What is Infrastructure As A Service?Cloud computing is the trend that isn’t going away. As the world grows, so does our need for real time collaboration, sharing documents and storing data easily, as well as access to information from any device.

Cloud computing can be delivered 1 of 3 ways: software, infastructure, and platform as a service. Last time we discussed the in’s and outs of who, what, and why’s of software as a service (SaaS), now we’re going to cover infrastructure as a service.

What is Infrastructure as a Service?

Defined by SearchCloudComputing, infrastructure as a service is a “model in which an organization outsources the equipment used to support operations, including storage, hardware, servers and networking components.”

So what does that actually mean? Think of it this way. An IaaS provider is like your utilities company. All you have at home are the plugs in the wall and a breaker box, but you don’t actually make your own electricity. The utilities company, or the infrastructure as a Sservice providers, house and maintain the hardware required to give you power. And just like the utilities company, at the end of a determined time period you, the user, owe them money for what you’ve used.

Who is using Infrastructure as a Service?

A lot of people. Why do I say that? Because according to Gartner, infrastructure as a service will see a CAGR of 41.3% from now till 2016, making it as the fastest growing X-as-a-Service.

But who is actually providing it? Think of companies like Amazon Web Services, AT&T, and BlueLock. These providers seek to help you cut costs, relieve stress on your storage, and offer the power of computing capacity all for a fee.

Why, or why not, Infrastructure as a Service?

There are a few reasons why infrastructure as a service may be the best path for you. The first, is that it’s flexible. Your IT can shift from management of the data center to thinking strategically and using the new technology.

If you want only a few elements of a data center, but not everything, IaaS gives you the opportunity to select a variety of “services”. For example, you can have your server as a service, or hardware. And you can access your infrastructure from anywhere.

The second is that it saves. You save cash because you have no maintenance costs on the hardware, and you pay only for what you use. So in light activity months you get a much lower bill. This enables you to put that cash somewhere else worth developing.

It also saves energy. These IaaS providers typically have the ability to run optimized data centers. And last, but not least, it saves you space. Freeing up hardware for more mission-critical information and giving you the opportunity to store low priority data in the cloud.

Why not go for IaaS? Maybe you have too much critical data and you need to meet privacy laws. Or perhaps the variable payments do not work well for your business.

No matter what, ask yourself a few questions before you jump over:

  • Will IaaS actually suit my business needs or solve a business problem?
  • Do I have a strong service level agreement?
  • Is this vendor right for what I’m looking for?
  • How will I pay? And how often?

Let me know if I forgot anything by either commenting on this article or bringing the conversation to Twitter @LindseyNNelson

photo via planetplc.com