Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings provide virtual resources that replace physical data centers. IaaS provides users with virtual computing in the cloud, network connections, virtual desktops, application hosting, and automated system maintenance and backup.
Numerous IaaS features make this model attractive to businesses of all sizes, including:
- Subscription model: Infrastructure as a Service removes the burden on the user to invest in servers, data center hardware, and infrastructure. Users access applications and store and process data in the cloud, and the IaaS provider is responsible for maintenance. The IaaS model means that infrastructure shifts from a capital expenditure to a predictable operating expense, eliminating unanticipated IT service costs.
- Pay only for the resources you use: IaaS providers can charge users only for the resources they consume. Organizations don’t have to invest in technology they won’t use on a regular basis — or may never need.
- Availability: IaaS providers typically don’t have a single data center in one location. They use multiple servers in different facilities to create redundant systems with no single point of failure. This ensures that users can access their applications and data even if a server fails or one region experiences an outage.
- On-demand access: With the infrastructure in the cloud, users can access their data from any location or device. It isn’t necessary for managers to drive to a business location and login. They can use PCs, laptops, smartphones or other devices to access the data they need, whenever they need it.
- Scalability: IaaS users aren’t limited by the capacity of on-site servers. If they require more resources, they can scale their resources. Moreover, scaling can occur instantly, rather than waiting the time it would take for new on-site infrastructure to be deployed. IaaS also frees businesses from the risks of investing in hardware with more capacity than they will need in the future — it enables businesses to scale down resources as well as scale-up.
- Security: IaaS providers make security a priority and major providers often have the resources and capital to put advanced security solution in place — probably more than a business could afford and implement to protect data used and stored in on-site infrastructure. IaaS providers protect their system and their clients’ data with solutions and services, including next-gen firewalls, encryption, and options for private connections.
IaaS Supports Trends and Overcomes Obstacles
With more businesses and organizations exploring how artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and other emerging technologies can benefit their operations, the agility and scalability that IaaS offers becomes more attractive — as well as the reduced risk and predictable costs. IaaS also provides a solution to the skills shortage that exists in many organizations, relieving internal resources from the burden of maintaining data centers and allowing them to focus on other priorities.
As businesses expand throughout a region, a country — or around the world, IaaS offers a solution to keeping remote teams connected, ensuring employees have access to the data and functionality they need and giving managers real-time visibility into operations.
Gartner analysts expect that by 2025, 80 percent of enterprises will move away from traditional data centers, and the critical time frame for this migration will occur from 2012 to 2025. It’s time to research options that are best for your clients and form partnerships with IaaS providers. Also, begin building roadmaps for your clients’ migration so they can benefit from IaaS features that will help them compete more cost-effectively and effectively in their markets.