What is Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is one of four types of cloud services. This is a model of providing elements of cloud infrastructure such as servers, storage, operating systems, and networking components as a managed service. Instead of buying hardware, or racks in a data center, companies simply rent these resources as needed from a third-party cloud provider.

IaaS can help to save on hardware and reduce the cost of maintaining local data centers. The solution allows flexible IT resources scaling to meet real needs, as well as quickly launch new applications and improve infrastructure reliability.

The use of virtual servers in the cloud is a global trend. The infrastructure-as-a-service market is projected to reach $201.83 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 23.2% from 2020 to 2027. 

With the IaaS model, the customers manage the resources themselves: install and run the software, control operating systems, applications, and virtual storage systems.

Together with cloud servers provider also offers sharing facilities, advanced management tools, and the ability to work on the intranet. The customer has the following options:

  • creating and configuring an internal network between servers;
  • configuring the Firewall;
  • configuring virtual machines
  • organizing the connection of offices and other data centers via a secure VPN.

Management and control of the underlying physical and virtual infrastructure, such as networks, servers, OS, and storage systems, is the provider's responsibility.

When use the IaaS cloud model

Opting for IaaS is very attractive for companies because of its availability. When deploying this model, your in-house IT team can focus on business objectives and growth through technology.

Here are a few of the most common use cases of IaaS:

  • A company's need for IT resources changes from time to time. Through the automatic allocation of resources, IaaS ensures that the infrastructure can handle traffic spikes.
  • The business expands, and there is a problem of scaling. For example, when opening a new office there is no need to invest in additional infrastructure.
  • A company has to reduce operating costs, including hardware. You save on the initial costs associated with the acquisition, maintenance, and use of equipment thus reducing the total capital expenditure (CapEx) on IT.
  • Business is too small and cannot invest in hardware. SMBs often lack internal IT experts to manage their infrastructure. Thanks to IaaS, startups and small businesses can reduce internal IT resources as well as money and time to manage the IT. 
  • Testing and Development. IaaS capabilities make it an ideal environment to conduct and manage test and development cycles.

While IaaS is flexible and scalable, it has limitations and there are situations where its use is more problematic:

For example, if a company operates in a strictly regulated industry with rules that do not allow data to be stored on servers not owned by the company (and often located in another country).

IaaS may not be suitable for companies that require the highest level of performance, which is easier to achieve using hosted infrastructures.

Benefits of IaaS Technology

Reduced CAPEX and operating costs. By outsourcing a virtual infrastructure, a company eliminates large one-time expenses. After all, you no longer need to buy additional equipment to ensure that the infrastructure meets increasing demands, is up-to-date and reliable. These questions are the responsibility of the service provider, providing the availability of the IT complex.

Business Continuity. An IaaS cloud built with enterprise-grade virtualization technology, such as VMware, provides guaranteed business continuity. This means that a company will not have service interruption issues, because the company's most important data and applications are protected at a high level.

Opportunity to focus on business. No distractions such as lack of resources, failed equipment, power outages, etc. should distract you from your business goals. These problems are solved with Infrastructure-as-a-service – you rent a ready-made infrastructure that runs 24/7 and is available 99.98% of the time.

Transparent payment system. The cost of the IaaS depends on the utilization model. You can pay for actual consumption based on the use of resources for a certain period. This is the pay-as-you-go model. If you want a guaranteed number of resources and pay only for them, use the allocated model. In that case, the provider reserves a certain amount of resources, and the customer pays a fixed amount.

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is a rapidly developing segment of the cloud market. It demonstrates strong growth and customer demand. Fast access to infrastructure, reliability, and security, flexibility and scalability, faster time to market, saving money - this is not a complete list, characterizing IaaS service.

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author: Martin Evans
published: 08/18/2021
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