What is a Platform as a Service (or: PaaS) really?

I get the question from the title a lot since I started working at anynines. Which is fair enough, with the Everything as a Service trend, one easily gets the terminology confused. The extension as a service is used in many core components of cloud computing including communication, infrastructure, data and platforms (there we are!). Let’s look at a few of those in more detail.

Infrastructure as a Service

Providers of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offer computers – physical or more often virtual machines – and other resources. A hypervisor – powered by OpenStack in our case – runs the virtual machines (VMs). IaaS clouds often offer additional resources such as a virtual-machine disk image library, raw (block) and file-based storage, firewalls, load balancers, IP addresses, virtual local area networks (VLANs), and software bundles on-demand from their large pools installed in data centers.


Quite possibly funniest IaaS reference in a Twitter bio ever.

Why would you use IaaS rather than ‘bare metal’? Well, cloud providers typically bill IaaS services on a utility basis (where the cost reflects the amount of actual resources allocated and consumed), which is oftentimes cheaper.

Software as a Service

Software as a Service (SaaS) means that users are provided access to application software. In the SaaS business model, cloud providers install and operate application software in the cloud and cloud users access the software from cloud clients. This is neat as it eliminates the need to install and run the application on the cloud user’s own computers. Let alone install updates manually!

Cloud-based application software follows particular(ly nerdy) naming convention: Desktop as a Service, Communication as a Service, and so on.

Alternatively SaaS stands for Stroopwafels as a Service.

And finally… Platform as a Service

And then we have Platform as a Service, albeit not in that order. In the PaaS model, a cloud provider delivers a computing platform, typically including os, programming language execution environment, a database and a web server. You can then develop and run your software solutions on that (cloud) platform.

tl;dr: you won’t lose a sweat over managing the underlying hardware and software layers and can focus on developing your applications, keeping the administration amount at the lowest possible level.

100% European PaaS, what does that even mean?

anynines claims to be a 100% European Platform as a Service. What that means? Well, it means that we are not affected by US judges ruling that cloud firms must hand over data they store in the US and overseas datacenters alike, as we are a European company and our complete stack runs in Europe.

Our Infrastructure as our Service layer is located in the datacenter of Skyway Datacenter GmbH, in Sankt Ingbert. With Skyway we found a partner in bringing the idea of a real European cloud to life. Being located and registered as a company in Germany, Skyway DC is compliant to European laws only. In other words: your business data is safe from the NSA!

To sum it up, at anynines we (can) combine PaaS with IaaS, so you can focus on developing your applications and keep the administration amount at a level close to zero, plus: your business data is safe from snoops and evil-doers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *