What is Azure, cloud, SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS?

What is Azure, cloud, SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS in plain English? I feel that a lot of times these terms get thrown around and new people can read the definition 10x and not really understand it. Here is my plain English understanding of these terms.

Azure = Microsoft's "cloud". Competes with Amazon Web Services (AWS) along with other similar offerings from IBM, Salesforce, and Google.

Cloud = All of the hardware, servers, physical storage of said hardware/storage/electricity are dealt with by someone else and live in a datacenter somewhere.  You can see Microsoft's datacenter locations here: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/global-infrastructure/regions/ (You usually get to pick which datacenter you want by choosing which location you want when deploying something to Azure).

SaaS = Software as a Service = "Here's a fully functioning piece of software that we are giving you to use as you like, just pay us a monthly fee for it. We will handle all setup, installation, and running of the software"
  • Examples: Office 365
PaaS = Platform as a Service = "We deal with the machine, licensing, and full infrastructure hosting your application, you just build the app and hand it to us and fill out a few input boxes for configuration like names, sizes, etc.."
  • Examples: Azure App Services, Azure SQL, Azure Storage, Azure Container Service, Azure Batch
IaaS = Infrastructure as a Service = "Here's a VM you can sign onto, you patch your own OS, figure out what size you need, and maintain it.  We will just give you the VM itself and host it on our server in our datacenter and guarantee you a certain percentage of up-time based on what you pay us + allow you to plugin easily with other Azure services."
  • Examples: Azure VMs, running SQL Server on a VM


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