What is IaaS?
Business operations are so heavily influenced by the ebb and flow of technology. With the evolution of cloud, finding even a corner of an organization not wrestling with some form of digital transformation is becoming increasingly rare.
In many ways, cloud has spurred business transformation to new heights. With it, came the advent of “…as-a-service” offerings, which are cloud computing services that a vendor manages on behalf of the client. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS, also referred to as cloud infrastructure services) is a kind of cloud computing that provides IT infrastructure to end users exclusively through the Internet.
IaaS is one of the most popular cloud computing services available, offering a wide range of benefits to organizations. The IaaS vendor offers network, servers, storage, and customization options for each.
The reason it’s so attractive is that it provides businesses with access to all the hardware and software they need—without having to purchase, install, or manage any physical infrastructure. Notably, development is also significantly more streamlined because there’s no need for managing servers. Applications can easily be created and released, while cloud computing architecture does the rest.
With IaaS, businesses can easily adjust and retool their IT environment according to their specific needs, allowing them to stay ahead of the competition. IaaS users are responsible for managing the applications and data generated within them, in addition to the operating systems and runtimes.
This autonomy allows for IT transparency, while also granting organizations the flexibility to focus on more strategic initiatives. They don’t need an on-site data center, so there’s no need to worry about managing physical hardware and software resources, or the numerous teams needed to maintain them.
Top benefits of using IaaS
IaaS is an ideal solution for companies that want more flexibility and scalability in their IT infrastructure, without needless spending, sacrificing control, or jeopardizing data security.
- Flexibility & scalability: When businesses go through a period of growth or expand their staff base, they usually need more tools and training for employees. This requires new equipment, plus the necessary downtime for installation and implementation.
IaaS gives businesses the ability to adjust their computing resources as needed, whether that means scaling up or down. This eliminates the concerns about buying new servers or setting up complex networks; IaaS offers immediate availability of these resources.
- Cost savings: With IaaS, businesses can save on fixed capital expenditure, maintenance costs, and benefit from the pay-as-you-go model. There’s a lower overhead and no maintenance expenses to factor into implementation. Instead of paying for hardware upfront, only to discover that you’re not fully utilizing it, with IaaS you pay for what you use. This is significantly more cost-efficient in the long run.
- Data security: IaaS incorporates cloud hosting with a secure data center, providing multiple hardware security measures to protect your business’s information. If a single server or network failed, the data center would automatically reroute activity through the other hardware, making for more resilient data storage and maintenance.
Plus, outsourcing your organization’s IT infrastructure to a third-party service provider adds an additional layer of security to critical company resources. This helps your business be more protected from, and resilient to, cyberattacks.
Use cases of IaaS
IaaS is an especially attractive cloud service model for temporary workloads, applications in beta testing, or a tool that’s susceptible to unanticipated changes. Developing and testing a new software application, for instance, would be a good use case for IaaS. It can also be an effective method for hosting web applications or client-facing websites.
Generally, IaaS allows for a pay-per-user model, with time constraints attached. There can also be payment models based on the amount of virtual space needed by customers. This makes for significantly more cost-effective development measures than the upfront expense required to set up internal hardware and software.
IaaS can also be an efficient means of storing data with easy access to backup and recovery. When confronted with scenarios that make demand unpredictable, IaaS provides a seamless way for organizations to manage and access their information. This also gives them the ability to avoid some of the more complex compliance standards for data storage.
Considerations before implementing IaaS
Your organization stands to gain a lot from implementing IaaS, but careful consideration is necessary before moving forward. The reason for adopting IaaS should be identified from the beginning. A goal like achieving greater business agility or minimizing the cost of onsite equipment is feasible.
There should also be a clear strategy for migrating applications and legacy systems to the cloud, and all data should be backed up before any migration takes place. This is especially important, as not all apps allow for a seamless transition, and you don’t want to leave your business vulnerable to losing vital data. Anticipate the potential for impact on other business operations, and plan accordingly.
Overall, IaaS provides an efficient way for businesses of all sizes to manage their IT infrastructure with ease while also enjoying the benefits of increased flexibility, scalability, security, and cost savings. With its many advantages over traditional IT infrastructures, it’s no wonder why so many companies are turning to IaaS as an essential part of their cloud computing strategy.