SAAS or Hosting

What's the difference between hosting and SAAS

Ivo Verlaek

Cloud or SAAS, what's the difference?

In conversations with customers, I often find that Cloud Computing, Hosting and Software as a Service (SaaS) are confused. For example, my conversation partner may have SaaS, but actually means Cloud. To complete the confusion, the terms 'public', 'private' and 'hybrid' fly over the table. 

But what exactly is Cloud Computing and what's the difference with SaaS?


To keep it simple: SaaS is a part of Cloud Computing. What's the difference?

"The cloud is the computer"

Cloud Computing or hosting is the provision of hardware, software and data via the Internet. Cloud Computing concept assumes that the local computer is being replaced by the Internet: "The cloud is the computer." The Cloud can be seen as a computer that is outside of your physical location. The storage and management of data takes place in huge data centers throughout the world. Users can call from any location. The local physical computer only serves for the control of hardware and software.

24/7 access to data with SaaS

As the name says, SaaS is software that comes as a service. It is part of Cloud Computing that specifically deals with software making available online. For example, users have more access to software programs through the Internet. The data SaaS users save through these online applications are stored in the Cloud instead of on local computers. As a result, users - provided that they have a working internet connection - have access to the application and their data. 

In addition, the customer does not purchase any software license, but hires it and pays monthly or annually an amount for using the online service. A major advantage of SaaS is that the provider also provides application management. As a result, organizations no longer need to back up themselves and the maintenance and installation of new versions and updates are automatically arranged.

Now, it seems that a Cloud environment can only be used with a SaaS license. Nothing less is true. Also with a perpetual license, using software for an indefinite period of time, the software may be installed at its own location (on premise) or on the software platform's Cloud platform.

In summary, Cloud Computing is an umbrella phenomenon and SaaS is a part of this. SaaS focuses specifically on making the software available, while Cloud Computing also focuses on hardware and infrastructure online availability.