What is IaaS? Infrastructure as a Service

Infrastructure as a service or IaaS is a genre of cloud computing that offers instant virtual computing resources over the internet. IaaS is one of the three main components of cloud computing which includes software as a service or SaaS and Platform as a Service or PaaS.

With IaaS cloud computing service, organizations rent or lease cloud servers for computational and storage purposes. The rental servers allow the users to run any OS of their choice without maintenance or operational charges.

Each resource of IaaS is available as an individual service component; this gives users the freedom to choose the only service relevant to their needs. The IaaS infrastructure is managed by the service provider while the user handles the installation, configuration, and management of the particular service used.

Forbes predicts that by 2020 83% of enterprise workloads will be supported by the cloud. However, since its advent in the early 2010s, IaaS has become a contender in the race between microservices application, containers and serverless options.

Some of the common IaaS providers are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Digital Ocean, Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Engine, and Linode; most of which work best when used in tandem with FileCloud.

How does IaaS work?

The cloud service provider acts as a host for the personalized components of the IaaS infrastructure in IaaS technology. IaaS comes as an amalgamation of physical and virtual resources that provides users with the basic building block for running applications and workloads in the cloud.

The primary components involved are servers, storage, network hardware, virtualization of hypervisor layer, and a range of accompanying services for the smooth functioning of the IaaS infrastructure.

IaaS provides its users with access to computing resources virtually. The virtualized environment is maintained through public connections like the internet.

IaaS provider responsibilities include:

  • Creation, maintenance, and management of data center infrastructure
  • Offer storage space and computational power to the user
  • Offering maintenance-free databases, servers, and network structures
  • Establishment of a continuous virtualized environment for consumer use
  • Creating probable solution platforms to provide consumers with easy access, administration, and control over their individual component-rich infrastructure.

The responsibilities of the user include:

  • Choosing and giving a structure to strategize the virtualized environment
  • Install, set up, manage, and update the application software and OS according to personalized IT components.
  • Firewall configuration
  • IaaS network operation
  • Security integration to protect OS and installed applications
  • Data security measures including data encryption to prevent data theft
  • Implementing access and identity controls along with authentication strategies

What are the pros and cons of IaaS?

IaaS offers several benefits to the consumer increasing affordability and decreasing maintenance hurdles. It can help users scale the IT infrastructure more efficiently.

Pros/Benefits

  • Pay per use and cost-efficiency

IaaS service can be used on-demand and its components can be broken down apiece to serve unique functions for a business. This reduces capital investment and induces cost efficiency. It also reduces the maintenance budget since it is a high-functioning borrowed service. Organizations can hence concentrate more on their business strategies and less on sustainable IT infrastructure.

  • Scalability

IaaS service infrastructure works to ensure authorized accessibility is always available from everywhere; evolving and updating with the need of the consumer. Hence, delays are less often in capacity expansion scenarios and wastage of unused capacity is minimized. Accommodating the needs of the client is of the highest priority for IaaS providers.

  • Time saving

A user can save a lot of time by choosing IaaS services because any upgrade or maintenance to the virtual or physical framework is automated through the service. Saving time increases productivity, which increases profitability.

  • Rapid Innovation

A user can make quick decisions regarding new launches. A new product, initiative, or program always has the necessary backup in the background for a quick start. Instead of taking days to months, the computing infrastructure can be built in minutes to hours.

  • Independence of location

Authorized consumers can access the IaaS environment from anywhere which increases productivity. Any urgent update can be made from anywhere in the world through the internet.

  • Sturdy service

If any of the hardware resources fail to perform, the service will remain unaffected. Therefore, there is no single point of failure.

  • Enhanced security

Appropriate accessibility permission, service agreement, and integrated encryption ensure that the IaaS service provides a better security platform than in-house security measures.

  • Quicker time to market

IaaS infrastructure can give businesses an edge over their competitors by providing faster time to market advantages with the help of flexibility and scalability.

Cons/Disadvantages

  • Control over security

While enhanced security features are part of the IaaS infrastructure, the user does not have any control over cloud security. Thus reviewing the cloud service provider’s service level agreement or SLA is of utmost importance.

  • Flexibility or the lack thereof

While service providers manage and maintain the software, they do not always upgrade the software. This can cause abrupt crashes and productivity loss. Therefore, the creation of a clear agreement with the service provider is important.

  • Technical problems

Constant dependency on the IaaS means constant dependency on the service provider. Downtime, however little, can be devastating for such a business. Any website can crash at any given moment, and since the user has no control over the service, there is no way to manually fix it.

In the end

According to Gartner, the worldwide IaaS market is predicted to reach $76.6 billion by 2022. Businesses are taking notice and investing in IaaS like never before. Small and mid-range IT companies, enterprises like Siemens and Expedia, educational institutions, and government sectors are all using IaaS technology.

Some of the biggest enterprises in the world like Netflix, HP, Ericsson, and Xerox use IaaS infrastructure. File sharing and management for MSPs can be easily achieved with IaaS through cloud systems like FileCloud. FileCloud has also provided support to other IaaS user partners in consulting, finance, hospitality, and even the government sector.

Cloud computing is the most promising technology for the IT industry of the future because it can provide the best architectural solution to evolving IT problems.

There is a debate going on about whether PaaS, SaaS or other services are better than IaaS. The only way to make the right choice is to measure the pros and cons of all the services. However, IaaS has proven to be more resilient, secure, adaptable, and economical than any other infrastructure.