Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is a form of cloud computing that provides virtualized computing resources over the internet. It is one of the three main categories of cloud services. The three fundamental cloud service model include:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): hardware is provided by cloud provider and managed for you.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS):in addition to hardware, your operating system layer is managed for you.
- Software as a Service (SaaS):in addition to the operating system, an application layer is provided and managed for you – you will not see or have to worry about the first two layers.
IaaS quickly scales up and down computing resources with demand, letting you pay only for what you use. It helps you avoid the expense and complexity of buying and managing your own physical servers and other datacentre infrastructure. A cloud computing service provider, such as Layer3, manages the infrastructure, while you purchase, install, configure, and manage your own software—operating systems, middleware, and applications.
Common Use Cases for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
- Production migration.Migrating production services from an on premise solution into the cloud is one of the most common cloud use cases. This allows companies to take advantage of all of the benefits of the cloud.
- Web hosting. Many organizations choose to host their web services in the cloud because it can balance the load across multiple servers and scale up and down quickly and automatically with traffic.
- Test and development.Engineers/Developers can quickly set up and dismantle test and development environments, bringing new applications to market faster. IaaS makes it quick and economical to scale up dev-test environments up and down.
- Traffic bursting.If you are in the retail business, for example, demand on your e-commerce infrastructure will spike over certain periods of the year (Christmas, for example). IaaS can be used to scale your network and resources to manage and handle this additional traffic over your peak season.
- Disaster recovery/Business Continuity.IaaS provides a consolidated disaster recovery infrastructure, reducing costs and increasing manageability. Frost & Sullivan research has determined that CIOs consider business continuity and preparing for disaster recovery the top drivers for adopting IaaS. If disaster strikes, employees can access the same infrastructure they have always accessed via an Internet connection, from wherever they happen to be. This includes everything the organization needs to function as usual — email, web servers and critical applications. The result: quick recovery with no loss of data.
- Big data analysis.Maintaining and implementing compute resources to handle huge datasets can be expensive and complicated. Mining data sets to locate or tease out these hidden patterns requires a huge amount of processing power, which IaaS economically provides.
According to Yankee Group research, the top five motivators for using IaaS are: cost savings on hardware and infrastructure; capacity management; disaster recovery/business continuity; cost savings on IT staffing and administration; and the ability to access new skills and capabilities.
This service is ideal for companies that want their sensitive data stored in a data center, but do not want the hassle of maintaining the facility and funding the construction. Layer3 allows companies to discover the advantages of Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) that will help in growing their business.