This article describes how Infrastructure-as-a-Service helps businesses quickly get the computing capacities they need, reducing capital expenditures on IT equipment, frees the IT department from routine tasks, and simplifying scaling.
What is IaaS
Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is providing computing resources for rental. The IT infrastructure is owned and managed by the cloud provider. Using virtualization technology, the provider creates several virtual servers on one physical server. Each customer gets one or more virtual servers, depending on their needs. They are connected to the servers via the Internet or other networks.
As for the architecture, IaaS includes the same components as a local data center. These are the physical servers, storage systems, and network components. But unlike physical infrastructure, the virtual one is easier to scale – resources can be increased or decreased depending on the load. The company does not need to keep reserve capacities for peak loads.
A common mistake is to think that the cloud provider is fully responsible for the health, security, and protection of the cloud infrastructure. Providers only guarantee the physical security of the data center, ensure fault tolerance, protect the network, etc.
The customer is responsible for the security of its virtual resources – servers and virtual machines, their protection, data backup, access control.
Use cases for IaaS
Backup and disaster recovery. IaaS enables recovery or access to applications in the event of a disaster without the high cost associated with additional hardware and staff. Organizations can consolidate their disaster recovery systems into a single environment, ensuring data security.
Development and testing. IaaS enables teams to set up flexible and scalable environments for application testing and development. It speeds up the development and consequently the release of new solutions to the market.
Website hosting. Hosting a website on the cloud computing infrastructure of a provider makes its hosting more reliable and robust. This is especially true for online stores and large projects with sudden bursts of traffic.
IaaS financial benefits
Building your own IT infrastructure is a big investment in hardware and software. Such purchases are often very time-consuming - the process itself, from purchase to installation, can take from several months to several years. You have to select the configuration, approve the purchase, and include it in the annual budget.
At the same time, it is difficult to predict the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the IT infrastructure. Besides the initial cost, you need to take into account all repairs, maintenance, and upgrades during the lifetime, the cost of additional equipment, maintenance, and staff. This is not an easy task. With cloud services, organizations pay only for the resources used and do not keep extra capacity in case of sudden growth. This is one of the main benefits of moving to cloud hosting.
Cloud providers bill IaaS services using one of these models:
Subscription. Subscription pricing can be more favorable for long-term contract customers but also locks you into the provider, which can be a disadvantage if either your needs change or your experience with the provider does not meet your expectations.
Pay-as-you-go. An hourly payment system that only requires users to pay for what they use. This is advantageous because it makes it easy to change cloud providers if necessary, and your bill may increase or decrease based on usage.At Cloud4U, we have all the necessary tools to migrate and deploy an organization's virtual infrastructure. There is no need to migrate the entire infrastructure – it is better to start with certain services that are easier to deploy in the cloud rather than on local capacities. Over time, you can also migrate other services to the cloud.