Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is one of the most important innovations of this era. It has completely changed the way companies harness and manage computing power. For those who don’t know anything about IaaS, this is a cloud computing model where vendors provide virtualized computer infrastructure for companies through the cloud.
IaaS allows companies to run their servers, networks, operating systems, data centers, and other computing resources without having to manage them on-premise. Therefore, companies get to save money that would otherwise have been spent on providing hardware and software. With that said, companies still have complete control over their data and services with the IaaS model.
According to Gartner, in 2018, the global IaaS market grew by 31.3 percent to $32.4 billion, and it is expected to be the top segment in the public cloud service market this year. The top five vendors in the IaaS sector are Amazon, Microsoft, Alibaba, Google, and IBM, respectively. IaaS vendors provide flexible subscription packages, which allows both small startups and behemoth companies to make the most of their computing infrastructure. Many of the fastest-growing companies in the world today, including Netflix, rely on IaaS to provide their services.
What’s the Role of a System Administrator in the IaaS Model
As a system administrator, one of the first things to consider when your organization is opting for IaaS is how the cloud computing model will affect your job. IaaS does not make the system administrator redundant. System admins are still needed to set up, deploy, monitor, and manage the virtual platform. While these duties would be nothing new for experienced system admins, it is important to understand your company’s requirements, educate yourself on the latest techniques, and study the different IaaS platforms available.
While the role of system admins may be slightly different when organizations depend on IaaS, they are still at the heart of corporate IT. It is the duty of the system admin to ensure that the company’s virtual platforms are secure and are running smoothly without any hiccups. This may seem simple, but can be onerous and time-consuming. There are many things to monitor, like the IaaS platform, virtualization software, end-user applications, networks, and more.
Since we’ve covered some of the basics, let’s briefly look at the top IaaS vendors today.
Top IaaS Vendors
Amazon Web Services is the leading IaaS vendor in the world. There is a vast range of tools to choose from as well as third-party add-ons. AWS offers many services that you will not get from rival IaaS vendors. Also, it supports different operating systems. You can use AWS to build any type of cloud service that you need. Its flexible pricing strategy makes AWS suitable for both big and small companies. If you are looking for a sophisticated IaaS vendor that has all the tools you’ll possibly need to maximize your virtual computing infrastructure, AWS is your best choice.
Microsoft Azure is another popular IaaS vendor. It started out as a platform as a service (PaaS) platform when it was launched in 2010. Azure has grown over the years. It is the perfect IaaS service for creating, testing, and managing apps. However, its uses are not limited to this. As you may have guessed, Azure’s virtual infrastructure depends on Microsoft’s data centers. This platform is compatible with both Windows and Linux operating systems. Azure’s prices are quite flexible. Depending on what you need, you can opt for the free version of this service or the higher enterprise-level version. The cost of the service depends on which services you are using.
Alibaba Cloud is another big name in the IaaS market. Alibaba Cloud is the number one IaaS vendor in Asia, according to Gartner. The company has a 19.6 percent share in the Asia Pacific market. Alibaba provides most of the same services that you will get from AWS and Azure. Alibaba Cloud is available around the world and supports different operating systems, including Linux and Ubuntu. Alibaba Cloud is lacking in terms of customization options. However, you can tailor it to your organization’s requirements. While there have been some complaints about its stability, the platform is generally stable. Like its competitors, Alibaba Cloud uses a subscription payment model.
Google Cloud Platform is one of the most trusted IaaS vendors on the market. It comes with a range of cloud-based services, and you can scale the platform according to your requirements. It supports Linux as well as Windows. Although Google Cloud Platform is not the number one in terms of popularity, it is one of the most robust. The IaaS platform depends on Google’s multiple service centers across the globe. Google Cloud Platform is easy to use, and it is available for GCP users. The main downside of Google’s IaaS is that it is not as cheap as AWS. However, it is very reliable and provides all the tools you could possibly need to maximize your cloud infrastructure.
IBM Cloud is a powerful full-stack cloud vendor. It is an IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS platform. IBM Cloud provides most of the same IaaS services that you will get from other platforms as well as some unique services. For example, you can harness the power of IBM Watson AI through the service. Although IBM Cloud has a lot of excellent features, it is not ranked as high as AWS and Azure. IBM Cloud has a flexible subscription model. You can choose to pay for the service hourly or monthly, depending on your needs. This IaaS platform is suitable for both big and small companies.
OVH Cloud is a major player in the IaaS market, although it is not as popular as some of the vendors on this list. OVH is creating new data centers across the world to improve the quality of the service it provides. This IaaS platform is easy to use and comes with automated backups. OVH Cloud is very stable and comes with most of the same tools you will get from popular IaaS vendors. OVH Cloud is particularly suited for small companies due to its affordable pricing. However, it can also handle the demands of large companies.
Author – Rahul Sharma