If you're looking to migrate your IT system hardware to the cloud, you'll want Infrastructure-as-a-Service or IaaS. It's a common and highly popular cloud computing solution that allows companies and organisations to get more from their IT while increasing productivity and lowering costs.
Using IaaS means companies no longer have to worry about running and maintaining their own IT systems, with all the time and costs it involves, including paying hefty IT staff salaries. That’s because their IT hardware is owned and operated by a cloud computing company, whose datacentres housing enormous amounts of servers may be in another part of the country or even halfway around the world — all you need to access it and its many services is a reliable internet connection.
What Is IaaS?
IaaS is the physical infrastructure companies need to run their IT, but it's no longer on their own premises but operated by an external cloud computing firm. You're allocated part of a datacentre's servers, depending on your requirements for such services as hosting, storage and running apps and programs, and you can expect high levels of security to protect your data from harm or theft.
The ease and affordability with which you can quickly scale up with IaaS mean it's often used in development and test scenarios and so it makes it the perfect environment to quickly bring new apps to market. Additionally, it can be more economical for companies to host their websites using IaaS compared to other kinds of external web hosting.
IaaS is also the ideal cloud computing solution for high-performance computing used in complex health, financial, weather and geographical predictions, as vast amounts of computing power are available at datacentres, and companies and organisations can use as little or as much as they want, whenever they want to.
Benefits of IaaS
Lots of companies choose the IaaS cloud for their IT requirements because of the substantial cost savings it can deliver while providing them with the latest in hardware and software technologies and eliminating the need for ongoing monitoring and maintenance they would otherwise have to carry out themselves.
This means companies can pour far more efforts into running their enterprises and driving them forwards, as their staff and financial resources are freed up and not focused on operating and maintaining an on-site IT network.
Other benefits of IaaS are high security and that it allows companies to innovate quicker, because they can get more storage, computing and processing power in an instant, instead of having to spend weeks or months adding additional physical IT capacity themselves.
Disadvantages of IaaS
Among the disadvantages of IaaS are potential server downtimes or outages that can mean companies can't gain access to their data — although such situations are rare and the risk is reduced by datacentres' use of multiple redundancies so that if something does go down, a backup system kicks into place to keep everything online.
Some firms may also have security concerns, especially concerning sensitive and confidential data and information they work with stored in the IaaS cloud. But cloud computing services typically have higher levels of security than individual companies could manage themselves, including the Azure cloud service from Microsoft that employs thousands of security experts around the world to constantly monitor its cloud and ensure that data is safe.