Unless your enterprise is just becoming aware of cloud computing, you have probably heard much about Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) vendors. The IaaS model is an evolving one. As the applications and benefits of implementing one continue to mount, the number of vendors providing cloud services on this scale continues to grow.
The benefits of shifting to an IaaS model are as follows:
- IT can focus more on contributing to the corporate brand and the innovations that go along with producing successful product lines.
- Computing infrastructure, software applications, and supporting elements such as heating and cooling systems are not needed in-house, at least on the same scale as before. This contributes to a reduction of expenses, energy consumed, and Total Cost of Ownership.
- Hardware, servers, and storage are managed as separate services. You can either pay for what you plan to use or pay as you go, depending on the service provider. Based on what is actually needed, the services can be scaled up and down per demand.
- Provisioned users can access enterprise infrastructure from anywhere, supporting company wide efforts to include mobile devices in the network.
The flexibility an IaaS model provides is becoming increasingly appealing to businesses of all sizes. A reduction in hardware overhead means lower costs of acquisition, maintenance, and energy. Plus, the time spent on setup and provisioning of these is saved for other tasks.
Profits in the IaaS industry reached into the billions in 2011, with projections suggesting this could increase exponentially in the coming years. A number of familiar names and emerging players are populating the cloud vendor market.
- Amazon Web Services has become one of the leaders in cloud services. Its pay-as-you-go model has become a standard in scalable cloud capacity.AT&T cloud computing services include the Synaptic cloud, with Compute-as-a-Service and Storage-as-a-Service the primary offerings. The 99.99% guaranteed availability is making this giant a target for enterprises and the vendor’s growth.
- BlueLock offers IaaS and managed serves using VMware vCloud Datacneter Services. With SAS-70 Type II Certified datacenters, the security this vendor offers for the enterprise market is both appealing and growth-promoting.
- CA Technologies has acquired more than $1 billion in cloud systems over the past couple of years. Its current capability positions the company to grow as it takes on the enterprise IaaS market.
- Verizon, not a big player in the cloud until recently, has made several recent acquisitions and is showing aggressive signs of taking to the enterprise market with a Computing-as-a-Service model.
Other names you might hear of soon in the IaaS market are Datapipe, GoGrid, NaviSite, Rackspace Cloud, and Terremark.
Analysts and revenue forecasts from companies offering IaaS products predict significant growth in the cloud computing industry. While the numbers vary in scope, it is important to remember that the selection of venders is only going to increase. Competitive pricing might make IaaS even more appealing. If your enterprise hasn’t made the switch already, the current trends suggest an affordable opportunity to do so will arise within the next few years.