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SaaS vs. PaaS vs. IaaS

SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS? The list of cloud acronyms is a growing one, but these three terms form the essential foundation of business cloud computing and often take complimentary roles in a cloud environment.

SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) is the one true "household name" in this list. SaaS moves software deployment and management to third-party cloud software services. Familiar SaaS platforms include CRM, marketing automation, storage solutions, and of course, cloud data warehousing. SaaS apps reduce total-cost-of-ownership (TCO) by eliminating most software maintenance resources and upgrade costs. In addition, SaaS solutions hit the OpEx budget, not the CapEx, making it easier for businesses to fit SaaS apps into the budget.

PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) are cloud-based platform services that provide a foundation for developers to build custom business apps. It bundles an operating system and server software with server hardware and network infrastructure to free developers to focus on building high-value custom solutions for their organizations.

IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) combines highly scalable and automated compute resources with cloud storage and networking -- often available on-demand. IaaS gives businesses the ability to scale up and down and create virtual data centers that do not involve expensive overhead costs to run and manage.

Snowflake and SaaS, Paas, and IaaS

Snowflake provides a SaaS-delivered DWaaS (Data Warehouse as a Service) built for the cloud. The solution also includes data sharing, data lake, data replication, and custom development capabilities, in effect also serving as a data PaaS. Snowflake partners with leading IaaS data services providers (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform) to deliver highly elastic data storage, analytics, and sharing to enterprises of all types and sizes.