Explained: What is IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)?

There are so many buzz-words floating around the IT industry these days, that it can be hard to keep track! There’s SaaS, PaaS and IaaS, just to name a few, and understanding what these terms mean goes far beyond breaking down their acronyms.

For instance, knowing that IaaS stands for Infrastructure as a Service doesn’t do much to help you understand exactly what it means, how it works, and why you might want to use it. That’s why we’ve put together this quick guide, to help you understand what Infrastructure as a Service is in cloud computing, and figure out whether it’s a solution your business can benefit from.

What is IaaS?

Infrastructure as a Service, or IaaS, is a type of cloud computing, where a vendor provides your business with fundamental computing, storage, and network resources on-demand. The resources that you get from the vendor can be accessed online, from any device, with nothing more than an Internet connection being needed. And, one of the big benefits, you can get them on a pay-as-you-go plan.

Another of the important benefits of IaaS in cloud computing is that it helps businesses scale their resources as needed, and gain access to the upgraded services immediately. This eliminates the need for expensive upfront capital down-payments, and having to acquire, maintain and regularly update infrastructure.

How Does IaaS Work?

We’ve covered what IaaS service is, so it’s only natural for you to wonder how the technology is implemented and how it works.

IaaS solutions are managed by cloud providers, who offer physical and virtual infrastructure services to companies around the world. The cloud provider manages and maintains the infrastructure, regardless of whether it’s physical or virtual, and your business would ‘rent’ the solutions from them on a month-to-month basis.

When the technology first started out, it formed part of a service layer that included Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). That’s why these solutions are often referred to together, since they’re all part of a larger idea – that of cloud computing, or managing all of your business’ systems online, storing the relevant data in the cloud.

What makes these solutions so popular, on top of all the other advantages of IaaS, is that they are exceptionally easy to access. You and your teams can simply log into an API, and manage your storage and services through simple and easy-to-use dashboards. This, plus the great scalability that the solutions offer, means that businesses that use IaaS can enjoy the benefits of the technology, like the fact that all end users can access the same services simultaneously from anywhere in the world, all without having to operate or maintain an on-premises data centre.

Another factor that makes IaaS a great option for businesses is that it can be implemented through a private, public, or hybrid cloud environment. You and your teams can also access the infrastructure through an API key, which essentially allows you to purchase new servers online, automatically whenever you need them.

Advantages of IaaS in Cloud Computing

When you compare IaaS to owning and managing your own infrastructure, it’s easy to see how IaaS can be more efficient and economical for any business. But the advantages of IaaS don’t just stop with convenience:

  1. Reliability
    The on-demand service model of IaaS makes it easy for businesses to migrate their workloads from one instance to another. This ensures that you always have the resources you need whenever you need them. This reliability is what makes IaaS an appealing solution to businesses.
  2. Security
    IaaS providers offer excellent security for your apps and assets. Because they have large teams with experience and insight into the ins and outs of infrastructure, they are often better placed to manage your security than an in-house IT team would be. They provide you with dedicated IT security services, and give your internal teams the time they need to focus on your core business.
  3. Productivity and Efficiency
    With IaaS’s DevOps Support, testing, development, and operations teams can access the infrastructure immediately, as needed. This helps speed up your business’ support and development operations, helping your business to increase productivity and improve efficiency.
  4. Flexibility and Scalability
    One of the biggest advantages of IaaS, as we’ve already discussed, is that it is extremely flexible and supports scalability. This helps your business access more computing resources whenever you need them. Plus, when you don’t need the resources anymore, you can downgrade your package just as quickly and easily as it was upgraded, helping you to manage your resources as well as your budget.
  5. Reduced Costs
    IaaS is known for its ability to offer revolutionary technology at a competitive price. Not only are the pay-as-you-go plans and month-to-month contracts reasonably priced, helping you to manage your budget, but the way that IaaS works helps businesses reduce their upfront capital expenses as well. All those costs that you would have incurred when setting up and managing an onsite data centre are completely negated. This makes it an economical option for start-ups and businesses that are testing new ideas.
  6. Aids Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
    Every business needs to have a disaster recovery plan in place. This ensures that your business can continue uninterrupted, even when disaster strikes. But these kinds of plans can get expensive, since they require substantial resources. Your staff need to be trained and ready, and you need to have technology in place to store your data in case something happens.

    But, when you’ve partnered with a reputable IaaS provider and have a good service level agreement (SLA) in place, IaaS can, in fact, reduce the costs involved and allow your teams to access data and apps as usual, even if there is an outage or disaster.

  7. Boosts Speed
    With IaaS, you can provision the resources you need in just a matter of minutes. This will help your teams test new ideas at quickly and easily, and scale familiar ones even faster.

  8. Enables Innovation
    Often, when a business decides to launch a new initiative, product, or service offering, time is of the essence. Waiting a few weeks to get resources ready could see you coming to the market too late, or see another company getting there first. This is another area where IaaS can help. Essential computing infrastructure can be ready for usage in just a few hours, if not a few minutes, helping your teams innovate, and put new and exciting ideas into action a lot faster.

Get Started with Solid Systems Cloud (IaaS) Services

IaaS emerged as a computing model over a decade ago. Since then, it’s become increasingly popular among businesses, thanks to the flexibility of the technology. It’s a more cost-effective, secure, and scalable alternative, especially when compared to setting up an in-house data centre. What’s more, maintenance is included as part of the service, allowing you to focus on what you do best: growing your business without fear!

Now that you know what IaaS is, reach out to our experts at Solid Systems to see the impact that a cloud-native solution like Infrastructure as a Service could have on your business.

Michael Claxton

Michael Claxton

Co-Founder and CEO of Solid Systems | I am a father of two, and a mentor of many. My calm focus makes me a natural leader, both in and out the office, and I have a unique skill in nurturing leadership qualities in others as well. But most of all, I understand the true value of time and the ways that technology can optimise efficiency within a business and see humans making the most of the time available to them, both in terms of productivity, and in terms of personal growth. 

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