Cloud Computing IaaS Infrastructure as a Service

IaaS appears to be outperforming other types of cloud services


While you’d think that fully developed, “set it and forget it” –types of cloud services would be wildly more popular than those which require more user management, the exact opposite seems to be the case. It has been revealed in recent months that IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) is on track to becoming the most well-received form of cloud computing service on the market. This is not to say that users aren’t lining up to receive fully managed cloud packages (which they most certainly are), only that most of the larger, “heavy-hitter” businesses are opting instead for IaaS. cloud computing iaas infrastructure as a service

Why are these bigger organizations drawn to IaaS, you ask? Well, for starters, IaaS offers a great deal more control over every single aspect of one’s IT infrastructure compared with what is offered through PaaS or SaaS. But it’s not just increased control over management and the design of the infrastructure itself that IaaS presents, it’s also the ability to scale capabilities up-and-down much more quickly (and with less 3rd party oversight) than other forms of cloud computing. Sure, PaaS can behave in a very similar fashion (when compared to IaaS), but it is not nearly as intensive (or flexible).

For example, IaaS requires an organization to:

  • Set up a Database
  • Set up servers for applications, etc…
  • Conduct database provisioning, including creating tables
  • Arrange and install all your applications
  • Establish and program all load balancing assets
  • Engage in the ongoing management of Virtual Machines (VM)

By contrast, PaaS (though similar) only requires you to:

  • Set up a Database
  • Arrange and install all your applications

You’re probably wondering, “Why in the world would anyone want to go to all that trouble”, right? The fact is, for certain types of businesses which are heavily reliant on IT services, off-the-shelf architecture, configurations or deployments often aren’t sufficient enough. This is to say that IaaS affords certain types of organizations with the opportunity to construct customized solutions which not only better compliment their operation(s), but also allows them to develop their own solutions for problems. Likewise, IaaS gives these same businesses the ability to ensure the security of their own data and handle real-time monitoring of their own system. What makes IaaS such a value is the fact that all of the aforementioned benefits can be achieved while still keeping costs low; and because it is cloud computing we’re talking about here, no additional hardware purchases are necessary.

This does however bring up an interesting point concerning whether or not your IT department is prepared to handle the challenges associated with IaaS. If, for instance, you don’t have personnel with certifications in both Cloud Computing and IaaS, now is the time to begin investigating your options regarding education in these areas. Certification and training in both of these fields is actually quite inexpensive and offers excellent long-term benefits both to the company as well as the employees themselves (it’s basically career training for the future of IT).

According to Gartner:

“Worldwide IT Outsourcing Services Spending on Pace to Surpass $251 Billion in 2012”

This indicates that cloud computing is on track toward achieving previously undreamed of adoption levels in the coming years, perhaps even eclipsing the 50% and above mark in the very near future.

Gartner goes on to state:

“The fastest-growing segment within the ITO market is cloud compute services, which is part of the cloud-based infrastructure as a service (IaaS) segment. Cloud compute services are expected to grow 48.7 percent in 2012 to $5.0 billion, up from $3.4 billion in 2011.”

In other words, through clear information gathering and reporting, it is obvious that IaaS is “where the action is”, and that growth in this area is significantly augmenting the expansion of the cloud computing market in general.
One of the things that adds extra value to IaaS is the manner in which IT personnel are utilized; specifically, that an organization using IaaS must provide their own workers. Simply put, when you sign up for a fully managed cloud service there is no guarantee that the individuals tasked with maintaining your infrastructure and data are going to perform their duties up to your standards. Additionally, since they are remotely positioned, it’s impossible if any code of ethics is being adhered to. Through IaaS, your organization can actually dodge serious risks that might occur due to malicious internal attacks or carelessness.