Across the globe, there has been significant growth and expansion in the area of cloud computing services. The main driving force behind this growth is the changing landscape of the working model as many businesses have sought out technology to support their employees working both remotely and on-site. Could what we refer to as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) be that technology?
According to a 2021 survey conducted by the CSO, 59% of Irish businesses purchased cloud computing services in 2021, which was an increase from 51% in the previous year. Cloud computing is on-demand access, via the internet, to computing resources such as software and data storage.
So what if businesses could have their cloud computing requirements hosted and maintained in one package as a service? The good news is that you can, with Infrastructure as a Service.
In this article, we share everything you need to know about IaaS and how it can support your business.
What is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)?
Before we dive into what exactly IaaS is, you should be aware that there are actually three main categories of cloud computing services – Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and the one we are going focus on for this article, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
Simply put, IaaS is a cloud computing service where businesses can rent or lease servers for network resources and data storage in the cloud.
As part of the service, the cloud provider manages the IT infrastructure needed and delivers this infrastructure to their customers via virtual machines that can be accessed from any location.
How does Infrastructure as a Service work?
With IaaS, businesses get a full cloud computing infrastructure including networks, servers, operating systems, and data centres/storage. Full access is granted to the resources and services through a wide area network known as a WAN. Once accessed, the user can then install the remaining elements of the application, using the cloud provider’s services.
By choosing this route, clients have complete control over their computing infrastructure, such as tracking costs, monitoring performance, balancing network traffic, troubleshooting issues with the applications and managing disaster recovery.
What are the benefits of using Infrastructure as a Service?
Infrastructure as a Service is cost-effective
At a time when many businesses are under pressure financially with rising costs of energy bills etc, investing in cloud computing services can be daunting.
However, the beauty of IaaS is that it’s an extremely cost-effective way of having access to all the cloud computing services you need in one handy package.
Essentially it spares businesses the cost of having to buy, manage and support this infrastructure – instead they can rent or lease it from the cloud provider at a fraction of the cost.
Ability to scale up when required
Scalability is another key advantage of the IaaS option. Workloads vary significantly for many businesses, depending on their employees’ work schedules and taking on new projects.
With IaaS, you’re only paying for what you require, scaling up or down easily. This eliminates the need for purchasing expensive hardware and software for on-site deployment.
Automation and control
With IaaS, businesses can easily automate the deployment of servers, storage, and networking, which in turn gives you complete control of your infrastructure.
Are there any disadvantages to using Infrastructure as a Service?
Can be difficult to estimate the bills
While choosing the option of IaaS allows businesses to enjoy the flexible ‘pay-as-you-go’ model, it can also mean that there’s some degree of uncertainty when it comes to billing. This is because the bill is calculated to reflect the exact usage of every part of the service.
How can businesses avoid any unwelcome surprises? Users should monitor their usage and ensure that they fully understand how IaaS is being used and how it is calculated in their bills.
As well as this, it’s important to make sure that they are only paying for the services and applications that they require.
Lack of insight for users
Because IaaS providers own the infrastructure, this can leave the user with less insight into the configuration or performance of their system.
This can make it difficult for the user to manage and monitor their system and to gain insights into what is working best for them.
Businesses are fully dependent on the provider
One final downside is that the strength of the system is heavily dependent on the cloud provider.
In the event of any issues with the network of the provider such as downtime or network bottlenecks, then this will affect the users’ ability to do their job effectively.
Furthermore, because the cloud providers are “renting out” their IaaS to multiple organisations, this can also slow down the network.
This is why choosing the right IaaS provider is such a crucial decision for any business.
How does IaaS differ from SaaS and PaaS?
As we said earlier, IaaS is one of three cloud computing services, the other two being SaaS and PaaS and it is possible to enhance your IaaS by combining it with either of the other two services. So the three services don’t necessarily stand in competition with each other.
PaaS (Platform as a Service) is similar to IaaS as it has the same underlying infrastructure components however it offers even more services such as software development tools. These tools and operating systems are hosted by the provider so you end up with a bit more flexibility but not as much control
With SaaS (Software as a Service), you are getting the most service from your service provider in terms of software management and maintenance. There’s no need for users to install anything, it’s simply a case of logging in and using the provider’s application which is running on the provider’s infrastructure.
How is Infrastructure as a Service used practically?
IaaS can be a powerful service that can have many uses and we are going to share some of the more common ones here:
- Data storage, backup and recovery
- Hosting websites that are customer focussed
- Testing and development environments
- Web applications
- High-performance computing
- Data warehousing and Data Analytics
Choosing Calnet IT Solutions as your IaaS provider
In this ever-changing landscape, businesses need to be prepared to adapt quickly and having flexible, cost-effective IT is essential in this process.
We understand the importance of keeping costs down for businesses so our flexible, scalable and cost-effective Infrastructure as a Service cancels out the need for expensive servers, software, network equipment, data centre space and more,
At Calnet IT Solutions, we offer our clients a way to remove the financial headache of capital expenditure on IT and replace it with a single, affordable monthly fee and only pay for the IT resources that they need.
We have a team of experts who can guide you towards choosing the appropriate IT infrastructure for your business and ensure that it meets your needs both now and in the future.
Does one affordable monthly fee sound good to you? – get in touch with us today to establish your Infrastructure as a Service solution.