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Understanding Cloud Deployment Models

Understanding cloud deployment models

Understanding cloud deployment models

Before choosing the right migration path to the cloud it’s important to get a clear understanding about cloud deployment models. You can find a lot about this on the internet but to be complete I wanted to share this overview.

There are three key cloud deployment models that underpin the right cloud migration path to take.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): IaaS is a basic cloud service. It provides resources such as virtual machines (VM), network load balancers, storage and connectivity. To take advantage of this model, CPU, memory, storage and network are added to a VM and then an application is deployed into that same VM.

While the underlying platform is managed by the cloud provider, the user of the platform is responsible for maintaining their applications and taking backups. Some cloud providers may offer a backup option for the VM to provide a level of disaster recovery.  But the user still has to consider if they should be taking off site backups.

Platform as a Service (PaaS): PaaS is a computing platform, operating systems, databases and applications delivered by the cloud provider. Customers deploy onto, and developers write code for, the PaaS.

This is a highly automated and scalable environment. The management tools ensure resources are provisioned when demand reaches a given level. The cloud provider is maintains the platform and patches the operating systems, web servers and databases.

Software as a Service (SaaS): The application software is installed in the cloud and accessed by the user only when needed. The cloud owner manages the software and owns the licenses and effectively rents the software to the users which means they make significant savings by only paying for software when they are using it.

You can read more about the migration path to the cloud in my next post.


My paper ‘How to move to the cloud’ is a useful guide to a successful migration to the cloud. It’s available to download here!

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