What Is IaaS? A Data Center in the Cloud Packed with Services

Debashree Kabi | August 8, 2022 | 8101 views | Read Time : 02:00 min

What Is IaaS? A Data Center in the Cloud Packed with Services
Consider IaaS (infrastructure as a service) as a virtual version of your traditional data center. IaaS is a branch of cloud computing technology that offers virtualized storage, server, and networking wrapped together as a self-service platform. It is highly cost-efficient and makes up for easier, faster workloads. Although incredibly convenient for business, it largely depends on what your company needs to use it for.

What is IaaS, and How Can It Benefit Your Business?

IaaS first rose to popularity in the early 2010s. Since then, it has become the standard abstraction model for many types of workloads. But with the rise of the microservices application pattern and the arrival of new technologies like containers and serverless IaaS is still a foundational service, but the field is more crowded than ever.

The most common household cloud computing names—AWS (Amazon Web Services), Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure— are all IaaS providers. They all maintain giant data centers around the globe. It includes tons of storage systems, physical servers, and networking equipment under a virtualization layer. Cloud customers access these resources to deploy and run applications in a highly automated manner.

Developing a cloud adoption strategy is a vital step forward for modern-day business. And this subscription-based cloud computing service, IaaS, offers a remote management solution and reduces your purchase cost at the same time.

Additionally, IaaS also provides key solutions vital for any company’s future plans, such as big-data analysis. It allows businesses like yours to analyze massive data sets and see future trends, patterns, and associations that a human wouldn’t.

Understanding the IaaS Architecture

In an IaaS service model, your cloud provider will take over your infrastructure components, such as traditional on-premises data centers and host them on the internet. This includes virtual computing, servers, networking hardware, and infrastructure components, as well as the hypervisor layer.

IaaS service providers will also provide a wide array of services to accompany those infrastructure components.
  • Monitoring
  • Detailed billing
  • Security
  • Log access
  • Load balancing
  • Clustering
  • Storage resiliency
  • Backup
  • Replication
  • Disaster Recovery

IaaS services are automated and highly policy-driven, so you can implement all your infrastructure tasks effortlessly.

How Does It Work?

IaaS customers access their resources through a WAN (wide area network). Leveraging the cloud provider's services, they will install the remaining elements of an application stack.

For example, you can log in to the IaaS platform to create VMs (virtual machines), install operating systems on each VM, deploy middleware like databases, create storage buckets for workloads and backups, and install the enterprise workload on that VM. Afterward, you can also use the IaaS provider's services to track costs, balance network traffic, monitor performance, troubleshoot application-related issues and manage disaster recovery.

IaaS Use Cases

As IaaS provides general-purpose computing resources, it can be used for any kind of use case. IaaS is most often used today for the development and testing environments, websites, and web apps that interact with customers, data storage, analytics, and data warehousing workloads. Plus, it also offers backup and disaster recovery services, especially for on-premises workloads. IaaS is also a good way to set up and run common business software and apps like SAP.

Real-life Examples

  • GE Healthcare: Reputed medical imaging facility GE Healthcare adopted Amazon EC2 from AWS to design the GE Health Cloud. GE Health Cloud platform successfully empowered its consumers by collecting, storing, accessing, and processing information worldwide from different types of medical devices to obtain value from data.
  • Coca-Cola: The beverage giant Coca-Cola collaborated with SoftLayer adopting a pay-as-you-go architecture to manage their CRM system effectively during peak seasons.

Final Thoughts

Before choosing a provider, you will need to think carefully about the services, reliability, and costs. First, you should thoroughly assess the capabilities of your organization’s IT department and determine how well equipped it is to deal with the ongoing demands of IaaS implementation. Accordingly, you will be prepared to choose an alternative provider and move to the alternative infrastructure if you need to.

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