In an era where rapidly evolving and changing technology creates new opportunities at a breakneck pace, using the right technology can mean the difference between seizing or missing those opportunities. One such technology is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). In fact, with IaaS spending estimated to increase by $90 billion between 2018 and 2026 — and improved security, efficiency, flexibility and scalability being touted as the top benefits — IaaS is quickly becoming one of the most important technology investments for companies large and small.
What is IaaS?
In many ways, IaaS uses a similar business model as the more commonly known Software as a Service (SaaS). IaaS allows a company to apply the same subscription-based business model to their server and infrastructure needs, rather than spending the upfront costs associated with investing in server farms and/or on-premise servers.
Over the course of the last decade, subscription-based software has grown in popularity due to its lower upfront cost, seamless upgrades and ease of integration. Rather than spending tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars for on-premise installations, companies around the world now rely on subscription-based software, paying a monthly fee to have the features, updates and support they need to run their business.
Because of the popularity and the success of SaaS — even for mission-critical applications — the corporate world is prepared for subscription-based infrastructure and the benefits that come along with it - including dynamic scaling, reduced total cost of ownership, a pay-as-you-go model, and more.
How IaaS Works
Thanks to advances in virtualization, IaaS utilizes software to fill the role that hardware used to play. In the past, when a company wanted to roll out a new web application or service, they would have to invest in new servers and the various hardware that would be required.
Now, with IaaS, organizations can partner with companies, such as Outscale, that maintain the cutting edge server clusters needed to power complex web applications and services. With modern virtualization technology, virtual machines (VMs) divide the resources of the physical hardware to meet the needs of the IaaS provider‘s clients. Because a VM is a self-contained virtual computer, the physical hardware can run multiple VMs, each with its own operating system (OS) and software configuration, saving businesses from the costly and time consuming process of buying and maintaining the various systems and platforms they need to develop applications and services to support their customers.
Modern virtualization and stack management software is designed to provide on-demand resources to hosted applications and services, spooling up or down as needed.
Because the entire process is based on virtualization, IaaS provides cost savings, scalability and reliability that is difficult for all but the very largest companies to match. Instead of an upfront investment, followed by endless maintenance and upgrade costs, IaaS providers help ensure that companies only consume the resources they need, when they need them. That alone offers a major savings opportunity. Thanks to virtualization, client companies are not locked into a single platform, OS or framework, giving them the ability to adapt to changing needs. This also allows them to scale - up or down - based upon the demands of their business and growth.
By choosing an IaaS partner that meets the specific needs of their business or industry, companies can benefit significantly from the flexible cost models, rapid development capabilities and scalability that IaaS offers.