Infrastructure as a Service, or IaaS, is an exclusive form of cloud computing that offers virtualized computing resources across the internet. Please note that IaaS is primarily one of the three main categories of cloud computing services. The others include software as a service or SaaS and platform as a service or PaaS.
Now that you are familiar with the IaaS meaning, you can read more about IaaS, PaaS, & SaaS here.
In IaaS, the cloud provider seamlessly manages IT infrastructures, including servers, storage, and networking resources. Further, they are delivered to subscriber organizations through virtual machines that are accessible through an active internet connection.
IaaS in cloud computing provides loads of benefits for organizations. The most prominent of all is that it has the potential to reduce workloads by making them faster and more flexible. Thus, it becomes extremely cost-efficient.
This comprehensive guide will give informative insights into Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Please keep reading until the end to learn more and make an informed decision.
Let’s dive in!
IaaS Characteristics and Features
By now, you must have a clear conception regarding the IaaS definition. This section will quickly look into the IaaS Characteristics and Features.
Some of the most commendable IaaS characteristics are:
- Virtual machines with pre-installed operating systems, including Linux, Windows, and Solaris.
- Virtual machines with pre-installed software.
- Enables storing copies of particular data at different locations.
- On-demand availability of resources.
- All the computing resources can be efficiently scaled up or down.
- Dynamic scaling.
- Automated administrative tasks.
- GUI and API-based access.
- Active internet connectivity, etc.
The features of IaaS in Cloud Computing are:
IaaS offers storage, hardware, servers, data centre space, or network components. At times, they might also include software. So, as far as the equipment is concerned, the repair and maintenance responsibility lies with the IaaS service provider. This relieves the end user from the extensive hassles of looking after timely equipment servicing.
So, the user should notify the service provider during any technical glitches. Usually, such faults are resolved by remote operations. But if the issues are stringent, then the provider offers replacement as agreed in the Service Level Agreement.
Please note that an IaaS provider offers policy-based services and is truly responsible for several things. They take care of housing, operating, and maintaining the infrastructure equipment provided for a client. However, clients usually pay on the basis of per-use or utility computing basis.
On-demand self-service is regarded as one of the best advantages of IaaS. It enables customers to use cloud computing as and when required without any human contact between the consumers and service providers.
Considering the features of on-demand self-service, consumers can seamlessly arrange numerous cloud resources as and when required. The primary benefit of the on-demand self-service of IaaS is that it generates efficiencies for both consumers and providers.
One of the remarkable benefits of IaaS is that it can rapidly scale up and down. And it does so in response to the requirements of an enterprise.
The IaaS providers usually host the latest and the most powerful servers, storage, and networking technology. And all of these are in accordance with accommodating the requirements of their customers.
This on-demand scalability offers greater agility and added flexibility in response to changing requirements and opportunities. It’s immensely useful when it comes to constructing and dismantling test and development environments. The elevated speed and agility truly benefit this scenario.
When cloud providers offer scalable and provisional services to multiple clients and customers, it is known as resource pooling. Both space and resources are pooled to serve multiple clients at once. And according to the resource consumption of the client, the user can be set to provide more or less at a particular time.
In IaaS in cloud computing, rapid elasticity refers to the basic capability of the cloud to scale quickly to meet demand. As consumers can seamlessly expand or reduce their resources, consumers remarkably benefit from rapid elasticity.
Examples of IaaS Applications
Earlier, while discussing what is IaaS, we’ve already mentioned that this form of cloud computing offers virtualized computing resources across the internet.
Some of the most commendable examples of IaaS Applications are:
- Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- Microsoft Azure
- Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)
- Google Compute Engine (GCE), etc.
Benefits of Using IaaS
You’d be surprised to know that IaaS in cloud computing promotes access versus ownership. This unique solution offers the end-user remarkable flexibility while hosting custom-built applications. And while offering a general data centre for storage, it provides standard software.
Whenever certain components fail within the cloud infrastructure, high availability in the cloud enables a system to continue functioning.
High availability in IaaS refers to a set of technologies that minimises IT disruptions by providing business continuity of IT services. And it is conducted through fault-tolerant, redundant, and failover-protected components within the same data centre.
The providers of IaaS in cloud computing heavily invest in security technology and expertise. Data security must be of paramount importance while evaluating cloud services and providers.
IaaS is truly beneficial for startups for paying the upfront costs associated with maintaining and purchasing their on-site data centre. According to the service level agreement between the business and the provider, users pay according to their usage.
Some other benefits of using IaaS are:
- It reduces capital expenditures
- You pay for what you use
- Offers increased security
- Scales dynamically
- Boosts speed
- Reallocates IT resources, etc.
Challenges Faced in IaaS
Now that you’re familiar with what is IaaS, you’ll know there are plenty of benefits to using IaaS within an organisation. However, there are some potential challenges as well. They include:
- Significant risks associated with security.
- Unexpected additional costs
- Lack of support
- Limited customisation
- Vendor consolidation
- Alterations in process and workflows
- Confusing SLAs, etc.
IaaS Provider Provides the Following Services
The top infrastructure as a service providers offer the following services that allow users to build, deploy, and manage cloud services. Some of them include the following:
- Storage Management
- Virtual machines (VMs)
- Cloud migration
- Database management, etc.
|IaaS Vendor||Iaas Solution|
|Netmagic Solutions||Netmagic IaaS Cloud|
|Amazon Web Services||Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Elastic, Route 53, MapReduce, Virtual Private Cloud, etc.|
|Reliance Communications||Reliance Internet Data Center|
|Rackspace||Cloud files, cloud servers, cloud sites, etc.|
|Sify Technologies||Sify IaaS|
Advantages of IaaS Cloud Computing Layer
Now that you are familiar with ‘what is IaaS’, we will quickly look into the benefits of IaaS in cloud computing:
- IaaS provides exceptional speed.
- It is widely available.
- Pay for what you use.
- Capable of scaling resources automatically.
- It can reduce latency and improve performance.
Disadvantages of IaaS Cloud Computing Layer
Here, we have made a comprehensive listing of all the drawbacks associated with IaaS:
- Security isn’t up to the mark.
- There are plenty of interoperability issues.
- Improper maintenance and upgrade of IaaS software.
Top IaaS Providers Who are Providing IaaS Cloud Computing Platform
The top infrastructure as a service provider who are providing effective IaaS cloud computing platforms are listed in the table below:
|Red Hat||Raleigh, North Carolina|
|DigitalOcean||New York, New York|
|IBM||Armonk, New York|
|Verizon||New York, New York|
|Mountain View, California|
|VMWare||Palo Alto, California|
|Rackspace Technology||Mountain View, California|
|Citrix||Fort Lauderdale, Florida|
How is IaaS Different from Traditional Software Models?
Infrastructure as a service(IaaS) providers host physical data centres and store and manage servers, firewalls, virtualization machines, and security. Unlike SaaS, the IaaS end users should control and run their own hosted applications, database management tools, and development management tools. Businesses can also use IaaS for data storage and backup, web hosting., and high-performance computing needs.
You can also check out SAAS in Cloud Computing here.
How to Choose the Right IaaS Provider?
When you choose an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) provider, you need to consider the following:
- Check whether the user has control of their infrastructure.
- Check whether the IaaS provider provides top-notch security.
- Consider whether the service provider is reliable or not.
- Go through the service level agreements of the service provider very carefully.
- Check whether it’s affordable and look out for additional costs.
Popular IaaS Providers
Some of the popular IaaS providers are:
- Red Hat
- Rackspace Technology
- Citrix, etc.