IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

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IaaS stands for “Infrastructure as a Service” is a cloud computing offering that provides compute, network, and storage solutions to customers. Most IaaS providers offer a pay-as-you-go pricing model for customers, which also enables them to scale the service through the application programming interface or dashboard to suit their needs whenever they want.

IaaS service provider’s hardware directly affects the customers’ performance, thus most service providers are upgrading their systems with m2 and SSD storage solutions, which offer higher speeds than hard drives. IaaS users can access their storage and servers via dashboards and APIs.

Unlike PaaS, in Iaas, the customers are responsible for the management of applications, data, operating system, middleware, and runtimes. IaaS service providers include virtualization, storage, network, and servers in their offers as a part of their solutions. It eliminates the need for an on-premise data center and the need for physical updates and maintenance of the components. Another important advantage of IaaS is it allows organizations to deploy and update applications faster than traditional methods. IaaS also allows users to access servers that are geographically closer to their end-users, lowering the delay.

How does IaaS work?

In IaaS, the cloud service provider hosts the physical infrastructure, which includes hardware, software, and storage. The infrastructure is divided across multiple data centers of the provider. The provider handles monitoring, security, data backup, and recovery. Customers access these resources to create and manage their virtual environment, via an interface.

Is IaaS Public or Private Cloud?

Depending on the service, IaaS can be both Public Cloud or Private Cloud. The public cloud refers to multi-tenant architecture while the private cloud refers to single-tenant architecture.

Advantages and disadvantages of IaaS

Pros Cons
✔ IaaS eliminates the need to buy and maintain hardware or network equipment, allowing organizations to lower their spending. ✘ IaaS customers are reliant on their service providers, thus can’t always apply the upgrades they prefer.
✔ Similar to other cloud deployment models, IaaS can be easily scaled to meet the customer’s needs. ✘ Although providers are always doing their best to protect their customers, it doesn’t allow its customers to add extra security measures.
✔ IaaS spreads the workload across multiple data centers, thus it isn’t affected by outages unless it affects all the infrastructure. ✘ It can be very challenging to integrate an IaaS with existing systems.
✔ IaaS solution providers are using the best possible security methods to protect their customers.
Advantages and disadvantages of IaaS

Is IaaS cost-effective?

IaaS is a cost-effective solution, compared to its alternatives. It completely eliminates the upfront cost of hardware and software for organizations. Most cloud providers offer pay per use payment model, however during unexpected peak usages, monthly fees can change drastically.

What are examples of IaaS?

An IaaS provider is a company that provides IaaS solutions. IaaS is gaining huge popularity in recent years, which drives these companies to create new and better solutions to be able to attract customers. For example, Linode is a popular IaaS provides that focuses on the web hosting industry. It offers IaaS solutions with a flat pricing model, to eliminate unexpected costs. Linode IaaS includes Cloud Manager, API, and documentation needed to support it.

What are the top IaaS companies?

Some of the most popular IaaS providers are DigitalOcean, Linode, Rackspace, AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Vultr, IBM Cloud, and Server Central.

Understanding the difference

IaaS PaaS SaaS
Applications Customer Manages Customer Manages Provider Manages
Data Customer Manages Customer Manages Provider Manages
Runtime Customer Manages Provider Manages Provider Manages
Middleware Customer Manages Provider Manages Provider Manages
OS Provider Manages Provider Manages Provider Manages
Virtualization Provider Manages Provider Manages Provider Manages
Servers Provider Manages Provider Manages Provider Manages
Storage Provider Manages Provider Manages Provider Manages
Networking Provider Manages Provider Manages Provider Manages
IaaS vs. PaaS vs. SaaS

What is the difference between IaaS and PaaS?

The main difference between IaaS and PaaS is the flexibility and direct control over the system. An IaaS offers the developers more control over the operating systems, on the contrary PaaS offers better flexibility and ease of use. The IaaS users can manage and add additional features over the operating system, PaaS users can directly focus on developing the applications.

What is the difference between IaaS and SaaS?

The most significant difference between SaaS and IaaS is that IaaS vendors only offer hardware, storage, and networking services. Unlike SaaS, IaaS gives full control of the infrastructure to the customer, allowing them to install the operating system and the applications they prefer. IaaS can be considered as a cloud-based alternative to on-premise infrastructure but eliminates the difficulties of maintaining an on-premise IT infrastructure.

What is the difference between IaaS and DaaS?

Desktop-as-a-Service solutions provide customers with a virtual desktop. The provider handles all back-end services. DaaS is ideal for small organizations that have limited resources especially. Unlike DaaS, IaaS only offers the infrastructure, allowing customers to install the operating system and the applications. Customers are also responsible for managing these components.

How big is the IaaS market?

IaaS solutions are very popular among large organizations and with the pandemic, the growth of the IaaS market is increased. The researches showed that the IaaS market grew 40.7% in 2020, increasing the total to $64.3 billion. Experts state that the IaaS market is expected to almost double within two years, reaching $121.62 billion in 2022.

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