Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is a form of cloud computing that provides virtualized computing resources over the internet. IaaS is one of the three main categories of cloud computing services, alongside software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS).
In the IaaS model, the cloud provider manages IT infrastructures such as storage, server and networking resources, and delivers them to subscriber organizations via virtual machines accessible through the internet. IaaS can have many benefits for organizations, such as potentially making workloads faster, easier, more flexible and more cost efficient.
In an IaaS service model, a cloud provider hosts the infrastructure components that are traditionally present in an on-premises data center. This includes servers, storage and networking hardware, as well as the virtualization or hypervisor layer.
IaaS providers also supply a range of services to accompany those infrastructure components. These can include the following:
- detailed billing;
- storage resiliency, such as backup, replication and recovery.
These services are increasingly policy-driven, enabling IaaS users to implement greater levels of automation and orchestration for important infrastructure tasks. For example, a user can implement policies to drive load balancing to maintain application availability and performance.
Why do developers and businesses use IaaS?
Scalability: It’s much easier to expand a business with IaaS as the foundation. Instead of purchasing, installing, and maintaining a new server every time the business needs to scale up, they can just add a new server on demand through the IaaS provider. This on-demand scalability is a major benefit of cloud computing across all cloud service models.
Fewer resources dedicated to server maintenance: With IaaS, a company has essentially outsourced server purchasing, maintenance, and updating to the IaaS provider. This is typically cheaper and requires less time and labor from internal teams than they would need to host their own infrastructure.
Faster time to market: Companies using IaaS can deploy and update applications much faster, since cloud providers can offer however much infrastructure they need as they need it.
Advantages of IaaS
IaaS can be a boon for organizations that are experiencing rapid growth but lacking the capital to invest in hardware. IaaS has advantages for the organization that simply want to offload the routine operations and maintenance in managing infrastructure.
Pay as you go: Usage-based metrics
Less Capital Expenditures: Monthly operational expense
Dynamic: Rapidly add capacity and scale down as needed
Security: IaaS providers invest heavily in security technology and expertise
Self-Service Provision: Access via internet connection
Reallocate IT Resources: Can shift IT, employees, for higher-value projects
Reduce Downtime: IaaS can instantly recovery from outages
Unexpected Costs: Monthly fees can add up more than expected.
Process Changes: IaaS providers often changes its process and workflows.
Runaway Inventory: Instances may be deployed, but not taken down.
Security Risks: Companies are responsible for anything they host and not the IaaS providers.
Lack of Support: Live help often hard to find.
Complex Integration: IaaS has complex integration systems.
IaaS in cloud computing offers immense advantages to the business houses in many ways, but before switching over, evaluate the pros and cons of the IaaS platform. The smaller and medium business can find IaaS more convenient, while big companies can switch some of their routine segment to this platform to avail of the advantages.