IT infrastructure is the foundation that most other computing services sit on top of. It includes servers, data storage, networking resources, security, and data centers. Traditionally, infrastructure requires physical space and hardware to operate.
But with cloud services, businesses access IT infrastructures through the Internet instead. This is infrastructure-as-a-service or IaaS. It’s one of the four primary types of cloud services and it has countless benefits. Some common IaaS applications include:
✔️ lift-and-shift migrations
✔️ Testing and development
✔️ Data storage, backup, and recovery
✔️ Web app support
Businesses choose IaaS over traditional IT infrastructure because it’s easy and affordable. Here’s how it works:
This keeps up-front costs low for businesses that need an IT infrastructure. And it prevents businesses from paying for services they don’t need. Plus, businesses can scale IaaS up and down as necessary.
You can think of IaaS as the first level of cloud services that all other cloud services build upon. In other words, an IT infrastructure is important because it’s the first piece of the puzzle. And there are four main IaaS components:
Computer networks connect two or more computers together, usually through cables or WiFi. Traditionally, you need physical hardware like routers and switches to support a network. But IaaS enables businesses to access through the cloud, without any hardware.
There are a few types of cloud storage (block, file, and object). When it comes to IaaS, object storage is the most common because it’s easy to scale, easy to access, and easy to optimize. For these reasons, IaaS is an affordable and smart storage solution for businesses.
Data centers take up a lot of space, and they’re expensive to manage. IaaS providers rent out their data centers to businesses. Businesses enjoy well-managed data centers without having to pay for a private one.
Businesses can use IaaS compute and memory services as a “virtual machine.” Instead of buying and managing actual hardware, businesses pay to use computers virtually. IaaS providers offer CPUs, GPUs, and other types of hardware through the cloud. Businesses then access machines through web browsers.
Businesses everywhere opt for IaaS over traditional IT infrastructures. Here are the top advantages of using IaaS over traditional infrastructure:
Fast and affordable cloud migration
Increase scale, performance, and security on-demand
Migrate without refactoring your existing architecture
Simple backup and recovery management
Easy and secure data storage
Prepare for disaster events
Access supercomputers, computer grids, and computer clusters
Solve complex problems
Perform millions of calculations in a short amount of time
Storage, servers, and networking
On-demand infrastructure scaling
Pay-as-you-go and subscription-based payment models
Reduce hardware and maintenance costs
Stop paying for data center configuration and management
Fast test environment set up and dismantle
Fast development environment set up and dismantle
Scale development and test environments up and dow
Better app and data security
Confidential computing services
Develop, test, and launch new apps/products faster
Accommodate unexpected spikes in demand
Faster IT infrastructure set up
IaaS providers make sure your services are up and running
24/7 monitoring and support
Complete hardware failure is highly unlikely
Quickly scale IaaS services up and down
Scale your IT infrastructure as you grow
There are different types of cloud services. Each one builds off the one that precedes, and each serves a unique purpose. Here are the three most common:
IaaS provides the foundation for most other IT services. It includes the basic building blocks like servers, storage, networking, and security. Companies use these services to replace or supplement in-house IT solutions.
PaaS includes everything IaaS provides, but with a few extras. Operating systems, dev tools, and database management are common PaaS services. Most businesses use these services to create, test, and launch web and mobile apps.
SaaS includes all the IaaS and PaaS services, and hosted applications. Businesses connect to these services through a web browser. Meanwhile, Azure/Microsoft handles maintaining, upgrading, and securing these services.
Check out the tables below
Cloud-based infrastructures are much easier to set up and manage than traditional ones. But before you adopt IaaS, research hosts and review service level agreements.
When you’re ready, your provider (or host) should be able to set up the following:
Connect a network of computers by virtually accessing your IaaS host’s hardware.
Store your data in the cloud, and only pay for what you use or need.
Securely send and receive data without having to manage bulky servers.
Encrypt your data and stay compliant with security regulations.
Store and backup your data so it’s easy to recover after a disaster event.
Talk with your IaaS provider about which services you need. And remember, as you grow or your needs change, so can IaaS.