Why do organizations adopt infrastructure as a service? IaaS platforms have been commercially available for more than a decade, becoming a vast market along the way. IT research firm estimated that the IaaS sector was worth more than $25 billion in 2016; by 2020, that number could climb to $71.55 billion. This growth has many causes, including the drive by many business to reduce IT costs while still supporting multiple sites and many different applications.
The impetus for IaaS: Faster deployment and evolution of IT services
Since the technical details of IaaS are overseen by the cloud service provider, customers do not have to become bogged down in the costly upgrade cycles and maintenance operations that apply to traditional IT infrastructure. This relief in turn leads to greater business agility.
Illustrating this point, a survey of 1,600 IT professionals conducted by Longitude Research and Oracle found that 54 percent of respondents reported much lower maintenance costs as a result of using IaaS. They also cited quicker deployment of new applications and services, as well as easier innovation. Finally, top-notch availability and uptime were identified as key strengths of IaaS by 56 percent of the survey-takers.
IaaS enables these benefits in several ways:
- Elasticity and scalability: Instead of buying additional hardware and software outright each time business requirements and/or user demand levels change, an organization can instead dynamically adjust its consumption levels so that it consumes only as many IT resources as are required at any given moment.
- Secure and redundant hosting: Housing all IT infrastructure on-premises has its advantages, namely in terms of control over data. Some firms in highly regulated sectors such as health care may take this route for legal reasons, too. However, IaaS offers levels of security and redundancy far beyond what most organizations can achieve on their own, thanks to sites such as a Tier-3+ offsite data center.
- Continuous updates: Normally, IT personnel have to worry about ensuring that all operating systems, applications and pieces of hardware are regularly refreshed so that they are at least roughly aligned with current state-of-the-art technologies. This is not a problem with IaaS, though, since all updates occur on the provider's end and are covered in the price of the subscription plan.
These advantages have been well-established. However, there has always been some degree of anxiety about the protections offered in IaaS, despite the use of secure data centers to house its computing, storage and networking resources.
IaaS security: What you should know
Giving up direct control of IT resources can be difficult, especially at first. Since IaaS often supports some of the most critical segments of an organization – such as disaster recovery solutions, in the form of disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS), or e-commerce operations – it has to be highly secure, scalable and adaptable.
"IaaS is less exposed to cyberthreats that target unpatched and outdated systems."
The good news is that most IaaS providers have these bases covered. For example, SSAE certification for offsite IaaS data centers signifies their conformance to rigorous standards for auditing and compliance, providing peace of mind for any firm concerned about the processing of data in the cloud. Because all the hardware and software in these facilities is regularly updated, it is also less exposed to cyberthreats that target unpatched and outdated systems.
Plus, being able to access the vast IT resources available over IaaS is invaluable when an organization is trying to recover from a security incident such as a malware infection or distributed denial-of-service attack that has caused costly downtime. DRaaS offers rapid restoration of data and infrastructure in accordance with an aggressive recovery time objective. Accordingly, less time is lost to technical problems and the organization can restart operations with minimal disruption.
Get started on the road to better IaaS today
UbiStor offers a variety of scalable, affordable and secure IaaS solutions, including SafeStor Enterprise and SafeHost. Visit our IaaS overview page to learn more about their capabilities, and contact us directly with any questions.