How Does IaaS Differ from Other Types of Cloud Services?At a minimum, cloud infrastructure includes core compute, storage, and network resources. More recently it has come to also include higher-level services (sometimes known as platform as a service [PaaS]) such as relational and NoSQL databases, real-time and batch data processing, developer pipelines and services, containers, and functions. Unlike software as a service (SaaS), IaaS is not for the typical end user. IaaS is for applications IT, IT operations, DevOps, system and database administrators, and full-stack developers.
IaaS offers multiple advantages over traditional on-premises data centers. With IaaS, organizations can:
|Reduce expenses||Businesses that have switched to IaaS don’t have to buy, manage, and maintain their infrastructure, and they pay only for what they use—even over five-year or longer depreciation periods.|
|Improve business continuity||Cloud infrastructure typically provides a higher degree of uptime and more disaster recovery options than on-premises deployments because it has redundancy built in at every layer, offers multiple fault domains, and geographically distributed locations, and is run at massive scale by operations experts.|
|Accelerate innovation||IaaS makes it fast, easy, and affordable to test new products and ideas. Instead of having to develop detailed forecasts and invest in new infrastructure, businesses can ramp up their cloud infrastructure in minutes, then scale up or down as needed.|
|Take advantage of the latest technologies||Many cloud providers package and deploy new hardware and software—including artificial intelligence and machine learning frameworks—long before businesses can implement them on- premises.|
|Speed provisioning||Even virtualized on-premises infrastructures suffer from long provisioning times of weeks or even months. With IaaS, entire application environments can be provisioned in minutes.|
|Focus on core business||IaaS frees IT departments from spending as much as half of their resources on managing and maintaining on-premises hardware and software. With IaaS, organizations can also enable DevOps and other teams to access the infrastructure themselves, so they can run and test without delay.|
|Scale faster||Businesses need more resources during peak workloads—such as during monthly reporting periods. With IaaS, the infrastructure can scale in minutes, so reports can be run quickly and staff can focus on more business-critical activities.|
IaaS in cloud computing—staying a step aheadYour cloud provider is in the business of making sure your IaaS environment is as good as it can be. They often have bleeding-edge hardware, so you don’t need to research and purchase it yourself. And you don’t need to go through specialized training and long provisioning cycles to upgrade your infrastructure. Instead, you have the time and resources to focus on your business.
|Test and development||With IaaS, DevOps teams can set up and take down test and development environments quickly and at low cost, so they can get new applications to market faster.|
|Traditional applications||IaaS supports both cloud native applications and traditional enterprise applications, including ERP and business analytics applications.|
|Website hosting and apps||Many businesses run their websites on IaaS to optimize costs. IaaS also supports web and mobile apps, which can be quickly deployed and scaled.|
|Storage, backup, and recovery||Storing and backing up data on-premises, as well as planning for and recovering from disasters, requires a great deal of time and expertise. Moving their infrastructure to the cloud helps businesses reduce costs and frees them up to focus on other tasks.|
|High performance computing||With its pay-as-you-go model, IaaS makes high performance computing (HPC) and other data-intensive, project-oriented tasks more affordable.|