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What Is Infrastructure as a Service?

From applications to IT infrastructure, the cloud helps manage various aspects of business operations in a secure and convenient way. Learn how Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) helps reduce spending and protect your data.

As more companies move their IT infrastructure into the cloud, it’s important to understand the differences and advantages of various cloud services. Here’s how IaaS can help scale your business, protect your data and save you money.

What Is Cloud Infrastructure?

Cloud infrastructure is the hardware and software required for cloud computing, including networking, storage, operating systems and virtualization tools. These elements are required to host an organization’s applications, data and services in a cloud server. Cloud providers offer IaaS to help businesses move their IT infrastructure to the cloud.

What Is IaaS in Cloud Computing?

IaaS securely scales your IT infrastructure into a cloud environment, while meeting compliance requirements. IaaS consists of highly scalable and automated computing, network and storage resources that can be purchased on-demand and as-needed.

How Does IaaS Work?

IaaS gives businesses access to the same benefits of a physical data center without investing in expensive hardware and maintenance. With IaaS, users are able to access servers and storage from virtually anywhere via any compatible device. Businesses access cloud servers through a dashboard or application programming interface (API). Clients have the option of managing their virtual infrastructure environment or having it fully managed by an IaaS provider.

IaaS vs. PaaS vs. SaaS

IaaS is one of the most common cloud service models offering businesses computing resources. The other two models are Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). Here’s how each service compares:

IaaS

An IaaS provider typically offers virtualization, network, storage and cloud servers. Businesses can take control of their IT infrastructure through an API or dashboard, or they can opt to have it fully managed by the provider. IaaS is flexible in terms of scalability, allowing IT teams to upgrade and add resources as needed.

PaaS

With PaaS, businesses receive hardware and access to an application platform managed by a third-party service provider. However, data and the actual applications are managed by the customer. This service is used primarily by developers and programmers, so they can manage their own applications without building the infrastructure.

SaaS

Managed by a third-party service provider, SaaS delivers a web application through an Internet browser. Users are connected to the app via a dashboard or API for general maintenance, such as bug fixes and software updates. SaaS allows users to access applications remotely without installing software on individual devices.

Benefits of Infrastructure as a Service

From small businesses to enterprise-level companies, IaaS offers many advantages over the cost of managing a physical infrastructure. Some of the top benefits include:

Cost

IaaS offers a pay-as-you-go model that doesn’t require a huge upfront investment, helping reduce capital expenses.

Security

Providers typically offer enterprise-level security for your data. Most supply data centers equipped with security guards, exterior systems, biometric systems, security scanners, and continuous digital surveillance and recording.

Scalability

Easily scale your service based on your business needs. You can conveniently add storage or reduce your services on demand.

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

With your IT infrastructure securely stored in the cloud, users can access business-critical applications from virtually anywhere. This means your business stays up and running, even during unexpected events, like a power outage or a cyber-attack.

IaaS Uses

IaaS offers general purpose compute resources and can be used in a diverse array of workloads. Some of the most common uses for IaaS include:

 

  • Development and test environments
  • Data storage
  • Backup and recovery
  • Deploying and running business workloads
  • Customer-facing websites and web applications
  • Software and applications

IaaS Platform and Architecture

IaaS is made up of a combination of hardware and software resources, providing users with the platform needed to run applications and workloads in a cloud environment.

Hardware

IaaS providers store information in large data centers containing physical machines in an offsite location. Managing and maintaining these data centers is the provider’s responsibility, and users don’t have access to them.

Compute

A virtual machine, also known as IaaS compute, is offered by the provider and managed by the client. Providers typically offer both central processing units (CPUs) and graphics processing units (GPUs) for various types of workloads. Cloud compute generally involves supporting services, such as auto-scaling and load balancing for quick scalability.

Network

In the cloud, networking is made available programmatically through APIs or dashboards IT users can access.

Storage

Businesses have three different cloud storage options, including block storage, file storage and object storage. Block and file storage are common in traditional data centers but can be difficult to scale in the cloud. Object storage is the most common type of storage used in the cloud, as it offers the best scalability and performance.

Cloud Infrastructure Services

If you’re ready to migrate your business to the cloud, the first step is to find a provider. Cox Business offers a suite of cloud services that can meet the demands of your company and help you grow. Take advantage of the numerous benefits cloud solutions like IaaS can offer a business today.

What can Cox Business Cloud Solutions do for your business?

We provide reliable, innovative and secure services to move your business to the next level of IT productivity and profitability.

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