According to Gartner, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is the fastest-growing cloud solution, with annual spending expected to reach about £90 billion by the end of 2022. This growth comes as no surprise given that the current economic climate is pushing enterprises towards digital transformation in a way that keeps costs to a minimum while enabling innovation and agility. In this post, we examine the main benefits of IaaS for enterprises.
What is Infrastructure as a Service?
IaaS, as the name suggests, is where an organisation leases its cloud-based server, networking and storage infrastructure from a service provider, like Hyperslice. Coming as part of a service, companies do not need to purchase their own infrastructure and being in the cloud, the resources are available on demand, with additional resources being paid for on a pay-per-use basis. IaaS also provides flexibility over software choice, data management and runtime, while offering on-demand scalability, high availability and rapid deployment. Here are its main advantages.
Compared to operating IT on-site, IaaS offers significant savings. One of the biggest savings is in the reduction of capital expenditure needed to procure hardware. Instead of buying infrastructure outright, which can be a very expensive option, with IaaS, it is simply leased and paid for monthly. From a cash-flow perspective, this puts much less strain on company finances.
And while cloud servers are virtual, users can be assured that the hardware on which they operate is of the best quality. Competition between service providers means they are continually improving their infrastructure, giving customers the benefits of superfast SSD drives and high speed, Intel Xeon CPUs. Service providers also take care of server monitoring and maintenance, while customers additionally benefit from not having to pay today’s inflated energy prices for running and cooling the hardware. In comparison, a typical, on-site dedicated server uses around 7,500 kWh per annum and costs about £6,000 to run.
Demand for resources naturally fluctuates within any business. In an on-site data centre, a business would need to purchase enough resources to cope with maximum demand, a situation that often means spending significant amounts on servers that spend most of their time unused. While this may be essential to handle the occasional batch processing or Black Friday rush, it’s not cost-effective.
With IaaS, enterprises can do the exact opposite of what is needed in-house. They can lease the resources needed to maintain minimum services, keeping costs low, and then, if more are needed, they can scale up as and when required. Any additional resources are paid for on a pay-per-use basis, ensuring maximum cost efficiency. Scaling up or down can be done at any time at the click of a button, ensuring that companies always have the capacity to run process-heavy workloads or meet unexpected demand.
With cloud services like IaaS, servers and applications can be deployed in minutes, giving enterprises a clear advantage over non-cloud rivals where provisioning a server can take days. It also puts smaller companies on a level playing field with bigger organisations. At the same time, as most new applications are now cloud-based, being in the cloud means there is assurance that they will be compatible with your system.
Critical applications need to be constantly online, when they aren’t, the resulting downtime can cause major issues, resulting in problems for customers or grinding production to a halt. This can be a major headache for businesses that use dedicated servers as there’s always a potential for hardware failure followed by long recovery periods.
With IaaS, downtime doesn’t happen. As cloud servers are virtual, if a hardware issue is detected, the virtual server is instantly moved to another physical machine and service goes on without interruption. Not only are IaaS customers protected against server failure; they are also able to stay online even if the entire data centre fails. If a data centre is taken offline by a fire or flood, for example, the virtual servers can instantly be transferred to another geographically remote data centre and carry on. For this reason, IaaS provides 100% uptime, guaranteed by SLA, something that is almost impossible to achieve on-site.
The tools, skills and costs needed to defend against today’s sophisticated cyberattacks mean few on-site data centres are effectively protected. Stringent security regulations, however, mean cloud service providers have to ensure their infrastructure is robustly protected, which is excellent news for their customers. IaaS providers employ experienced security talent and back them up with state-of-the-art cyber-defence tools. At Hyperslice, these include next-gen application firewalls, intrusion and malware detection and prevention systems, and in-flow virus protection that seeks out and quarantines threats before they reach a customer’s server. We also offer the latest in backup and business continuity solutions.
Infrastructure as a Service provides enterprises with several important benefits. It offers the opportunity to radically reduce IT expenditure, is highly scalable and secure, and provides rapid deployment and high availability, while giving customers access to the advanced technologies needed for digital transformation.
For more information, visit Hyperslice.com.