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I am asking this in very general sense. Both from cloud provider and cloud consumer's perspective. Also the question is not for any specific kind of application (in fact the intention is to know which type of applications/domains can fit into which of the cloud slab -SaaS PaaS IaaS).

My understanding so far is:

IaaS: Raw Hardware (Processors, Networks, Storage).

PaaS: OS, System Softwares, Development Framework, Virtual Machines.

SaaS: Software Applications.

It would be great if Stackoverflower's can share their understanding and experiences of the cloud computing concept.

EDIT: Ok, I will put it in a more specific way -

Amazon EC2: You don't have control over the hardware layer. But you can take your choice of OS image, Dev Framework (.NET, J2EE, LAMP) and Application and put it on EC2 hardware. Can you deploy applications built with Google App Engine or Azure on EC2?

Google App Engine: You don't have control over hardware and OS and you get a specific Dev Framework to build your application. Can you take any existing Java or Python application and port it to GAE? Or vice versa, can applications that were built on GAE be taken out of GAE and ported to any Application Server like Websphere or Weblogic?

Azure: You don't have control over hardware and OS and you get a specific Dev Framework to build your application. Can you take any existing .NET application and port it to Azure? Or vice versa, can applications that were built on Azure be taken out of Azure and ported to any Application Server like Biztalk?

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  • Oldest and most experienced(2006), it offers a wide range of services across the storage compute analytics database and many other fields.

  • Compute Services:

  • Virtual server: Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) 

  • PaaS: Elastic Beanstalk

  • Scaling: AWS Auto Scaling

  • Virtual private server support: Lightsail

  • Management Tools:

  • Server management services: 

AWS Systems Manager: Visibility & automation across groups of resources


  • Cloud deployment templates:

 AWS CloudFormation: Text files for modeling & provisioning cloud resources


  • Logging & monitoring: 

Amazon CloudWatch: Real-time visibility into apps & infrastructure 

AWS CloudTrail: Logging & monitoring of AWS accounts


  • Server automation:  

AWS OpsWorks: Managed instances of Chef & Puppet  

AWS Service Catalog: Catalog of IT services approved for AWS




  • After 6 to seven years Azure was launched(2011). Compared to AWS, it has quickly built a reputation for itself in the market. just like AWS it offers a complete set of cloud services.


  • Compute Services:

  • Virtual server: Virtual Machines (Windows or Linux servers) 

  • PaaS: Azure Cloud Services

  • Scaling: 

Azure Autoscale(per app or for a group of apps as part of an Azure App Service plan)

Virtual Machine Scale Sets(for hyperscale, high-availability apps)

  • Virtual private server support: Virtual machine (VM) image

  • Management Tools:

  • Server management services: 

Azure Operational Insights: Operational data analysis, SaaS


  • Cloud deployment templates:

 Azure Resource Manager: Deploy & control access to categorized resources; includes templates (Azure Building Blocks)


  • Logging & monitoring: 

Azure Monitor, including Log Analytics (data collection & proactive insights) and Application Insights (Application Performance Management platform)


  • Server automation:  

Azure Resource Manager  

Azure Automation

         VM extensions: Post-deployment configuration & automation


Google Cloud Platform

 In the same year when Azure was launched, GCP was launched as well. The main reason for introducing GCP was to power their own services like youtube and google search but later on, they built enterprise cloud services as well to be an evolving cloud platform.

  • Compute Services:

  • Virtual server: Compute engine 

  • PaaS: Google App Engine

  • Scaling: Through managed instance groups

  • Virtual private server support: N/A


  • Management Tools:

  • Server management services: N/A


  • Cloud deployment templates:

 Resource Manager: -Group, organize, & control access to resources; track & manage projects.


  • Logging & monitoring: 

Google StackDriver, including monitoring, logging, error reporting, tracing, & debugging

  • Server automation: N/A is a cloud-based SAAS company that offers enterprise software in a software as a service model. It has multi-tenant architecture i.e multiple customers can share common technology and all run on the latest release. We don’t need to worry about the application or infrastructure upgrades, they are done automatically.    


  • Management Tools:

  • Data Import Wizard:

  • Used for simple imports up to 50,000 records.

  • It supports all custom objects and only a few standard objects like Account, Contact, Leads, Solution.

  • It supports schedule export.

  • Delete operation is not available.

  • It doesn’t require installation.

  • While importing, duplicates can be ignored.


  • Apex Data Loader:

  • Used for complex imports with any size more than 50000 records.

  • It supports standard and custom objects.

  • It doesn’t support scheduled export.

  • Delete operation is available.

  • It requires installation.

  • While importing, duplicates cannot be ignored.

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