Is Infrastructure as a Service really the way forward or is it another solution nobody needs?

There are thousands of companies that are currently haemorrhaging money by purchasing and maintaining their own servers. The reality is that there is a financially viable alternative with IaaS. Many are not even aware that this solution is available, but the reality is that IaaS offers a solution to a problem that gets larger as your business grows in size.

What is Infrastructure as a Service?

IaaS is one of the three service models of cloud computing:

Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas)
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Software as a Service (SaaS)

IaaS allows a supplier to run and support physical hardware and networks from an external, secure location. PaaS provides a means by which companies can write software using vendor supplied tools which will run on the vendor’s network. SaaS are probably the most well-known cloud solutions – they consist of complete software packages which are hosted and maintained by the vendor. Examples of SaaS include accounting software and productivity tools like Google Apps or Office 365

What are the main benefits of using Infrastructure as a Service?

One of the main reasons why businesses choose to use IaaS is because micro-managing is simple. The company using IaaS can ‘bring up’ additional machines and decommission them in no time at all and only pay for the time that they were using it. This means that when micro-managed correctly the cost is kept to a minimum.

Another large fiscal benefit is the fact that this solution allows businesses to save thousands on expensive equipment. In short, IaaS allows business to create a cost-effective, scalable IT solution. Furthermore, in order to offer an ‘acceptable’ level of on-site service for even a small amount of data, the chances are that at least one full-time professional on roughly £40k-£50k would be required, and this is another expenditure that you do not have to worry about when you choose IaaS.

If you visited the location where your IaaS was hosted you would be amazed with the amount of physical on-site security. In fact, while writing this article, I stumbled across an interesting infographic which goes some way to showing you the extent of both physical and data security at a site hosting information. Any data centre that is proud of their security systems will point out this fact. While there is not such a thing as ‘bronze, silver or gold standard’ some companies will itemise individual security features to illustrate what they have in place.

Downtime is something that every business dreads, which means anything that can be done to limit it carries significant importance. When you are using an IaaS what you are purchasing is space on many small identical ‘virtual servers’ instead of a single machine. Therefore, if one of these machines fails (temporarily) downtime is usually avoided. In fact, as many IaaS providers actually have more than one physical location, there is a chance you may even avoid downtime if a whole data centre ‘fails’. Many large providers even have data centres spread across different continents to mitigate against natural disasters and terrorism.

One of the last benefits, which you will get with IaaS and SpecTronics UK, is that an IaaS service can be easily ‘tied in’ with our Hosted VoIP and our Google Apps for Business solutions. The benefit of this is that you can once again reduce the amount of physical hardware and expensive software required in your office. Furthermore, reliability is increased while maintenance costs are all but eliminated.

Summary

As you can see from the above, the benefits of IaaS are undeniable for many businesses, especially those who need to expand their capacity but do not have the funds for the expansion. Of course, if you have any questions about anything in this guide or any of our services then please contact us using the information provided here – www.spectronics.co.uk

Editors note

Ben Spector is the Managing Director at SpecTronics UK and a highly experienced IT Consultant. He studied Electrical & Electronic Engineering at the University of Manchester and worked in Project Management before moving into the IT Industry. His areas of expertise are Network Infrastructure, Google Apps and VoIP.

Photo credit: Google/Connie Zhou

2013-01-21T10:00:24+00:00

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