Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is a cloud computing service model where virtualized infrastructure and computing resources are offered to companies via the internet. IaaS is often regarded as a pillar or foundational building block for cloud computing. Utilizing IaaS allows businesses and organizations to be able to avoid the complexities, headaches, and steep costs associated with implementing and maintaining their own physical servers and data centers. IaaS vendors can provide all the foundations to build your own cloud environment, which can be modified and scaled as needs and requirements change.
Using IaaS to build your cloud environment brings a wealth of benefits; it offers flexibility, scalability, and cost reduction. IaaS allows businesses to manage their infrastructure in a consolidated and structured way, with dashboard and APIs allowing real-time adjustment to resources in response to demand. For organizations that are developing new applications, expanding their operations, or even running complex simulations, IaaS can provide the on-demand cloud infrastructure that they need without the long-term commitment.
The cloud IaaS market has enjoyed a boom in recent years; this is partly in response to a rise in companies migrating to the cloud. There are many cloud IaaS providers offering a range of features, with their own strengths and benefits. Some key features include virtual machine hosting, object storage, and networking capabilities. Some solutions are suitable for small businesses, while others are designed to operate at scale.
In this guide, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best cloud IaaS vendors on the market. Each listing will explain the key features and benefits of the product, and considering factors such as pricing, scalability, performance, security, and customer support. Through studying these listings, it should make the task of choosing a solution for your organization easier.
Everything You Need To Know About Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (FAQs)
What Is Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service?
Infrastructure-as-a-Service is a cloud computing service model where computing and infrastructure resources are provided to organizations by a cloud service provider. The vendor provides the storage, virtualization, network, and servers with which teams can build their own environments entirely in the cloud – without the use of an on-premise datacenter, which can be difficult, costly, and time-consuming to implement and manage. The vendor creates and owns the infrastructure, while the business purchases, installs, configures, and manages its own software (including middleware, applications, and operating systems). Services are offered on an on-demand, pay-as-you-go basis.
IaaS is just one type of cloud service, along with serverless, software-as-a-service (SaaS), and platform-as-a-service (PaaS). With your cloud IaaS vendor, each resource is usually offered as a separate service, which you only pay for as long as you need it.
Utilizing an IaaS framework allows businesses to reduce or completely remove the need for an on-premises data center, saving money on the installation, management, and maintenance of hardware, as well as reducing the complexities and headaches surrounding it and reducing the need for specialist staff and training. Cloud IaaS solutions provide the flexibility to scale your IT resources as big or as small as is needed, often on demand. They can give teams real-time business insights, allow fast provisioning of new applications, and increase reliability.
How Do Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service Solutions Work?
- IaaS vendors provide the bareboned framework of a network. This consists of a collection of physical and virtual resources on which businesses can run applications and workloads in the cloud. These resources, often considered as “building blocks”, include physical data centers, compute, network, and storage. Compute: IaaS contains virtualized compute resources. An IaaS vendor will manage the hypervisors and the client can program virtual instances with their required level of compute, memory, and storage.
- Network: Cloud networking is a form of software defined networking, where traditional networking hardware such as routers and switches are offered virtually through APIs. Network capabilities can include multi-zone regions and virtual private clouds.
- Physical data centers: IaaS vendors possess, manage, and maintain large data centers that are placed around the world. These contain physical machines that power everything built virtually on them and make them available to end-users via the internet.
- Storage: IaaS can provide cloud storage, which includes file storage, object storage, and block storage.
Companies use IaaS to request and configure the resources they need in order to be able to run their applications and IT systems.
What Features Should You Look For In A Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service Solution?
Here are the top features you should look for in a cloud IaaS solution:
- Flexible Deployment: Ideally, your solution should be able to deliver infrastructure to a range of cloud configurations including public, hybrid, and dedicated cloud setups.
- Scalability: Your chosen solution should be able to scale in real-time, in response to your changing demands.
- Security: Robust security measures should be in place to ensure your data and information stay safe while using a third-party infrastructure.
- Databases: Some solutions offer databases or can support database solutions, allowing you to streamline your storage.
- Data Centers: For large, globalized companies, it is best to look for vendors that have a high number of data centers that are widely and evenly distributed across the globe.
- Backup and Recovery: Your chosen solution should have unlimited access to infrastructure for backup and disaster recovery. A strong feature is the ability to duplicate applications across multiple servers. Automatic, synced data backups are also another strong benefit to look out for.
- Software Testing: Some IaaS environments allow for software testing and development environments, with the ability to easily dismantle after testing.
- Platform Virtualization: This feature allows teams to deploy virtualized computing instances when needed to support software development.
- Data Lakes: Ideally, your chosen vendor should have a robust data lake and big data capabilities. This can provide new insights into your data.
- Business Intelligence, AI, and Analytics: Some solutions offer comprehensive business intelligence with augmented analytics, which can help your organization grow through targeted and unique insights. AI can also be used to enhance threat detection and response processes.