Is serverless computing Saas or PaaS?
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7 min read Feb 6, 2024

Is serverless computing Saas or PaaS?

Owing to the increased demand for flexible and quicker software development, serverless computing companies search for the latest platforms and technologies to fulfill these demands. Solutions such as PaaS, or Platform as a Service, have gained high traction in this aspect as they offer complete and constant software development and deployment platforms within the cloud.

Thus, such solutions play an integral role in decreasing the entire management responsibilities. Serverless architecture happens to be another worth mentioning latest technology in this aspect that has earned a high reputation in this aspect.

Serverless and IaaS are regarded as certain cloud computing serverless for enterprises options that are available to business enterprises. Serverless computing happens to be a well-known cloud service provider offering. Thus, they have become the number one choice of different businesses, searching for affordable means to gain access to computing power.

As you go through this article, you can tell if serverless computing is PaaS or SaaS.

Serverless technology Overviewed

The primary objective of serverless technology is that it helps remove the configuration and management needs from the specific software development and delivery process. As you opt for the serverless solution, the potential user will write individual services and functions, followed by their deployment within the serverless platform directly without carrying the hassles of opting for software and infrastructure configuration.

The cloud service provider helps manage different aspects of handling the services and functions, like bandwidth management, availability needs, and scaling. The serverless technology depends on a usage-based monetization model, where potential users have to pay for the service only.

Adopting the serverless approach is notable in this aspect as it allows potential developers to focus on developing different functions, resulting in a more simplified development experience.

The serverless offerings offer the best solutions for event-driven architecture and microservice-based architecture.

Take the instance of the web function that helps track the data stream. When it comes to traditional development, all you need is the following:

  • Provisioning and configuring the different resources.

  • Setting the web server

  • Deploying the functions with the ongoing costs and maintenance

But, as you opt for serverless services such as AWS Lambda, the potential users need:

Choosing the programming language

Create the function execution frequency and function

Thus, the function will be executed automatically for different configured parameters. So, the cloud service provider will manage the function completely. So, you need to pay for the total count of different executions only.

Benefits of choosing serverless technology

In this section, you can learn about the serverless benefits:

  • The serverless technology helps remove the infrastructure management and configuration needs.

  • Opting for serverless technology facilitates simplified and quicker deployments and developments owing to the focus on different individual services and functions.

  • This technology is highly scalable.

  • The serverless technology helps save an ample amount of money owing to the usage-based payment model.

PaaS, or Platform as a Service, Overview

The cloud service platform, associated with PaaS, or Platform as a Service, offers different computing and software resources with zero or minimal infrastructure management needs. Speaking of the PaaS offering, the cloud provider extends a helping hand in handling the underlying servers, operating system, and majority of the software configurations. Thus, potential users will remain free to create and deploy different functions faster.

In addition to storage, core server, and network services, PaaS offers database systems, BI services, middleware, and development tools. Thus, it removes the need to manage different software licenses that the cloud service provider handles.

Such things are provided under the pay as you go model as they help decrease the cutoff experience.

Benefits of choosing PaaS technology

  • PaaS technology brings affordable and simplified resource management.

  • Choosing PaaS technology helps create highly available and scalable environments faster.

  • Adopting the PaaS technology decreases infrastructure management and tracking needs, thereby resulting in cost and time savings.

  • The serverless technology provides support for automation, thereby decreasing the workload within the software development lifecycle.

  • Choosing serverless technology helps create a more flexible development and deployment pipeline.

Differences between serverless and PaaS technology

Certain significant differences exist between serverless and PaaS technology, which are enlisted below:

Pricing structure

The serverless technology is based on a usage-based payment model, where potential users will pay for the total count of requests or the execution time. The PaaS solution, on the other hand, is based on the pay-as-you go model, where a fee is charged for the service, regardless of how little or more you are using it. Thus, potential users can customize the resource needs and handle the costs within the PaaS services. However, you will have no option to handle the pricing, depending on the usage dynamically.

Every service provider offers cost savings. The specific savings depend on the specific use case. The highly active serverless function results in enhanced costs. It is removed by migrating to the PaaS solution, which predefines resource allocation and does not charge for usage.


The serverless function and application will scale down and up automatically, according to demand, without interruption from the potential developer or other configuration needs. The PaaS solution offers scalability. However, the users need to configure different scaling parameters. It does not scale automatically, according to demand. The serverless application nature indicates they will scale down and up faster than different PaaS services.


The PaaS technology provides enhanced granular control over the specific underlying infrastructure and application configurations that provide no control. But it can be a benefit or disadvantage, depending on the needs. As PaaS technology provides more control, it is easy to debug and test the app and gain a prerequisite understanding of the app logic.

In addition, you will be able to use it to fine-tune the app at a specific application and infrastructure level. However, you need to remember that such control introduces enhanced complications to the deployment and development process, which are mitigated through serverless technology.

Vendor lock-in

The majority of business enterprises using PaaS services get locked into a certain PaaS service with no or limited options to move to a completely different service provider. It is not possible to move the app, which is deployed through AWS Elastic Beanstalk, to the Azure App Service without any kind of complicated restructuring.

You will be capable of migrating the serverless function between various service providers easily. It is due to the fact that the function gets bundled with the required dependencies and does not depend on different vendor-specific technologies. Thus, the potential users have the ability to

Develop the serverless function for a completely different service provider with a similar programming language.

Function deployment and starting to use it immediately

Application architectures

The serverless apps are quicker to start and run their functions. But the primary drawback of the serverless function is the inability to support stateful applications and different long-running processes. The long-running process results in cost constraints. Thus, the potential users need different mechanisms to handle different states between various executions. Hence, serverless technology is regarded as a more suitable choice for different microservice-based apps and event-driven architectures.

Is serverless the new PaaS?

Now, the question is whether serverless is the new PaaS.

Well, there is no specific answer to this. Certain overlaps exist between the use cases and functionality of every technology. The technology or solution depends on the application architecture and user needs. It is a good decision for potential users and business enterprises to choose a specific option that caters to their needs.

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