IaaS – that’s infrastructure-as-a-service to anyone working in IT who has been living underneath a rock for the last few years – is veritably transforming the way in which businesses all over the world are operating.
Alongside platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS), it forms one of the fundamental pillars of cloud computing and allows businesses to conduct their computing operations in a virtualised environment, for which many people will be familiar with the more common terminology – that is, operating ‘in the cloud’.
Virtual server space and desktops, offsite cloud storage solutions, load balancing solutions, extended communications networks and workload distribution services are all examples of how IaaS cloud computing solutions are transforming the office – something which is itself becoming more of an obsolete and abstract entity compared to a couple of decades ago.
How does it work?
Similarly to PaaS and SaaS solutions, IaaS cloud computing will originate from a number of servers and networks potentially across a wealth of data centres, all of which will be operated and maintained by whoever is providing the solution – for example, a company likeCanopy. Then, the client firm – who has paid the provider to supply them with this virtualised infrastructure – will be able to use and pool these resources however it deems fit.
By outsourcing in this way, companies are able to scale up – or down if necessary – their IT operations to suit their business needs, instead of taking charge of managing and adapting the hardware themselves. This means that the extra capacity is there when it is required, and not wasted when it is no longer necessary – meaning that companies need only cough up capital for what they actually access and use, rather than what they might need at some indeterminate point during their business lifetime.
What’s more, by having a provider take care of their IaaS, companies need not invest in the hardware themselves – the benefits of which scarcely need outlining.
Why should businesses use IaaS?
First and foremost, companies should not simply throw money at the solution for lack of a better idea. With such flexible and innovative solutions available, it is possible for each and every business to capitalise on the potential of an infrastructure that is tailored to their particular commercial model. For this reason, it is well worth IT decision makers taking their time to thoroughly consider the options.
Then, the new infrastructure can be used to improve the resourcing of operations within a firm to maximise the output of employees, boost productivity, reduce response time and get the absolute best out of a workforce. Choose the wrong infrastructure or apply it in a haphazard way, and this could in fact hamper productivity and have completely the opposite effect to the one intended.
In addition to the reasons outlined above, an effective and well-managed IT infrastructure could boast immeasurable security benefits, when compared to a primitive, more permeable network that was masterminded back in the dark ages of dial-up.
Over the last few years, computing technology has developed a staggering amount, which has meant unfortunately so too have the hackers who are hell-bent on causing mayhem for companies via their IT networks, be that to harvest information, steal data or merely to cause downtime and outages for no reason whatsoever. “Some men just want to watch the world burn.” However, a secure and up-to-date IT infrastructure can help to thwart the best efforts of the modern computer hacker.
Furthermore – and as with all cloud computing solutions – one of the primary benefits of IaaS is the flexibility that it affords employees. After all, it could certainly be argued that the technology has all but been the key driver behind the mobile revolution in the workplace.