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Cloud as a service

Cloud as a service

(also CaaS)

Cloud as a service definition

Cloud as a service is a business model for delivering cloud services using subscriptions or pay-per-use arrangements. The cloud as a service model lets organizations make full use of cloud resources, applications, and infrastructure while only paying for what they need — once a tool becomes irrelevant, the organization can simply unsubscribe to save money.

See also: public cloud infrastructure, cloud attack, cloud sandboxing

Types of cloud as a service solutions

  • Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) provides virtualized computing resources, most notably the infrastructure required to run virtual machines.
  • Platform as a service (PaaS) offers an environment where developers can build, deploy, and manage applications.
  • Software as a service (SaaS) lets users access applications in the cloud using their web browsers or dedicated client software.

Real cloud as a service examples

  • Google Cloud Compute Engine allows users to launch virtual machines on Google’s infrastructure. Users can select from a variety of predefined instance types or create their own custom configurations.
  • Heroku abstracts the infrastructure layer (the physical equipment and systems) needed for software, allowing developers to deploy, manage, and scale web applications on demand.
  • Microsoft Office 365 provides users with a suite of productivity applications for office work, most famously Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
  • Dropbox allows users to store and share files in the cloud.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security