applications. It is designed to quickly create web or mobile apps, without worrying about setting up or managing the underlying infrastructure of servers, storage, network and databases needed for development.

Software as a service (SaaS) Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is a method for delivering software applications over the Internet as per the demand and on a subscription basis. SaaS helps you host and manage the software application and underlying infrastructure and handle any maintenance (software upgrades and security patching).

FaaS (functions as a service) FaaS adds another layer of abstraction to PaaS, so that developers are completely insulated from everything in the stack below their code. Instead of handling the hassles of virtual servers, containers, and application runtimes, they upload narrowly functional blocks of code, and set them to be triggered by a certain event. FaaS applications consume no IaaS resources until an event occurs, reducing pay-per-use fees.

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