The Three Service Levels of Cloud Computing

Fig 1: Cloud Computing

The cloud computing is the one of the crucial technologies that provides better computing environment for businesses and any other enterprises with enhanced features. The primary concerns of cloud computing is the convergence of the various computing infrastructures and the flexibility in resource and service sharing. Resources can be utilized in its optimal level in the cloud computing platform. It also allows the dynamic reallocation of resources based on user demands.

A lot of advanced features are in-built into the cloud computing technology to boost up the business computing sections. These advanced features benefit the business in a number of ways.

Cloud Computing Service Levels

Cloud computing is actually a model developed for allowing users to have a consistent and convenient network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources. The on-demand network access to the resources such as networks, applications, storage, servers, services, etc can be instantly provisioned and released with fewer interactions from the service provider. The cloud computing model is mainly relied upon three service levels. The following are the primary service levels of cloud computing;

cloud service levels

Fig 2: The Service Levels of Cloud Computing



  1. SaaS – Software as a Service

The SaaS delivers an entire application or service to the users over the web via an API (Application Program Interface) or browser. The online software applications like email part of SaaS. The SaaS is the ultimate level of abstraction of the service model. The consumers only required to concentrate on administering users to the system in SaaS service model. That is, the users will not have to bother about the underlying cloud infrastructure. This frees up the users from purchasing expensive software, installing software or applications on users’ computers, allocating space and resources, etc. The users will have given access to application software and the service providers will provide the infrastructure required for running these applications.

The Software as a Service level is generally used with the non-core competency type applications such as financial & accounting applications, human resource applications, customer relationship management (CRM), etc. Through SaaS a wide range of software required by the users are available all the time on Internet. This strategy helps the users in accessing the software as and when required.

An attractive feature of feature of SaaS is that it is on-demand software which is priced as pay-per-use basis. Businesses can considerably reduce the IT operational costs by using SaaS because the hardware & software maintenance and support is outsourced to the cloud provider. As a result, the operational costs can be shifted to meet other goals.


  1. PaaS – Platform as a Service

The intermediate level of abstraction is the PaaS or platform as a Service. As the name implies, at this service level a computing platform will be provided for the users by the cloud service providers. The cloud infrastructure at this level will include the programming language execution environment, database, web server and operating systems. Using this platform the users can develop and run their software applications in a cost-effective manner. Though the users need not have to control or manage the cloud infrastructure, they have to control the deployed applications and the configuration settings for the application-hosting environment.


  1. IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service

IaaS is the lowest level of abstraction. Infrastructure as a Service outsources your hardware by providing you the physical or virtual machines and any other resources required. Hence the through IaaS, you are not only getting the computing power as rent but also the networking, cooling and power. Infrastructure as a Service provides you both compute and cloud storage.

In the IaaS environment, the users are able to deploy and run the arbitrary software which consists of operating systems and applications. The customer has no need to control the underlying cloud infrastructure but has to manage the operating systems, storage and deployed applications.

The cloud users will install the OS images and application software on the cloud infrastructure for deploying their applications. IaaS also allows the users to patch and maintain their OS and applications. The IaaS services will be billed based on the utility computing in which the cost is estimated on the amount of resources allocated and consumed.

The above three service levels of cloud computing provides the better ways through which the cloud computing services can be consumed and utilized.



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