Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Cloud infrastructure services, known as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), are self-service models for accessing, monitoring, and managing remote datacenter infrastructures, such as compute (virtualized or bare metal), storage, networking, and networking services (e.g. firewalls). Instead of having to purchase hardware outright, users can purchase IaaS based on consumption, similar to electricity or other utility billing.

ADVANTAGES OF IaaS

Eliminates capital expense and reduces ongoing cost. IaaS sidesteps the upfront expense of setting up and managing an on-site datacenter, making it an economical option for start-ups and businesses testing new ideas.

Improves business continuity and disaster recovery. Achieving high availability, business continuity, and disaster recovery is expensive, since it requires a significant amount of technology and staff. But with the right service level agreement (SLA) in place, IaaS can reduce this cost and access applications and data as usual during a disaster or outage.

Innovate rapidly. As soon as you’ve decided to launch a new product or initiative, the necessary computing infrastructure can be ready in minutes or hours, rather than the days or weeks—and sometimes months—it could take to set up internally.

Respond quicker to shifting business conditions. IaaS enables you to quickly scale up resources to accommodate spikes in demand for your application— during the holidays, for example—then scale resources back down again when activity decreases to save money.

Focus on your core business. IaaS frees up your team to focus on your organization’s core business rather than on IT infrastructure.

Increase stability, reliability, and supportability. With IaaS there’s no need to maintain and upgrade software and hardware or troubleshoot equipment problems. With the appropriate agreement in place, the service provider assures that your infrastructure is reliable and meets SLAs.

Better security. With the appropriate service agreement, a cloud service provider can provide security for your applications and data that may be better than what you can attain in-house.

Gets new apps to users faster. Because you don’t need to first set up the infrastructure before you can develop and deliver apps, you can get them to users faster with IaaS.

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IaaS Examples: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Cisco Metapod, Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Engine (GCE), Joyent

Common IaaS Use-Case: Extends current data center infrastructure for temporary workloads (e.g. increased Christmas holiday site traffic)

Technology Analyst Examples: Kyle Hilgendorf (Gartner), Drue Reeves (Gartner), Lydia Leong (Gartner), Doug Toombs (Gartner), Gregor Petri (Gartner EU), Tiny Haynes (Gartner EU), Jeffery Hammond (Forrester), James Staten (Forrester)

IaaS helps you avoid the expense and complexity of buying and managing your own physical servers and other datacenter infrastructure. Each resource is offered as a separate service component, and you only need to rent a particular one for as long as you need it. The cloud computing service provider manages the infrastructure, while you purchase, install, configure, and manage your own software—operating systems, middleware, and applications.