SaaS vs PaaS vs IaaS vs hosting vs colocation vs server comparisons

software as a service, platform as his service, infrastructure as a service, hosting, colocation, or owning your own server; hey everyone, Alex Moen with today’s Biz Tech Tips. And today I’ll cover the differences between each of these. So first I’ll start off with just owning your own server. So when you own your own server, everything is run off of it, you have full control, you get to choose the server, everything that’s going on there, the speed, the memory; you can hack it, you can modify it, you can do whatever you want there. But some of the con sides there is normally need for a pretty skilled technical person there to handle it, and they could be pretty pricey.

A colocation facility is essentially where you still own the server, but you’re putting it in someone else’s facility with a bunch of other servers. So the benefits here you might get better Internet connection, might get better security, you might get all of those other things and still maintain full control over the server itself. The only downside is that, generally, you have to schedule an appointment to go in and see your own server.

And since it’s off-site you have the benefit of maybe having data back backup outside of the office and if something happens to the office, but what if you need to visit your server immediately on-site because something happens? Now you have to drive to it, you have to make sure you get access and all these other things.

What about hosting? So hosting the server is a little bit different. This is the equivalent of renting a server so you don’t have a say so much on the server and what’s chosen or anything like that. You don’t get that granularity and that control, but you’re also not responsible for fixing it or keeping up time and all sorts of other things.

Hosting is generally now in little specific niche areas, like maybe it’s an email host or a website host.

Infrastructure as a service is probably similar to hosting I’ll kind of throw it in that region, where you are renting a server. But you could do more with it, so it’s not just an email host. You could do whatever you want. Maybe you get Amazon Web services or Microsoft Azure, and you set up all your own different things there. But again, you don’t own the server.

But you get the benefits from- you can scale up pretty easily. So where maybe you needed multiple servers for handling a bunch of different things, your company is growing, you can easily expand with infrastructure as a service and still have more control than some of the other options out there.

So, for instance, with platform as a service that gives lots of flexibility but platforms, you don’t control the platform that’s going on it. So you don’t control things like the operating system or the databases. You don’t get access to any of that.

Generally, platforms as a service are places where you build your own software or your own apps or that sort of a thing, because you need something custom for your company. But you don’t want to have to deal with the hassle of buying your own server and setting it up and networking and all that. So, Google App Engine or Heroku are examples there. And then finally there’s Software as a Service. You’re probably most familiar with this and things that you might not even think of fall under this category, like Gmail actually being that, PayPal, or Office 365.

So, kind of think of it- You don’t have to worry about developing your own software, you don’t have to worry about installing your own software on a computer itself, you can access it anywhere through the cloud there. But the downside here is you’re limited to whatever options the software gives you. You need software to do something that it doesn’t offer, then you’re extremely limited there.

But again, you don’t have to worry about developing this software. You don’t have to worry about updates.

You don’t have to worry about the server or the security or etc, etc, etc, right? So, “which is best?” is kind of the question that I get a lot for this kind of thing, but that’s impossible to answer without knowing your specific situation.

There’s a reason why all of these niches exist and why lots of big companies are there making money. It really depends on you and your funds and your situation and capabilities and all that.

Let me know in the comments below, if you have any questions and I’ll try and help you out, direct you the best I can. But until next time, have a good one, everyone..

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