What is Infrastructure-as-a-Service and why do you need it?

December 2, 2016 Managed Services

Investing in modern technology is no longer an option for businesses – It's a necessity. Companies from every industry are finding that they need a host of IT infrastructure components in order to keep up with the competition, and this very often translates to expensive equipment purchases. 

While these kinds of upgrades are generally easy to implement for a business that already works in IT, those outside this industry often find it difficult to stay current. In fact, many organizations have come to find that doing all of this work in-house is actually detrimental in the long run. 

Enter Infrastructure as a Service, a revolutionary new way of gaining access to IT resources without having to keep them on-premises. To that end, let's take a look at what kinds of problems IaaS can solve, and what that means for the modern business. 

So, what is IaaS?

To begin, it's important to understand what kinds of services a company can receive under an IaaS model. At its most basic, IaaS provides computing resources to companies through the cloud. This means that companies can access IT necessities via an internet connection. 

In fact, a company can outsource pretty much all of its internal IT infrastructure needs. The vendor provides the physical servers, maintains the software, creates backups of important data along with a host of other fantastic benefits. 

In a sense, you're basically offloading the responsibility of most of your technological services onto an experienced provider. These companies have access to equipment and skilled professionals that you simply don't, meaning you can take advantage of these resources without having to find them yourself. 

IT employees get more freedom

One of the first things companies notice when they switch to an IaaS model is that their employees see a huge reduction in the amount of time wasted putting out fires. When you keep all of your IT resources in-house, you have to constantly deal with minor issues that combine into major problems for your continued operations. 

Sadly, the reality of the situation is that you probably don't have enough people to throw at these dilemmas. In fact, a study from Robert Half Technology found that CIOs believe their IT teams to be 42 percent smaller than they should be. 

This is a huge deal because it means that your IT staff is most likely incredibly overworked right now. Even the most experienced employees make mistakes under pressure, and attempting to keep your infrastructure in-house could be causing more problems than it's solving. 

By leveraging IaaS through a trusted partner, all of those maintenance worries that bogged down your best workers are now your provider's problem. What's more, this vendor has professionals specifically trained to deal with these issues, meaning a complication could be solved much faster. This allows your employees to spend their time creating solutions to the real problems holding back your business, allowing you to grow beyond them. 

Employees work better when they aren't under stress. A relaxed employee is a productive employee.

Downtime is limited

On a similar note, those who employ an IaaS solution often also find that their provider runs their IT infrastructure better than they could. This doesn't mean that your company doesn't know how to solve a problem on its own. Rather, IaaS vendors have spent years learning how to mitigate very common – yet disastrous – issues. 

Of course, this very often translates to a lower risk of downtime. Considering the fact that such an event can cost a company around $300,000 per hour, according to Gartner, this is a huge benefit. IaaS providers have everything from backup power generators to physical security measures to lower the risks of fire or flood, meaning that your data is as secure as it possibly could be. 

"When you're making such a big business decision, it all comes down to the money."

Upfront costs are lower

Of course, when you're making such a big business decision, it all comes down to the money. For IaaS, this is yet another strong area. When you're setting up your company's IT infrastructure, you'll notice that you have to buy an enormous amount of equipment. 

Obviously, you'll need to start with the server itself. This is a good place to start because as it turns out, most companies aren't using their servers effectively. In fact, much of the processing power of these machines goes to waste. This is why virtualization has become so popular. 

At its most basic, server virtualization is where a single physical machine is broken up into multiple virtual machines. This allows you to run multiple platforms on the same server, thereby massively decreasing the amount of resources you need. 

While this is all well and good, there's a solid chance that your IT team doesn't know how to properly set up a virtualized environment. This technology is highly advanced, and you need quite a lot of specialized experience to do so. Again, an IaaS provider would have access to employees with these skills. 

On top of the servers themselves, you'll also need all the equipment necessary to maintain the machines. This means buying cooling systems and temperature monitoring sensors to avoid overheating, uninterruptible power supply units to continue the flow of energy along with many other products. 

All of this is going to cost quite a lot of money, and is yet another reason why IaaS is so popular. Through such a model, a company simply has to pay a monthly fee to gain access to all of these resources. What's more, scaling your needs up or down won't force you to buy or sell equipment. All you have to do is rearrange your agreement with your IaaS provider, and you're on your way. 

UbiStor can help

That said, all of these benefits hinge on the experience of your IaaS vendor. A provider with the right background could save your company money and headaches, but an illegitimate one could cause issues.

Therefore, anyone in the market for an IaaS solution should contact UbiStor. Our trained professionals have years of experience dealing with IaaS transitions, and we know all about the importance of uptime. We can ensure you get the computing resources you need, without all of the upfront costs.