Public Cloud Computing and IaaS

A closer look at what effects IaaS may or may not be having on new growth in this sector

In spite of the fact that some very well-known characters have openly declared that cloud computing is a bad idea, something that will never work, it is flourishing. That’s right, things are looking so good for public cloud providers (particularly those with IaaS products to sell) that very soon, cloud computing might actually be more of a household / mainstream concept. It’s not just businesses that have helped to propel cloud technologies forward though (but they’ve played an enormous role), individuals have been embracing it in record numbers as well. However, the biggest areas of growth have been in public cloud computing and IaaS, which hints at the importance that larger organizations are placing on this technology, since they tend to be more avid users of IaaS.  

The writing is on the wall, we’ve currently got all the major tech companies implementing their own varieties of public cloud and IaaS. Microsoft, Apple, Google and others are not only promoting their services or trying to increase their profit margins, they’re actually helping to spread the influence of cloud computing itself. This is part of the magic of the cloud. Unlike any previous form of computing and networking technologies, cloud computing is really about being connected. Concepts can be more easily shared, applications moved from one provider to another, services can be combined from disparate vendors; the possibilities are endless, really.

But at the end of the day, cloud computing is really about attempting to find more efficient ways of doing things. This is where IaaS comes into play; because it is perhaps the best approach to cloud computing for most businesses that simply need a greater degree of control over their public cloud services. Statistics gathered from research organizations like Gartner seem to indicate that more growth is a certainty. Already this year we’ve seen enormous growth in both public clouds and IaaS, with IaaS leading the charge.

However, the recent outpouring of IaaS services from the big heavy-hitting companies seems to have instilled a greater sense of purpose and confidence in this area. It makes sense that more businesses would turn to IaaS given that there are more options available and all the most well-known institutions are promoting their own types of services, don’t you think? For those of us who like cloud computing and want to see it adopted on a larger scale, the thanks should really be going out to these large companies like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, etc…who jumped into the technology head-first knowing that they might fall flat. Luckily, their respective investments seem to be paying off if the cloud adoption figures are a testament to anything at all.

Perhaps the main reason IaaS is driving public cloud adoption has to do with the actual relationship the two share. For example, though IaaS can be deployed via a public cloud offering, it is usually something that is set up like a private cloud service. Since IaaS might be generally used to establish a remote IT operation, it makes sense that it should be segregated in one or more ways.

One of the things that businesses like to do is establish their IaaS via a private cloud setup and then leverage public cloud capabilities for certain data storage applications (or perhaps tap into some service(s) offered through the public cloud). This is one of the things that make current types of IaaS such powerful tools for organizations; they have the ability to quickly shift resources to and from public / private cloud configurations. In other words, PaaS and SaaS offerings can easily be deployed on public clouds (and often are), but IaaS is something more, it is able to forge a connection between public and private cloud computing. For businesses that have been using PaaS or SaaS via a public cloud, being able to take their builds and more-or-less instantly transfer them into IaaS is a big plus, and makes their cloud transition more streamlined and painless.

IaaS is really about taking control over the technical aspects of what any cloud is actually capable of, both PaaS and SaaS are tailored toward those who want pre-packaged services or apps that perform specific tasks. In this way, IaaS is helping to push the upper end of development for cloud computing for organizations who are seeking to truly leverage the power of these systems. If IaaS had never caught on (as it has) we would likely still have various forms of cloud services available to us, but you wouldn’t see nearly as much interest from IT professionals. This is very important because businesses need to be able to maintain their own tech personnel while at the same time, taking advantage of what cloud computing has to offer.

For cloud vendors, being able to hand over more control to their IaaS users is also a good thing because it takes some of the pressure off of them. Another hidden truth in IaaS is that more and more individual organizations are going to develop their own components, apps and business solutions. Why is this important? Well, imagine how quickly the entire field of cloud computing will develop (technologically speaking) if more and more individual organizations are building and exploring simultaneously. We’re talking about greater diversity and exploration in all directions within the context of systems and infrastructure which are largely compatible with one another.

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