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Cloud-Hosted Terminology: Types Of Systems

As we continue our series on maintaining regulatory-compliant cloud systems, let’s touch on a few key terms. Below are explanations of the primary cloud-hosted offerings available in the market.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

When you purchase a software system and opt to have a vendor host it for you instead of installing it on servers you own, you are experiencing Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). The hosting vendor is likely to rely on another vendor, a data center, as part of its hosting service. Data centers also fall under IaaS.

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

When you build custom applications on a software platform that is hosted in the cloud (e.g., Salesforce, Appian), you are using a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

A cloud-hosted software system that was not built or designed specifically for you is called Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

If your company is regulated, and you use any of the above for any regulated purposes, these cloud “services” are also subject to the regulations.

Throughout this blog series, we’ll refer to the providers of these cloud services as “cloud vendors.”

Check back soon for the next post in this series: who is responsible for compliance, the customer or the cloud vendor? While you wait, you can read our guide on this topic by filling out the form below.

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