Stands for "Platform as a Service."
PaaS is a type of cloud computing that provides a remote computing and development platform as an on-demand service. PaaS providers supply remote hardware infrastructure (servers, data storage, virtual machines, and network connections) and a software platform (an operating system, development tools, and database software). It allows businesses to build and run software on remote servers without running their own data center, server hardware, or software platform.
PaaS is effectively the middle ground between Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). It includes the remote hardware provided by IaaS deployments and some software development tools and middleware, but not the full software stack provided by SaaS. This setup frees the customer from the responsibility of deploying and licensing the platform and tools, letting them focus on developing and deploying the software they want to run.
Like other cloud services, PaaS providers offer clients the flexibility to add or remove capacity when necessary. It saves small and medium businesses from the expense of running their own data centers, and even large enterprises can use PaaS products to supplement on-site servers. Since cloud products are scalable, customers can order the capacity they need to get started and add more as demand increases. PaaS providers can also place their data centers in multiple locations globally to provide redundancy and traffic balancing for their clients.