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Microsoft Azure: IaaS vs PaaS: All You Need to Know


Cloud computing has and continues to gain momentum in the market and understandably so. After all, this technology has made business operations significantly easier, especially through the agility, efficiency, and reliability it offers as compared to conventional on-premises IT environments. The growing popularity of cloud computing has put the focus squarely on the many such offerings in the market.

Microsoft Azure is one of the most widely used cloud computing platforms today. And, because Azure is compatible with many applications across popular operating systems it proves to be incredibly popular & useful. Today, we will talk about two of the leading services on offer: Microsoft Azure’s Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). And, PaaS and IaaS offered with MS Azure prove to be essential components for building, deploying, and managing applications.  

Let us begin with a quick introduction:

  1. IaaS: Microsoft Azure Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) delivers key resources, such as computing, storage, and networking, thus eliminating the hassle of dealing with physical IT infrastructure. It must also be noted that the service also hosts and completely manages all of the infrastructures on offer. Some of its key benefits include:
    1. Access to virtualization services and cloud orchestration software
    2. High levels of scalability
    3. Cost savings during migration process
    4. Enables provisioning
  2. PaaS: Microsoft Azure Platform as a Service (PaaS) brings to the table a network of resources, including a software layer as well as an infrastructure layer, to ensure companies have all the tools they would need across the web app’s lifecycle, i.e. development, testing, deployment, updates, and maintenance. PaaS essentially offers an ecosystem of tools to facilitate the development of distinctive apps. Some of the key benefits of this service include:
    1. Better scalability and availability
    2. Access to additional services
    3. Enhanced productivity
    4. Ease of customization

Now, let us also take a quick look at the key differences between IaaS and PaaS.

  1. Use case scenarios: IaaS is typically used for lift-and-shift cloud migrations, testing and development, cloud storage, backup and recovery, HPC, etc. Azure PaaS, however, is generally used for the development and deployment of apps or services, analysis, or Business Intelligence (BI).
  2. Payment: Both IaaS and PaaS make use of the pay-per-usage model; this means companies have to pay for the cloud resources they use and can cancel the subscription to said resource at any time. However, it must be noted that Azure IaaS also offers two additional payment models, namely, spot and reserved pricing.
  3. Service delivery: IaaS offers companies the infrastructure, i.e. highly scalable solutions for storage, computing, and networking. Whereas PaaS provides companies with the environment to develop and deploy their apps as well as the infrastructure one would need for it.

There you have it folks, some of the key differences between Azure IaaS and Azure PaaS. Azure IaaS and PaaS are two Microsoft Azure services that are used for creating, organizing, running, and maintaining applications supported by Azure. Though both of them are high-capable cloud services, they are still unique offerings. While IaaS offers complete control over various resources, the responsibility of maintaining and updating apps is also with the company. With PaaS, on the other hand, the responsibility is more with Microsoft Azure. Therefore, whether you choose Azure IaaS or PaaS, it’s important to keep both Microsoft Azure systems running properly.

The point is to carefully consider your business’s unique requirements before taking the final call. And if you are still confused, you can always engage the services of an expert Azure consultancy to help you decide between the two and then also adopt said cloud service.