Confused by Cloud Computing? Think Pizza!

Feb 08, 20244 min readBY Yozu Confused By Cloud Computing? Think Pizza!

By Yozu

Cloud computing has become the modus operandi for businesses creating a technology stack for their digital functions. However, many of the terms and acronyms describing these solutions can be quite confusing.

IaaS… SaaS..? 

Most people tend to ‘PasS’ when making sense of what these acronyms mean – and that’s where pizza comes in!

Inspired by an article from Amberly Dressler at Optimizely, the ‘Pizza as a Service’ analogy is a fun and effective way to demystify the complex world of cloud computing service models, namely: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). 

We’ve all ordered or eaten a pizza at some point in our lives, right? 

So, by drawing parallels to ordering a pizza, we can use an analogy to simplify (and commit to memory) the understanding of cloud service models’ purpose:

Traditional On-Premises: Made at Home

We’ll start the analogy off with a non-cloud service, as it form a part of how you might set up your systems – on prem. “On-prem” refers to private data centres that companies house in their own facilities and maintain themselves.

So, when you decide to make a pizza at home, you not only source all of the ingredients, but you provide the means to cook and serve the pizza without any outside help.

Much like creating your own office service and network – you provide all of the equipment, power, connectivity and configuration for the entire setup.

Confused By Cloud Computing? Think Pizza!
Confused by Cloud Computing? Think Pizza!

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Take and Bake

Imagine IaaS as the process of ordering a raw pizza with all the necessary ingredients, but the responsibility of baking it falls squarely on your shoulders.

In the world of cloud computing, IaaS provides you with fundamental computing resources, like virtual machines, storage, and networking.

However, you’re in charge of configuring and managing the operating system, installing software, and maintaining everything from the ground up, much like the effort required to bake your pizza to perfection.

Platform as a Service (PaaS): Pizza Delivered

PaaS is akin to ordering a pre-made pizza from a trusted restaurant. Here, you receive a fully-cooked pizza with a delightful array of toppings and flavours meticulously prepared by the chef.

Similarly, PaaS offers a cloud-based platform and environment furnished by a service provider. This platform comes ready to use, sparing you the need to fuss over the underlying infrastructure or operating system.

Instead, you can focus exclusively on your application development, just as you’d savour a restaurant’s pizza without worrying about the cooking bit.

Software as a Service (SaaS): Dined Out

Picture SaaS as ordering a single slice of pizza from your favourite pizzeria. In this scenario, you don’t need to concern yourself with the creation process — the ingredients, the baking – or even the entire pie.

Instead, you get to enjoy the end product: a single, mouthwatering slice of pizza.

Similarly, with SaaS, you access fully functional software applications over the internet. You don’t have to worry about managing the underlying infrastructure, platform, or developing the application. You simply use the software as is, just like enjoying that perfect slice.

Pizza Cloud Services To Go

The ‘Pizza as a Service’ analogy is a universally understandable way to grasp the differences between cloud computing service models.

It makes these abstract concepts tangible and relatable, using a beloved and familiar food item as a reference point.

Whether you’re new to cloud computing or a seasoned professional, this analogy can simplify the complexities of cloud service models and enhance your understanding.

So, the next time you delve into the world of cloud computing, just think – PIZZA! 🍕