You are currently viewing What is IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service

What is IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service

Quite recently, we talked about IT infrastructure in a blog post. It can include servers, PCs, routers, web servers, operating systems, CMS and even data centres. The IT infrastructure may be owned by a single company. This kind of infrastructure is called traditional infrastructure. The infrastructure can also be rented from another company. This is called leased infrastructure. This article will talk about IT infrastructure as a service, namely IaaS.


The IaaS model – what is it

IaaS is a type of cloud infrastructure, essentially a cloud service, which stands for Infrastructure as a Service. Sometimes you may encounter the name Cloud IaaS. It is not the organisation itself that acquires, configures and maintains all the infrastructure elements, but a third-party company does it. The IaaS provider has already bought and assembled everything and provided the servers with electricity and the Internet. The user just has to connect to the ready-made computing power via the Internet and use it for their own purposes. And pay for the services, of course.

What opportunities IaaS offers

  1. A VPS on which you can install any operating system and software. You don’t need to install the OS yourself most of the time because the IaaS provider does it for the client beforehand. You can connect a single server or several.
  2. Off-the-shelf networking solutions. They allow virtual servers to communicate with external servers and the Internet. VPN (data encryption technology), traffic load balancer, traffic routing, etc., are also installed as part of the network settings.
  3. User access control. Not all information needs to be available to all employees. You can restrict access to individuals or only allow them to view without the ability to edit.
  4. Cloud storage for storing files or backups. There can always be problems with the site. They can cause loss of site files or user data. To allow the owner to recover them, it is essential to create backups. These can take up a lot of storage space, but you will always have peace of mind that your data is safe. Unlike cloud drives (like OneDrive or Google Drive), IaaS has a larger storage capacity.
  5. Backup infrastructure. They ensure the entire infrastructure against possible breakdowns.
The main feature of IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) is the complete freedom of the user to choose the software. The most apparent application of IaaS is to move away from physical servers and towards a cloud-based IT infrastructure. With IaaS, you can do everything you would do with a physical server – store data, set up a CRM system, deploy any website or application.

Why cloud infrastructure is gaining popularity?

Interest in IaaS has been influenced by a surge in online sales. People, in general, made more and more purchases online year after year, and once the pandemic arrived, even mature users switched to online shopping. Savvy businessmen noticed consumers’ love of online shopping and started developing their websites and apps. The development of marketplaces, big websites, and apps required the help of IT specialists and the computer power that entrepreneurs did not have. Many newcomers could not initially afford their own infrastructure.

The benefits of IaaS

  • Savings on hardware and its maintenance. Why waste time and effort buying hardware, putting it in a purpose-built building and configuring software? Let someone else do all that, and you only pay for the capacity you use.
  • The provider’s technicians handle the uptime. The servers need to be kept up to date, and all systems need to work correctly. When you lease out a facility, all the uptime support falls on the shoulders of the service provider.
It’s worth noting that the two points above are more suitable for small companies that are just starting out in the business world.
  • Project scalability in a short time frame. If you suddenly realise that you do not have enough dedicated resources, you can quickly rent more from a tenant.
  • It’s easy to reduce the amount of leased capacity. When the hardware is yours, it’s not so easy to get rid of it. And if you rent it, all you have to do is give up the resources you don’t need.
  • High reliability and security. Companies that provide IaaS keep their servers under the strictest control because they are responsible for the data of hundreds of users. They are well aware of what needs to be done to secure the information.

Disadvantages of IaaS
Among the impressive list of positives of the service, there are also a few drawbacks. In some cases, these can be the deciding factor in deciding whether or not to move to this type of cloud infrastructure.
The main disadvantage is cost. You are essentially renting a lot of hardware and software. On top of that, your machine is taken care of 24/7 by specialists. An IaaS platform will save you a significant amount on your start-up budget compared to setting up and maintaining the infrastructure yourself, but that doesn’t mean you’ll spend a penny.
While the hardware itself will be handled by specialists, the management of the infrastructure is left to the user. You will definitely need to hire a system administrator or train your own staff to keep the system up and running.
Which tasks are suitable for IaaS cloud technology?
When is it worth using IaaS? Cloud infrastructure in the IaaS model is suitable for:
  • For start-ups. Start-ups do not yet have the money to build their own infrastructure, and it is not clear whether their business will grow or the project will collapse in the first month. Also, technology that has already been prepared will enable faster business start-ups.
  • For projects with a variable workload. For example, this applies to online shops with seasonal products. When it’s time for big sales, you need to increase system resources quickly. On the contrary, when the demand drops, they need to be reduced.
  • For software development and testing. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) allows developers to quickly deploy virtual machines with the correct operating systems to test a new software product. Extreme environments can be shut down once the development process is complete and unnecessary services can be paid for.
  • To support websites and applications. The IaaS model can give you all the infrastructure to support a large website or application (web servers, storage, network resources). You can also scale the help at any time.
  • For extensive data analysis (Big Data). The more data sets you need to process, the more computing power IaaS can provide without a significant investment.
  • For data backups. No need to spend time and resources on separate cloud storage and management. With an IaaS cloud, you can rent any size storage, which is flexible in copying data and easy to restore.
The choice of cloud infrastructure can also be influenced by how an organisation operates. If a company has many branches and is constantly expanding, it is crucial for the company that the IT infrastructure is affordable and, most notably, that it is flexible. At any given time, the infrastructure needs to scale quickly. And these are the main positive aspects of IaaS for businesses.
In addition to IaaS, there are other types of cloud IT infrastructures: PaaS and SaaS. They offer fewer features, but they are cheaper. So before deciding to move to a cloud infrastructure, investigate the options for other services as well. In our article Comparing IaaS, PaaS and SaaS, we explained each type of cloud IT infrastructure in detail.
If you’re interested in an easily scalable infrastructure for growing projects, a platform for a project with variable workloads or for data backup, check out our Cloud VPS. Pay by the hour, snapshots, VPS with helpful business and development templates – all these you can find at ArkHost.org.

Get your own Cloud Server at ArkHost. Your services will be deployed automatically and live in seconds.