The ever-growing dominance of the cloud has seen a growing number of businesses shift to utilizing infrastructure as a service (IaaS). While IaaS is typically targeted towards large enterprises, it can be leveraged by businesses of all sizes. High-profile examples of IaaS include AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines.
IaaS is highly customizable for unique business requirements. It has the potential to offer all the standard benefits of cloud computing, including scalability, lower costs, and location independence.
So what is IaaS and what are the ways it could make a difference for your business?
What is IaaS?
IaaS is a pay-as-you-go cloud infrastructure from an external service provider. The IaaS vendor manages your storage, networking, servers, data storage, hardware management, bandwidth, and virtualization.
An IaaS service allows your business to control virtual machines, which essentially means you have full control over your platforms, applications, middleware, and operating systems at an architectural level.
As such, your business is responsible for the software side of things. IaaS can be contrasted with software as a service (SaaS), the most common type of cloud storage. SaaS relies on browser-based apps for cloud storage, and well-known examples include Google Docs and Dropbox.
What are the benefits of IaaS for business?
These days, it’s common for employees to utilize multiple devices while working, including desktops and mobile phones. IaaS empowers businesses to seamlessly access platforms, apps, and data. In particular, accessing an IaaS system allows you to set up faster than if you were to implement your own in-house infrastructure.
By subscribing to an IaaS service, you receive instant computing infrastructure. This comes with lower costs, as you don’t need to pay for your own servers, hardware, storage systems, and in-house maintenance team. Additionally, you’ll be paying for your IaaS service on an on-demand basis.
Your IaaS provider will offer a range of backup solutions to ensure your data is secured. IaaS can also be more secure than SaaS and so enhance security for businesses of all sizes, which is a significant advantage given the amount of data businesses are dealing with.
IaaS is highly scalable, so it means your data infrastructure can expand as your business grows, without your business committing to expensive technology that’s quickly superseded. The fact you won’t have to manage infrastructure not only reduces the cost; it means you’ll have lower risk exposure.
Your IaaS service provider is responsible for complying with relevant laws as well as repairing and updating hardware and providing technical support when you need it. The vendor is responsible for business continuity and disaster recovery. With the right IaaS vendor, you could have exceptional levels of performance, reliability, and stability.
When you outsource your business IT infrastructure, you free up time and resources so you can concentrate on your core business activities. You can choose from the best IaaS providers with the latest technology and performance-outcomes guarantees through service level agreements.
You don’t have to purchase and update technology on a regular basis, and again, you’re not maintaining and retraining a full in-house team to manage your updated infrastructure. All of these factors mean you’ll be saving money over the longer term. IaaS is flexible in its deployment too, as it can be used to complement hybrid on-premise infrastructure or cloud bursting use as your usage requirements spike.
When does your business need IaaS?
Cloud computing is here to stay, but in most cases doing it all yourself in-house won’t be the most efficient solution. Managing your own hardware and maintaining it comes with a high-cost burden. IaaS can be useful for any type of business, whether it’s just starting out or scaling up quickly.
Businesses looking to save costs on their IT infrastructure should consider IaaS. Additionally, IaaS is ideal if your organization is cost-conscious and wants to retain full control over your own virtual machines, with the option of building your own machines and running any type of software platform you opt for.
However, keep in mind you must have appropriate IT staff for managing these platforms and applications, and for ensuring your virtual infrastructure is running smoothly. If you’re a start-up company, IaaS gives you the infrastructure to test new ideas rapidly at minimal cost as you’re paying for only what you use. Ultimately, any business exploring new ways of staying responsive and dynamic in the face of changing market conditions can benefit from using IaaS.
Move to an IaaS structure today
IaaS is one of the most cost-effective options for businesses seeking a way to retain full control over their software. The combination of full control, flexibility, and access to technical support could drive resiliency and responsiveness whether you’re a startup or an enterprise. IaaS saves you from the compliance and risks associated with maintaining your own hardware, and the ongoing need to upgrade legacy equipment.
Finally, bear in mind IaaS can be implemented in conjunction with other types of solutions like platform as a service (PaaS) and SaaS. A hybrid cloud system could well offer your business and its individual aspects the optimum flexibility it requires to thrive.