Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is a service delivery method for cloud computing. An organization can outsource various resources from the cloud computing platform for its clients.
Alongside IaaS, other cloud computing methods are PaaS (Platform as a Service) and SaaS (Software as a Service). More businesses have turned to the use of Iaas as one of the cloud computing methods spearheading its rapid growth.
The IT resources available in the cloud computing platform include virtual machines, servers, and networking, storage which an organization can access online and share with its clients.
- Let’s now understand what IaaS is in-depth
- How IAAS works
- User cases of IaaS
- IaaS Providers
- IaaS vs. SaaS
Let’s now understand what IaaS is in-depth
IaaS offers a virtual infrastructure to interested organizations through the cloud from its database. Originally known as Hardware as a Service, it also provides computing infrastructure which delivers to users networking connections, virtual servers, IP addresses, and storage services depending on the customer’s need.
The payment of services is dependent on the nature of the resources a customer needs. IaaS payment schedules range from hourly, weekly, or even on a monthly basis which is purely the decision of the customer.
IaaS has distinguished its services into three models that are guided by the customer’s privacy needs.
1. Public cloud
Public cloud stores its infrastructure in a cloud computing platform. It is a commonly used method of cloud computing. Some of the examples of public clouds are Google Cloud, AWS, and Microsoft Azure. From these clouds, third-party clients, who are the owners of the hardware, software, and other infrastructure, can operate services like servers and storage which they then deploy via the internet.
Advantages of Public clouds
- It is cost-effective for the user since the organization only pays for the services used.
- The organization does not need to install any physical hardware thus no or minimal maintenance cost.
- It is highly reliable
2. Private Cloud
A private cloud stores its infrastructure in the organization’s place. Just like the name suggests, it is purely to be accessed and used by a single organization.
Private clouds are mostly purchased by organizations that require advanced security and privacy of their data such as government institutions. It is installed at the institution’s place. Third-party cloud service owners can also host private clouds.
Some of the benefits of the private cloud model offer include:
- Highly flexible
- Advanced security especially when dealing with sensitive data
3. Hybrid cloud
This is a combination of both public and private cloud models. The organization is free to switch between the two models depending on the nature of the data. When the data or information in question is not highly sensitive, the public cloud is opted for.
Private cloud is, however, the best option when dealing with data that is considered highly sensitive, hence the need for beefed security. Some of the critical business dealings also opt for private cloud models for privacy reasons.
- A hybrid cloud model is best when the organization needs;
- Top-notch performing infrastructure
- Cost-effective infrastructure
Other than managing infrastructure, IaaS also provides other services like billing management, load balancers, backup, IP address, and access management.
How IAAS works
IaaS works in a way that it identifies a virtual or physical infrastructure available at a cloud provider. It links the customer to the cloud provider and offers several services such as virtualization, network.
The organization identifies its need and requests the appropriate service. The user then pays for the resource and IaaS also offers billing management services.
Why would you then choose IaaS?
One benefit that IaaS offers to its clients is cost-effectiveness in IT infrastructure. An organization has access to IT infrastructure without installing or developing its own data center. Furthermore, there is no maintenance cost for the infrastructure which is the sole role of the cloud provider.
Other IAAS benefits
Time-saving– Infrastructure as a Service is tasked with the role of setting physical and virtual hardware. It is also responsible for maintaining the infrastructure thus time-saving to the organization.
Pay as you go– users are free to use the product which they have paid for any time. They also pay only for what they need to use in their organization.
Data security– IaaS is one of the most secure cloud computing methods. Users are therefore assured of data security.
High Scalability– IaaS ensures that its products are always accessible by the users when needed. They can also be remodeled as per need.
Highly flexible and redundant– even in the event hardware fails, the organization’s service paid for is not affected. Normalcy is achieved soonest.
Constant availability– IaaS cloud computing platform is ever available to its users. Its products are available to users at any given time throughout the year.
IaaS however still has its shortcomings.
Infrastructure failure means a delay in work and other programs. Network failure can be frustrating especially when you can’t monitor the connectivity since you have to depend on the cloud computing technical team.
Having technical personnel that is well versed with the IaaS infrastructure is required to handle technical hitches.
User cases of IaaS
IaaS is applicable in many circumstances. IaaS can be used in business organizations and large institutions.
Businesses can use IaaS providers to scale their IT infrastructure. From a third-party provider, they can have a pool of virtual resources that they can use to host websites.
Furthermore, they can also benefit from interconnected servers from the host’s virtual network.
In an organization, IaaS can be used to create and test new workloads. Before the organization develops s new application, they can always test it using the IaaS platform.
Iaas will determine if it’s viable and then the organization can decide to install it on their premise.
Popular IaaS Providers
IaaS providers include Amazon Web Service (AWS), Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure.
Amazon Web Service (AWS)
AWS offers a virtual working environment for its users and they pay for the product they are using, thus reducing cost. It is among the leading providers of IaaS.
Its IaaS provides the basic building blocks an organization would need to run its IT services. AWS provides scalable access to networking features, data storage space, and computers. The computer can be virtual or on a dedicated server.
It promises that its IaaS will offer its customers the highest level of flexibility, and control over its IT resources. In that regard, many IT departments will have the same experience and control, which they would have by installing the same IT infrastructure on their premises.
AWS offers a pay-as-you-go (on-demand-capacity) billing for its IaaS, which allows you to scale your consumption when needed. But for those that want to reserve additional capacity, AWS offers reserved capacity billing.
That also allows you to get discounts of up to 75% of the on-demand capacity. Moreover, you can lower your IaaS further on AWS, by opting for volume-based discounts for some of its IaaS such as S3 storage.
That’s what makes AWS’s IaaS, one of the popular options for small, medium, and large enterprises.
Google Cloud also offers IaaS, which you can for on-demand, or prepay for on a monthly basis. It offers up to 57% discounts on its Compute Engine resources if you opt for a prepaid package. Furthermore, it offers you up to $300 in free trial discounts, which you can use to test their IaaS product.
The $300 discount covers over 20 of their IaaS, which include Compute Engine, Cloud Storage, Google Kubernetes Engine, Operations, Cloud CDN, and Cloud SQL. The discount applies to the cost of using the IaaS.
Depending on how resource-intensive your IT operations are, you can end up using it within a few hours or days, or even weeks. But it does give your IT team sufficient time and resources to sample Google Cloud.
Microsoft Azure IaaS
Just like other IaaS, Microsoft Azure promises an instant computing infrastructure, which customers can provision and manage over the internet. With it, you can avoid spending your capital on costly physical servers and data center infrastructure.
Furthermore, they don’t bundle their IaaS resources, which allows you to pay for what you use only. In that regard, you can choose to rent only those IaaS components you need, for whatever period you need them.
IaaS vs. SaaS
With IaaS, the IaaS providers manage the infrastructure for you. You can then opt to buy, install, configure, and manage your software. With SaaS, you pay for the software but opt to access it using your IT infrastructure or run it on PaaS or IaaS.
Whichever option you choose, you get to start and run your IT operations with a lean budget.
IaaS is the real data solution for large and small organizations. It provides cloud data connectivity and storage which means organizations can access their information from anywhere. IaaS is a highly flexible and scalable cloud model making it the best developer for web applications.