What is IaaS?

Over the years, hosting services have drastically changed and evolved. What used to be the traditional approach seems to no longer be of use today, especially since most companies are startup ones that want to save more on operational costs and maintenance. Of course, this also applies to IT infrastructure.

Before, if a company needs an IT infrastructure, it needs to rent one for a specific time period, regardless if the entire infrastructure has been used or not. This means having to pay for the whole time and configuration which can be quite budget-constricting.

With this type of cloud computing platform, the Infrastructure as a Service or IaaS, you can now effectively adjust the configuration of your hardware to meet your specific needs. The best thing about it is that you only get billed for the particular services that you have acquired or used. With such innovation, there will no longer be any need for IT infrastructure maintenance.

An IaaS user is also given greater levels of orchestration and automation when it comes to vital infrastructure tasks such as log access, load balancing, detailed billing, storage resiliency, monitoring, and several others. There will be a wide range of services that are offered alongside infrastructure components.

What is the difference between IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS?

To put it simply, cloud computing is how computer services are delivered over the internet or “the cloud” as it is technically called These services can range from servers to intelligence, storage, software, databases, analytics, networking, among many other types of services. Through this kind of delivery, resources become more flexible, thus allowing for faster innovation.

Because clouds differ from one another, there is no specific cloud that will work for everyone. That’s why cloud computing comes in different types and models, so as to cater to everybody’s needs and demands.

Primarily, cloud computing has 3 major categories – software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). It is important that you know the differences between these 3, especially if you’re eyeing to employ cloud computing for your consumption.

  • IaaS – As already mentioned, IaaS is all about renting IT infrastructure from a cloud provider. The mode is what they typically call pay-as-you-go basis and you can rent anything that you need such as but not limited to virtual machines, servers, operating systems, networks, and storage. IaaS is considered to be the most basic when talking about the categories of cloud computing services. When utilized effectively, this category can further eliminate the need for investing in IT hardware that are rarely used or not used at all.
  • SaaS – SaaS is an entirely different service compared to IaaS. This is the method that you use to deliver software applications through the internet. Under this category, the provider is responsible for hosting and managing the software application, as well as the underlying infrastructure that it may come with. What happens basically is that a user will connect to the application using a smartphone, PC or tablet. Typical examples of such applications are calendaring, email, and office tools like Microsoft Office 365.
  • PaaS – On the other hand, PaaS is entirely dedicated to testing, developing, managing, and delivering various software applications. This cloud computing service is especially designed for developers so that they can easily and quickly create applications for the web and mobile, too. With the utilization of PaaS, users will no longer have to worry about setting up and managing the different infrastructure that are needed for the development of such apps.

When to use IaaS?

IaaS comes in 3 different models – hybrid, public, and private cloud. A private cloud means that the infrastructure is within the premise of the user or customer, whereas a public cloud refers to a cloud that can be found at the data center of its provider or vendor. Combining these 2 clouds will result to a hybrid cloud which is obviously a better option.

This model is often used by organizations that are looking for a faster, easier, and cost-efficient way to manage their workload. There is no longer a need to support the underlying infrastructure as you can just easily lease or rent it from other businesses.

Looking at it more closely, IaaS can be an effective strategy for temporary workloads. It’s also a good approach if you have workloads that are on its experimental stage. A good example is when a business is in the process of developing and testing an experimental software product. If ever the product passes the testing and refining stages, you can then move it forward to traditional deployment without the IaaS support.

IaaS pros and cons

With this cloud computing platform, it’s easier and more dynamical to choose a storage configuration that will suit your demands as a user. This also equally applies to CPU and memory. IaaS offers a vast variety of computing power for its users. The vendor or provider will be responsible for the handling of your IT overheads, thus minimizing your labor costs, too.

However, the risks of this platform are also not to be taken for granted. Upon gaining full access, the vendor is given complete control to all your data. If you’re worried about this possibility, you can always opt for private cloud services.

Another con is that IaaS is mainly dependent on the availability of internet connectivity. This means that when connection is down or unavailable, your IT infrastructure will not be working as expected. It might be more of a mess if you will need to manually operate everything during emergency situations.

Leading IaaS vendors

As of 2018, there are at least 14 leading IaaS vendors to consider – at least according to the Magic Quadrant for Cloud IaaS. As expected, Amazon Web Services remains to be on the top of the list, followed by Microsoft’s Azure. These 2 leading names did not come as a surprise but there are also few new names to watch out for this year.

Google is slowly but surely catching up, while the other top leaders are as follow:

  • Alibaba Cloud
  • Oracle
  • IBM

There is no doubt that cloud computing is a big help when it comes to infrastructure, along with other vital operations of a business. It’s up to you to choose the right platform that your organization requires. It’s best to do your own research first and of course, don’t hesitate to ask for an expert’s advice so as to make sure that you are making the right decision.