Do you really know what the cloud is? For most of us, the cloud is a magical place where our data is safe and secure. But obviously it's a little more complicated. Cloud services are important for businesses that store data about their customers and inventory, and they can be overwhelming, not to mention expensive.
Maintaining on-premises IT infrastructure can be expensive and time-consuming. Because of this, customer demand for cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is accelerating as companies continue to pursue digital strategies. However, top talent with cloud computing skills and experience is still hard to come by.
Learning to analyze, evaluate, and design cloud service solutions requires a basic understanding of the various commonly used components.
greasedTypes of Cloud Computing Servicesadd the following:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Infrastructure as a Service can change the game by promising on-demand access to computing resources. Read on to learn more about IaaS in cloud computing, the benefits it brings to an organization, the challenges it can pose, and examples of IaaS.
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Read more about Cloud computing.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Defined
The official definition of IaaS is as follows: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provides computing, memory, storage, networking, and associated software, such as operating systems and databases, as a cloud service to replace traditional data center infrastructure.
In a nutshell, this means that IaaS are essentially virtual servers that the customer rents from another company with a data center. In essence, IaaS promotes access over ownership.
This solution provides end-user flexibility to host custom applications or off-the-shelf software, while providing a general-purpose data center for storage.
Customers can implement IaaS in one of three different service models defined by the National Institute of Standards Technology (NIST):
- Private Cloud:Infrastructure Services are provided for the exclusive use of a single organization. The physical infrastructure can be owned, managed and operated by the organization, third parties or a combination thereof, and can exist on or off the premises.
- public cloud:Infrastructure services are deployed for use by multiple organizations (also known as the multi-tenant model). The physical infrastructure may be owned, managed and operated by a corporation, an academic or government organization, or a combination of both. It exists on the cloud provider's premises.
- hybrid cloud:A company decides to use public cloud and private cloud for applications or general architecture. The two cloud models remain single entities, but are linked by proprietary or standardized technology that enables data and application portability.
A brief history of cloud computing
Amazon Web Services (AWS) pioneered cloud computing as we know it. According to Jeff Bezos, AWS's mission was "to provide application developers with a reliable set of tools and a reliable infrastructure to build products on". Microsoft (Azure), Google (Google Cloud), IBM (IBM Smart Cloud) and Oracle (Oracle Cloud) quickly followed suit. The range of cloud computing services today is quite diverse.Learn about cloud computing types, solutions, and providers.
Benefits of IaaS
IaaS is beneficial for companies in scenarios where scalability and rapid deployment are essential. In other words, organizations that are growing rapidly but don't have the capital to invest in hardware are excellent candidates for IaaS models. IaaS can also be beneficial for organizations with constant application workloads that simply want to offload some of the routine operations and maintenance associated with infrastructure management.
Other advantages can be the following:
- Pay for what you use:Rates are calculated using usage-based metrics
- Reduce capital expenditures:IaaS is typically a monthly operating expense
- Dynamically scale:Quickly add capacity during peak hours and scale back as needed
- Increase security:IaaS providers invest heavily in technology and security expertise
- Future Proof:Access to the latest data centers, hardware and operating systems
- Self-service deployment:Access via a simple internet connection
- Reallocate IT resources:Free IT staff for higher value projects
- Reduce downtime:IaaS enables instant recovery from outages
- Impulse Speed:Developers can start projects as soon as IaaS machines are deployed
- Enable innovation:Add new features and leverage APIs
- Level the playing field:SMEs can compete with much larger companies
Using IaaS in an enterprise offers many benefits, but also challenges. Some of these hurdles can be overcome with advanced preparation, but others present risks that the customer must consider prior to implementation.
Challenges can include:
- Unexpected costs:Monthly charges may increase or peak usage may be higher than expected
- Process changes:IaaS may require changes to processes and workflows
- Inventory out of control:Instances can be provisioned but not terminated
- Security risks:While IaaS providers protect the infrastructure, corporations are responsible for everything they host.
- Missing support:Live help is sometimes hard to find
- Complex integration:Challenges when interacting with existing systems
- Security risks:Losing direct control can create new vulnerabilities
- Limited customization:Public cloud users may have limited control and customization options
- Supplier retention:Switching from one IaaS provider to another can be challenging
- Broadband dependency:As good as the reliability of the Internet connection
- Vendors not created equal: supplier verificationand choosing can be a challenge
- Manage Availability:Even the biggest service providers experience downtime
- Confusing SLA:Service Level Agreements (SLAs) can be difficult to understand
- Regulatory uncertainty:Evolving federal and state laws may affect IaaS usage in some industries, particularly across states
- Consolidation of suppliers:Providers can be absorbed or exit the market.
- Third-party experience:Lack of mature service providers, advice or ecosystem support
Examples of IaaS
The cloud business is booming. Serious,gardenerforecasts revenue in the cloud IaaS market to grow to $81.5 billion by 2022, up from $41.4 billion in 2019. Enterprises are embracing IaaS in several ways:
- software development
- software tests
- hosting site
- web application support
- High performance computing (HPC)
- Big Data Analytics
An example of IaaS rising or falling can be seen in retail. Many retailers expect traffic to increase in November and December, around the holidays. It's important to be able to add capacity quickly during this peak period. The elastic nature of IaaS allows companies to scale on demand.
Another example of using cloud infrastructure is storing security video files. As video files consume a large amount of data, a management application is needed to store these files with easy access. IaaS cloud storage is an ideal solution to manage these files.
Companies in all stages of the business lifecycle use IaaS solutions. From global corporations to startups, the flexibility, scalability and cost savings are hard to beat.
Popular IaaS providers are Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Rackspace and Google Compute Engine.
- Microsoft Azureis a cloud computing service developed by Microsoft to build, test, deploy and manage applications and services through Microsoft-managed datacenters.
- Amazon Web Servicesis a secure cloud services platform that provides computing power, database storage, content delivery and other capabilities to help businesses scale and grow.
- rack spaceis a managed cloud computing company that aims to simplify the management of public and private cloud deployments. The company is the largest managed cloud provider and offers expertise in cloud platforms such as AWS, Microsoft Azure and OpenStack.
- Google Compute Engineis Google's IaaS offering for virtual machines. It allows customers to use powerful virtual machines in the cloud as server resources instead of buying and managing server hardware.
What is the difference between SaaS, PaaS and IaaS?
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is one of the three most popular cloud computing services. IaaS is a prepaid service that usually includes utilities, storage, networking, and virtualization. But how does IaaS compare to other service models?
Platform as a Service (PaaS)consists of hardware and software tools built on an IaaS platform. Reduces the need tosystem administrationand allows end users to focus on application development instead of infrastructure management.
Nonetheless,Software as a Service (SaaS)is ready-to-use software available from a third-party provider over the Internet. Most modern SaaS applications are based on IaaS or PaaS platforms.
It's no surprise that newer cloud models are entering the space, working alongside IaaS. Containers and serverless are two such service models that give companies new options for running their applications. At this point, simple IaaS solutions are still the most mature option, but container and serverless architectures are being viewed by trend watchers as new and emerging technologies.
While the range of services offered by IaaS providers is vast and constantly evolving, business needs should always be evaluated and prioritized before choosing a cloud service provider. Businesses need skilled IT professionals who can analyze, evaluate and design cloud computing solutions that meet their current and future needs.
If you work with cloud computing or just want to increase your knowledge on the subject, be sure to check out our otherCloud computing resources.
- Cost savings. Cost savings is perhaps the most significant advantage that companies can derive from IaaS. ...
- Flexible scalability. ...
- Faster time to market. ...
- Increased support, performance, and security. ...
- Supports a business-growth mindset.
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is a type of cloud computing service that offers essential compute, storage, and networking resources on demand, on a pay-as-you-go basis.What are the pros and cons of cloud computing? ›
|Advantages of Cloud||Disadvantages of Cloud|
|No administrative or management stress||Limited control of infrastructure|
|Easy accessibility||Restricted or limited flexibility|
The pros of SaaS include cost, maintenance and mobility. The cons include security, contractual obligations and a loss of control. Proper software asset management is critical with SaaS applications.What are the cons of cloud computing answer? ›
- data loss or theft.
- data leakage.
- account or service hijacking.
- insecure interfaces and APIs.
- denial of service attacks.
- technology vulnerabilities, especially on shared environments.
Data security issues due to multitenant architecture. Vendor outages make customers unable to access their data for a while. The need for team training to learn how to manage new infrastructure.
What are the advantages of using Infrastructure as a Service (IAAS) solutions? You can have the hardware you need without upgrading any actual hardware. You're not responsible for managing hardware tasks. A network service developer is looking to install the most secure file transfer protocol.What is good example of IaaS? ›
Examples of IaaS include Rackspace, Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Engine (GCE) and Joyent.What are 3 disadvantages of cloud computing? ›
- Limitations of Cloud Computing.
- Cascading Effect.
- Network Connection.
- Control of Data Security.
- Additional Costs.
- Disadvantages of Cloud Computing. Downtime. Technical Problem. Data Mobility. Risk of Data Confidentiality. Depends on the Internet Connection.
Confidential data breach: When the cloud network is hacked, there is chance of loss of confidential data and the hackers can gain access to the company's data and there can be lack of privacy.
Private cloud services offer greater security, customization, and control than public clouds. However, they can be more expensive to set up and maintain than public cloud services, making them less ideal for small businesses or those with limited budgets.What are the cons of SaaS model? ›
- Insufficient Data Security. This is one of the top concerns for companies who are looking to opt for a SaaS-based application model. ...
- Difficulty with Regulations Compliance. ...
- Cumbersome Data Mobility. ...
- Low Performance. ...
- Troublesome Software Integration.
- Security: Security is up to the cloud provider, leaving businesses essentially vulnerable to the whims of others. ...
- Infrastructure Challenges: As PaaS is not an infrastructure function, performance often depends on a company's own infrastructure.
- Cost Savings.
- Increased Collaboration.
- Quality Control.
- Disaster Recovery.
- Disadvantage 1: Lack of Control. ...
- Disadvantage 2: Security and Privacy concerns. ...
- Disadvantage 3: Difficult to Migrate. ...
- Disadvantage 4: Internet-dependent. ...
- Disadvantage 5: Fixed Contracts.
Characteristics of IaaS systems include: Automated administrative tasks. Dynamic scaling. Platform virtualization technology.What are the disadvantages and disadvantages of cloud computing? ›
Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
- Downtime. ...
- Security and Privacy. ...
- Vulnerability to Attacks. ...
- Limited Control and Flexibility. ...
- Vendor Lock-in. ...
- Cost Concerns.
Examples of IaaS
Rackspace. Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cisco Metacloud. Microsoft Azure.
- AWS. Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers an extensive range of services. ...
- Microsoft Azure. ...
- Alibaba Elastic Compute Service. ...
- Google Cloud. ...
- IBM Cloud.
IaaS is offered in three models: public, private, and hybrid cloud. The private cloud implies that the infrastructure resides at the customer-premise.
Downtime is often cited as one of the biggest cloud computing disadvantages. Since cloud computing systems are internet-based, service outages are always an unfortunate possibility and can occur for any reason.What are the disadvantages of using cloud computing quizlet? ›
What are the disadvantages of cloud storage? - Requires a reliable internet connection. - Cloud storage won't work as well with low-speed connections. - Web-based apps, large documents and images require a lot of bandwidth.What are the challenges of IaaS? ›
IaaS is a great choice for many organizations, but it comes with its own set of challenges. One of the biggest challenges is how dependent you are on the provider. In the case of Amazon Web Services (AWS), the company owns the hardware, so it is the sole provider of your computing resources.What are the threats to IaaS? ›
In IaaS there are some security threats which can affect the infrastructure like, external network attacks: Man in the middle attack, flooding attack; Data leakages, etc.What is IaaS explain with an example? ›
IaaS is a cloud service where a cloud service provider (CSP) rents out highly scalable and automated IT infrastructure, usually over the internet, to a small and medium business (SMBs) or individual developers. Popular IaaS examples include Amazon EC2, Rackspace, Windows Azure, and Google Compute Engine.What are the main characteristics of IaaS? ›
- Automated administrative tasks.
- Dynamic scaling.
- Platform virtualization technology.
- GUI and API-based access.
- Internet connectivity.
IaaS is broken into three main components: compute, network, and storage. With these offerings, users have the building blocks they need to create their customized systems, as complicated or powerful as they need, and the ability to scale up and down based on current needs.How secure is IaaS? ›
IaaS provides storage and network resources in the cloud. It relies heavily on APIs to help manage and operate the cloud. However, cloud APIs are often not secure, because they are open and easily accessible from the web.How can we protect IaaS? ›
Four important solutions for IaaS security are: cloud access security brokers, cloud workload protection platforms, virtual network security platforms, and cloud security posture management.