More and more businesses are moving to the cloud nowadays. Cloud providers offer dozens of services and it is not always easy to decide which one will be the most suitable in a particular scenario. There are three main types of cloud computing – Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). In this article, we explain what IaaS means and how the IaaS cloud works.
What is IaaS
In simple terms, Infrastructure-as-a-Service refers to leasing public computing resources from a cloud provider without having to manage the underlying technical infrastructure. This type of service contains all the necessary components for cloud computing: server infrastructure, software, networking, storage, and processing. Each resource is offered as a separate service. The customer can independently determine which ones he needs and in what amount depending on his current requirements.
Trusting computing infrastructure to a public cloud provider, companies no longer need to build server rooms, buy equipment; keep IT engineers who will support all the physical equipment. In addition, they get an affordable approach to disaster recovery. These are the main advantages of the IaaS service model.
IaaS vs. PaaS
Infrastructure as a Service gives you control over your operating systems. It is the foundation of the cloud environment. Platform-as-a-Service allows creating applications without having to host them on the local platform – it provides more flexibility but less control.
The choice depends on the enterprise's needs. For example, if you create a website, IaaS can provide the infrastructure for its hosting. However, if you want to add any custom features, PaaS will not only host your site but also allows developers to design and deploy applications.
IaaS vs. SaaS
With Software-as-a-Service, you get the maximum management and maintenance of the software from the provider. With the IaaS model, the provider only supplies and maintains the components, such as servers or storage systems.
For companies that care about control within the cloud environment and looking to avoid external data management issues, IaaS is the most appropriate option. However, if you do not need much flexibility but rather ease of use, SaaS is a better alternative.
Apart from virtual servers in the cloud (IaaS), providers also offer a number of additional services for greater convenience, increased security, and efficiency. Among the most common additional options are regular backups, VPN, Firewall, DNS, etc. In this case, a customer uses the vendor's products, delivered by the provider. CSP is responsible for the performance and configuration of these services, software updates, and licensing.
Utilizing these options from an IaaS provider is proven more efficient than deploying them in-house because all of the provider's resources are redundant to ensure fault tolerance, which cannot be achieved with in-house infrastructure.
Another benefit in favor of IaaS compared to local facilities is 24/7 support. Cloud provider maintains uninterrupted monitoring of infrastructure uptime, reacting to incidents and customer requests in the shortest time possible. Even if the company has its own modern server room, downtime will still be higher than with the cloud.
Finally, the best thing about using this service is the ability to quickly reduce or increase consumption on-demand, which means you only have to pay for what you use and nothing more.
As for areas of responsibility, in the IaaS model, there are components handled by the customer and those managed by the cloud provider. The client manages applications, data, framework, operating system, while the provider is responsible for virtualization, servers, storage, networking, uptime, redundancy, and security.
A cloud server is convenient and easy to use for most businesses. It allows virtually managing the organization's technical infrastructure, increases teams’ productivity, and access a wide range of tools without having to buy and maintain a physical server.