After playing with different clouds for these years, I think it’s the time to really clarify what’s what for Cloud terms. As you may know, there are so many *aaS, and sometimes it gets really confusing when peoper refer to them.

So, here we go:

  1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): It provides only a base infrastructure (Virtual machine, Software Define Network, Storage attached). End user have to configure and manage platform and environment, deploy applications on it. Examples: AWS (EC2), GCP (CE), Microsoft Azure (VM), Openstack Nova.

  2. Software as a Service (SaaS) : It is sometimes called to as “on-demand software”. Typically accessed by users using a thin client via a web browser. In SaaS everything can be managed by vendors: applications, runtime, data, middleware, OSes, virtualization, servers, storage and networking, End users have to use it. Examples: online games, online applications(Gmail).

  3. Platform as a Service (PaaS): It provides a platform allowing end user to develop, run, and manage applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure. Examples: Google App Engine, CloudFoundry(Openstack), Heroku, AWS (Beanstalk).

  4. Container as a Service (CaaS): A form of container-based virtualization in which container engines, orchestration and the underlying compute resources are delivered to users as a service from a cloud provider. Examples: Google Kubernetes Engine(GKE), AWS (ECS), Azure (ACS) and Pivotal (PKS), Docker Cloud.

  5. Function as a Service (FaaS): It provides a platform allowing customers to develop, run, and manage application functionalities without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure. Examples: AWS (Lamda), Google Cloud Function.

  6. Network as a Service (NaaS): NaaS can include flexible and extended Virtual Private Network (VPN), bandwidth on demand, custom routing, multicast protocols, security firewall, intrustions detection and prevention, Wide Area Network (WAN), content monitoring and filtering, and antivirus. There is no standard specification as to what is included in NaaS.