Is DigitalOcean Iaas or Paas platform ?

Posted July 21, 2015 23.8k views

Dear community, I would like to know the different between IaaS (Infrastructure as a service) & PaaS (platform as a service). Also is digitalocean IaaS or PaaS ? Please let me know.

thank you.

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5 answers

DO is a IaaS provider because they offer you VMs (virtual machines) that you personally control. A PaaS like Heroku (or Google App Engine) will host an app that you write, but won’t give you access to the underlying VMs that run your app.

DigitalOcean is an IaaS provider as they offer you the the basic infrastructure. You have the independance to chose any OS or configuration.

Why DO is not a PaaS

In a platform as a service model, you manage the data and the application you have hosted on the server. Google App engine is a perfect example. You can not change OS or stack of the server. You only host your app/script and get access to the data.

Here is a well explained article with demographics and difference in tabular form on Difference between IaaS PaaS & SaaS

From my perspective, I consider DO as an IaaS, like it’s competitor Amazon Web Services (AWS).

I’ve used AWS extensively before, and like with AWS, my interaction with DO’s services is about configuring network and hardware related components (disk space, memory, networking settings, DNS,…), low level stuff typical of an IaaS.

If you read the PRs and business articles written about DO, you will see that it is often referred to as an IaaS startup, taking on AWS.

Examples of PaaS will be products like Google App Engine and Heroku.

That said, companies can evolve their strategies, and you can see in one hand AWS adding bits of platformy stuff (check out their mobile related offering for example) or in another hand Google promoting low level aspects of their offering (free storage anyone?)


This article help me a while back to understand cloud computing and the diference between IaaS, PaaS and SaaS.

I believe Digital ocean is a PaaS.

Hope that helps.