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Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

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By: Nihad Hassan

April 12, 2021

As the digital transformation moves steadily to occupy all life aspects, people's dependence on digital technology to facilitate their daily lives increases. Not all organizations can afford the costs of adopting digital solutions to support all their work operations. For instance, digitizing all work processes will require hardware and software tools in addition to expertise (e.g., technical support costs). This may not always be available, especially for SMB's who do not have the required budget to purchase the required hardware (e.g., servers, endpoints, networking devices, and virtualized systems).

The ongoing COVID19 pandemic has resulted in shifting the primary workforce to work from home; the massive shift has resulted in increasing dependence on digital solutions to support the new working model. Cloud computing services have witnessed a boost during the pandemic. It demonstrated its offering value in providing an on-demand environment that can scale up and down to support the rapid digital acceleration during the pandemic. Different cloud computing models are in use today. The primary key three services of cloud computing are Software as a Service (SaaS)(), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is a cloud computing model where enterprises rent their IT infrastructure for computing and data storage in the cloud. IaaS clients (both individuals and organizations) can use cloud infrastructure to run any operating system or applications types without worrying about paying for the infrastructure maintenance costs. In IaaS, the IT infrastructure –which was commonly hosted onsite- is managed by a cloud service provider and offered for clients on a subscription basis by utilizing virtual machines accessible through the internet. It provides numerous benefits to organizations, such as reducing costs, making work more efficient and flexible, and minimizing downtime.

According to Gartner, the worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services is forecast to grow 18.4% in 2021 to total $304.9 billion, up from $257.5 billion in 2020. The massive shift toward cloud adoption will continue to accelerate even after the COVID19. Gartner forecast spending on cloud services will make up 14.2% of the total global enterprise IT spending market in 2024, up from 9.1% in 2020.

The global spending on IaaS is expected to intensify in the future; according to The International Data Corporation (IDC) report titled "Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker," by 2020, 48% of total spending on IT infrastructure will be spent on cloud environments IT infrastructure. This demonstrates the golden time the IaaS service model is going to have.

This article will discuss the benefits of adopting the IaaS cloud computing model.

Benefits of Infrastructure-as-a-Service

Using IT infrastructure offered by an external provider is more efficient than running your on-premise equipment. The following key benefits can be achieved by using the IaaS service model.

  1. Increase overall business performancetext in italic: By utilizing IaaS, an organization's IT infrastructure is provided and fully managed by the IaaS provider. The equipment is more reliable and robust than the on-premise ones. There is no need to purchase costly IT equipment, and you will not have to spend on maintaining them. This will significantly reduce your overall IT spending bill while ensuring a high-performance level from your IT infrastructure. The Agreement Service Level (ASL) signed with your cloud service provider will give you the highest performance level that you cannot achieve easily when using your infrastructure. With the second option, an organization's IT team will consume most of their time to achieve the best result from utilizing their equipment to meet business objectives. It will not have the time to acquire the latest technology, which is not the case with IaaS providers who continually upgrade theirs to remain competitive against their competitors.

  2. Securitytext in italic: Keeping your IT infrastructure secure is the key to secure your sensitive data. Keeping the IT environment safe remains a business's top priority. Most IaaS providers utilize cutting-edge technology to ensure the data they store and the process is protected to the last extent. They use strong physical security controls (e.g., multi-factor authentication by utilizing security cards and biometric authentication, surveillance cameras, multi-looked doors that prevent accessing the entire building by unauthorized users) to control access infrastructure. Also, they utilize robust authentication to protect access to logical data. There are additional security measures implemented by IaaS, such as end-to-end encryption and encrypting sensitive data at rest.

  3. The scale on demandtext in italic: IaaS service model allows an organization to scale up and down as needed. Suppose you will host a digital conference on your main website; you can ask to provide the necessary resources to meet the conference's increasing workloads. After then, you can return to your old settings. This effectively reduces costs by paying for what the business needs only. Another notable example is when opening a new branch office, instead of purchasing new hardware/software tools, you can expand your IaaS to include the new office branch.

  4. Transfer the disaster recovery overhead to the cloud providertext in italic: IaaS providers have robust disaster recovery procedures to operate if a natural disaster or a vast cyberattack occurs. Shifting the disaster recovery and continuity plan to external providers will significantly reduce costs, increase business efficiency, and minimize downtime.

Summary

IaaS allows organizations to utilize cloud services to support their IT functions. As digital transformation has begun to accelerate rapidly since the last year, using IaaS service is crucial to scale your business –up and down- on-demand and with minimal security risks.

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