Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) Definition
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is a form of cloud computing that offers virtualized computing resources over the internet. IaaS is considered to be one of the three cloud computing services which include software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS). Being the foundation of cloud computing, IaaS provides numerous benefits to the users to create cost-effective and scalable information technology solutions. The expense and complication of managing the underlying hardware are outsourced to the cloud provider. This elimination of physical hardware saves the time and expense of the user to a great extent. As the service is provided over the internet, the service can be accessed from anywhere irrespective of the geographic location. IaaS offers policy-based services and takes care of the operation, housing and maintenance of the equipment it provides the clients.
The Key Characteristics of IaaS include dynamic scaling, platform virtualization, automated administrative tasks, and internet connectivity. Generally, IaaS users pay on per use, which is usually be calculated by hourly weekly or monthly bases. Some providers also charge customers on the bases on the amount of virtual space they utilize. When organizations are unable to use third-party providers, they can still take the help of private cloud which is built on premise and can offer the scalability and control of IaaS. Organizations prefer IaaS since it is simple, fast, and cost-efficient to operate a workload without having to buy, support and manage the underlying infrastructure.
Cloud computing platforms offer resources like virtual servers, storage, operating systems and networks to its users and the service has been termed Infrastructure as a service (IaaS). The customer can be specific in his need and only pay for that particular resource that is required. Utilization of IaaS alleviates the need to buy and manage physical servers as well as other kinds of hardware, thereby making it more economical and a lot more convenient. IaaS is utilized by the organization to develop and test web as well as mobile applications. The process of developing apps on a virtual infrastructure is comparatively cheaper and faster. Therefore, the use of IaaS has been particularly helpful for startups, small-sized, and medium-sized companies who have capped budgets and limited human resources. IaaS provides an economical alternative to the traditional physical IT infrastructure.
Traditionally, investment in hardware in order to store data was required and its management required skilled staff. This scenario is eliminated by the use of IaaS, as data is saved online. IaaS is convenient in terms of storing and recovering backups. Data analysis is a major feature of IaaS. As information is critical to modern day marketing, IaaS helps identify useful patterns and trends present in the data without investing large amounts of resources.
Other than IaaS being an economic model, it has several additional advantages. Development of new applications can be done in hours, rather than days, thus promoting innovation, efficiency and time-conservation. The scalability of IaaS is a major advantage, especially for large established business corporations who intend to grow in terms of size and operation. IaaS is capable of maintaining its performance levels in times of spikes in demand of an application. Maintenance and upgradation of the software are taken care of by the cloud service provider and so is the security, thereby allowing the organization to use its resources in areas other than IT infrastructure.
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