Cloud computing has transformed the IT industry, as services can now be deployed in a fraction of the time that it used to take. Scalable computing solutions have spawned large cloud computing companies such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. With a click of a button, personnel can create or reset entire infrastructure for a computing resource in three different cloud computer service models: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). These models present three unique challenges to conducting cloud forensic investigations.

Cloud Computing Service Models

With traditional IT services, the owner is responsible for all services from networking equipment to the application itself. Cloud computing offers these SaaS, PaaS and IaaS solutions to make deployment and management of computing resources more efficiently.

Cloud Native Now

Let’s examine each of these models in more detail below.


The owner is partially responsible for the operating system and all of the middleware, runtime, data and applications in cloud computing IaaS environments. However, the deployment of the operating system, the virtualization and all hardware, storage and networking equipment are managed for the customer by the cloud provider. This model gives the most control over the underlying infrastructure of computing resources to the customer. Examples of IaaS are creating hosts with AWS Elastic Computing Cloud (EC2), Digital Ocean and Rackspace.


PaaS is less inclusive in the responsibility of the cloud computing resources. It’s where the owner is only responsible for the data and applications but not the essential cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems or storage. This service model is primarily used by developers creating applications or software. Examples of PaaS are AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Windows Azure and Apache Stratos.


SaaS is an all-inclusive cloud computing hosting environment where the (Read more...)