We started our XaaS 101 series with explaining PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) and this time we bring you the IaaS model. IaaS is the key model in the cloud computing ecosystem and this blog is the effort to explain it in the most simple words that everyone can comprehend.
What is IaaS?
IaaS stands for Infrastructure-as-a-Service.
Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is an instant computing infrastructure, provisioned and managed over the internet. IaaS is one of the four types of cloud service model offerings along with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Serverless.
The IaaS technology helps the users to avoid the cost and complexity of purchasing and managing their own physical servers. Every resource of IaaS is offered as an individual service component and the users only have to use the particular one they need. The cloud service provider managed the IaaS infrastructure while the users can concentrate on installing, configuring and managing their software.
IaaS Came Out a Long Way
IaaS emerged out of the broader conversion from traditional hardware-oriented data centers to virtualized and cloud-based infrastructure. By removing the fixed relationship between the hardware and operating software and middleware, organizations found that they could scale data environments quickly and easily to meet the workload demands.
It was just a small step to begin purchasing infrastructure on a service model to cut costs and deliver the flexibility required to support the growing demand of digital services.
How IaaS works?
The cloud provider hosts the IaaS infrastructure component that are usually required or present in the traditional data centers. The infrastructure component can include network hardware, servers, storage and the virtualization of the hypervisor layer. In fact, the IaaS provider offers a wide range of services along with the infrastructure components.
To get the basic understanding of the IaaS technology, you can start from comprehending three things about IaaS:
First is Cloud: Just like any other cloud computing service, IaaS providers the users the access to the required computing resources in a virtualized environment. The provision of virtualized environment is done through a public connection via internet. By accessing the environment, the users can establish their own IT platforms.
Second is Virtualized Hardware: IaaS provides resources that are especially belonging to virtualized hardware which is also known as computing infrastructure. The offerings in an IaaS environment include network connections, virtual server space, load balancers and IP addresses.
Third is Cloud Servers: If you put IaaS into physical terms, it is basically a service by cloud provider which offers a set of servers and networks hosted around various data centers around the globe; supported by pool of hardware resources. And the cloud provider is responsible for managing these resources.
While the typical consumption model for IaaS is to acquire services from a third-party provider many large enterprises are adapting it for their own private clouds. IaaS is built on virtual pool of resources which ideally are parceled out on-demand and then returned to the pool when no longer required.
What are the benefits of IaaS?
IaaS model offers various impressive benefits to the users which includes:
Pay-as-you-go Model: The IaaS service can be used on demand and the users only have to pay for the resources that they use.
Scalability: IaaS offers unmatched capacity that can be provisioned with a click. This offers the user to upscale the capacity requirements at any rate as long as they can afford the IaaS services.
Flexibility: IaaS offers the ability to scale the resources up and down in a click as per the needs of the users.
Faster time to market: As the IaaS environment ensures flexibility and scalability, the organizations has the advantage to plan accordingly which leads to lesser time to take an idea from scratch to the market.
Eliminate capital expenses: Leverage IaaS services to completely eliminate the capital expense as the infrastructure will be managed by the cloud provider itself and user just need to pay for the resources that they use.
What are the typical IaaS Use Cases?
Website Hosting: This has become the most common typical IaaS use case because running website leveraging IaaS can be less expensive than traditional web hosting. Hosting websites on cloud can also offer other add-on services that brings the overall cost down.
Testing and development: Organizations are using cloud to quickly deploy the applications and test in the virtual environments with low capital overheads and ease of provisioning resources on the go.
High-end Computing: Computing on advanced hardware pools to solve complex problems involving millions of variables or calculations.
Storage, backup and disaster recovery: Organizations avoids the capital expenses by storing, backing-up and leveraging disaster recovery solutions on cloud. It also simplifies planning and management of backup and recovery systems.
These are just typical use case; users can leverage IaaS offerings of the cloud providers in various innovative ways after developing clear understanding with one’s offerings.
Read more about cloud computing models in our XaaS 101 series: