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IaaS: Is it time to rethink your relationship with the cloud?

Infrastructure as a Service or IaaS, is essentially a cloud computing service. Instead of businesses investing in building and maintaining their own computing infrastructure, organisations are choosing an IaaS approach which enables them to ‘rent’ this infrastructure and ultimately only pay for what they need, when they need it. 

IaaS often includes resources like data centres, networks, storage and servers. A great option for start-ups and large-scale enterprises alike, it provides the ability to curate a state-of-the-art infrastructure, without the hassle of considering day-to-day operations of updating and maintaining it. 

Since you’re only paying for what you use, there is little ‘wastage’ and with the cloud provider taking responsibility for ownership and operation of all the software and hardware, investing in an IaaS approach to IT can prove to be a cost effective and low maintenance option.

With the ability to grow globally to accommodate increases in demand, a key selling point for IaaS is scalability. IT resources can be delivered to employees anywhere in the world quickly and securely, enhancing workforce efficiency and reducing the on-boarding process for new starters. 

Internal resources can also be streamlined with a move to IaaS, as the expertise to buy, manage and support such infrastructure is no longer required internally, making it an easier, faster and cost-efficient way to operate. 

One of the most compelling reasons to migrate to an IaaS service is the additional security it provides. Business data stored in the cloud can be accessed on any device, at any time and from anywhere in the world – meaning no reliance on local IT infrastructure. It can however create an easier target for cyber hackers, as it is ultimately not as secure as a physical server. However, with the correct security protocols in place, the benefits of such a service far outweighs the potential risk – especially given the efficiency of disaster recovery in cloud environments. Recovering from a ‘disaster’ quickly is much easier with a cloud-based system as all provisioning is performed over a network, rather than in a physical location. 

The majority of IaaS providers offer a web-based interface for accessing and managing all data, making it easy for businesses to maintain that service from any device, in any location and at any time. With many businesses operating in a 24/7 environment, this is essential. However, the risk of downtime in such an environment can be a concern. Many cloud providers can guarantee more than 90% uptime which is an advantage for any cloud-based business.

Like with every change, there are disadvantages to consider if you’re thinking of a move to IaaS. While IaaS is typically cheaper than traditional ways of building a network, IaaS providers use a formula to calculate your monthly bandwidth usage, if your usage increases, the cost will increase, even if you may not realise your usage has increased. This can often be counteracted by setting up suitable restrictions and notifications within your web-based account dashboard.

Ultimately you are dependent on a third party for all these services, so be sure you do your research when selecting a supplier and make sure you’re comfortable with their SLAs and uptime guarantees. If you would like to find out more about transitioning to a cloud-based service, please reach out to our experts who will be happy to guide you.

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