Infrastructure as a Service
Introduction to Infrastucture as a Servce (IaaS)
Alongside Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is one of the three dominant cloud computing services. Let's take a closer look at what it is and how it's being used to provide access to virtualised computing resources via the web.
IaaS hosting can bring a wide range of benefits to your business. IaaS platforms are highly scalable, meaning that they can be adjusted to your current requirements and budgets. In other words, they're ideal for changeable, experimental and temporary workloads. This cloud computing model works as follows: a third-party hosts the users’ software, storage, hardware, and other infrastructure components - for a small fee, of course. User applications are also hosted by IaaS providers, and they also manage tasks such as backup, system maintenance, and resiliency plans.
Essentially, IaaS clients control their data infrastructure without needing to physically manage the equipment. Rather, they can access their data on virtual servers via an API. Famous IaaS providers include Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. A more recent contender on the IaaS market is Alibaba, whose home turf is China.
IaaS providers sometimes charge customers for the amount of virtual machine space they use, but typically IaaS customers pay per-use by the month, week or hour. This model cuts out the cost of setting up in-house software and hardware. It is recommended, however, that customers check their IaaS service to ensure they are not being charged for unwarranted services.
It can be extremely cost-effective for companies developing new software products to test and host their applications via an IaaS provider. The application can then be taken out of the IaaS environment, once it has been approved and refined, before going on to be deployed in-house, creating space for other projects and saving money.
What are the benefits of IaaS?
IaaS can bring plenty of benefits to your organisation. Let's take a closer look at a few of the key elements.
Infrastructure as a Service is highly scalable. This means that when using an IaaS service, resources are available as and when needed. There's no waste in the form of unused capacity, or delays in capacity expansion.
No hardware costs
Your IaaS cloud provider sets up and maintains the hardware necessary to support the IaaS platform. In the long run, this will save both time and money for your company.
Pay as you use
As already mentioned, users will only be charged for what they actually use, and the service is available on-demand. If you need more resources one month, you can achieve this by the single push of a button. Likewise, if you need to reduce your computing power, this can be done just as easily. There's no point in paying the full cost of IaaS resources you don't use, right?
All that is needed to access the service is an internet connection, so it can be accessed from anywhere.
Public clouds, or externally hosted private clouds, benefit from the extra security of servers hosted in fully secure data centres.
Due to the sheer number of redundancy configurations and hardware resources in place, if a server or network switch fails, the wider service should be left unaffected.
How can your business use IaaS platforms?
While IaaS can indeed be beneficial for most businesses, there are some potential pitfalls to be aware of. As an example, we see in some cases that system monitoring and management may prove difficult for users of IaaS due to that IaaS providers own the infrastructure.
However, it's clear that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. We believe that hosting websites in the cloud is beneficial because it mitigates the vulnerability of physical servers. Unexpected demands and scalability can also be handled more easily in the cloud.
Another benefit is linked to the use of virtual data centres. A network of virtual servers that are interconnected can provide superior cloud hosting abilities, enterprise-level IT infrastructure, or the ability to integrate all of these processes in a public or private cloud.
If you already have an IaaS project underway, get in touch with SAS today or fill in the form on the right to see how we can help you. SAS can provide a shortlist of suitable partners for your business. Our service is non-chargeable and there is no obligation to proceed with our selected vendors.