John Terra
John Terra 16 July 2015
Categories Technology

One Four-letter Word That Means A Lot

This is one of the nicer four-letter words you'll see today.

There are many popular, widely-used four-letter words in our lexicon, some of them not fit for polite public discourse. However, there is one particular four-letter word (or four-letter acronym for my fellow pedantics) that is garnering more attention these days, and should be looked at closer.

The word is IaaS, one of the members of the "aaS" family. Time to make your acquaintance.

OK, What Is IaaS, Anyway?
IaaS stands for Infrastructure as a Service, not to be confused with SaaS (Software as a Service), or PaaS (Platform as a Service). With IaaS, a business essentially leases an entire IT infrastructure, as in hardware, software, data storage, and applications, all off the cloud. The cost of such a service depends on things like duration of contract and size of the infrastructure needed.

So IaaS is a virtual, or cloud-based service model. Many customers consider it an easily scalable and cost-effective solution. The article "What is IaaS and How Does It Fit in Your Organization?" puts it well when it describes IaaS as " ... a pay-as-you-go and pay-only-for-what-you-need type of IT solutions delivery."

Why You Should Consider It
As mentioned before, IaaS is easily scalable, and you pay for only what you need. This is a great way of not only cutting waste (and saving money!), it also gives your business the flexibility it needs if it’s growing.

Speaking of cost, the fact that a company doesn’t have to make a big investment of having an in-house IT infrastructure can’t be overlooked. Because let’s face it; if you’re building an IT infrastructure, you don’t just go out and buy a single server and call it good. There are so many other resources that must be purchased in order for a business to be able to get the most out of its server. But with IaaS, that’s not your problem.

Also, the IaaS is not location-dependent. As long as your employees have access to the Internet, they can access the cloud system from anywhere (provided the security protocols are set up to allow it, of course!).

Finally, there is no single point of failure. If your data center were to somehow go down, then that’s it. Everything comes to a standstill until the problem is resolved. But with IaaS, there are numerous hardware resources and redundancies, so the temporary loss of one server means nothing to the customers.

Why You Should Pass
The A-Number One big drawback is security. Your company trusts its sensitive data to an offsite center, and that can be a very disconcerting thing, especially when you consider how nothing is 100% secure on the Internet.

Also, the host company calls the shots when it comes to operating systems and other software. For instance, if a new version of Windows came out last week and your business eagerly wanted to start using it from the get-go, it will come up against a brick wall if the IaaS provider has no plans on upgrading anytime in the near future.

Finally, though downtime isn’t too much of a concern, it CAN happen, and it’s out of your hands.

Bottom line, IaaS is an excellent solution for many companies, regardless of size. All it takes is a good hard look at what any given business’ needs are, and weigh whether or not an IaaS is the best solution. For many companies, it certainly will be, but admittedly, no solution is universally accepted or effective.

Find out more on the future of Technology at our DLUK - Trends Briefing on the 24th September 2015

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