Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a money-saving IT service that is becoming more and more necessary for businesses. Technology advances rapidly, and to keep up with the changing digital landscape, IT departments must continually adapt. Hardware and software become obsolete quickly, and upkeep can become a financial drain for any company.
A business that maintains its own dedicated server center must purchase its own dedicated server set, house them either on site or in a specific location, and pay its staff to configure and maintain the center. This becomes expensive when a company has to purchase a new wave of hardware or upgrade software licenses. Businesses may not always need to take advantage of the extra resources provided by a dedicated computing environment, which can translate into a financial loss when the computing resources are under-utilized. There are also logistical drawbacks and risks to using a dedicated server environment, including vulnerability to hardware failure or service interruption.
IaaS offers a more flexible approach to infrastructure maintenance. “Infrastructure as a service” means that deep-level IT functions, such as storage and networking, are offered on-demand by third-party companies. The external company takes on the responsibility of maintaining the data center, its servers, and its computing resources. It allows a company to essentially rent computing power, while still retaining control over the operating system and software-level functionality. A company may pay for as much or as little computing power as they need at any given time.
Multiple servers are clustered together into a “cloud,” and simulated machines are operated from within the cloud. This means a company may use simulated instances of machines as much or as little as they want. This is called virtualization, and provides enormous benefits to businesses that do not wish to invest heavily into their own infrastructure. A virtualized computing environment is redundantly spread across a server cluster, or clusters, or even multiple data centers, so there is little danger of network interruption or service failure.
Rather than repeatedly investing in new servers and constantly paying to maintain their own data centers, IaaS has become a common choice for businesses who wish to outsource this IT function. Businesses save money and IT resources, and are able to scale up or down their infrastructure as needed.