Best IaaS in 2018

Infrastructure as a Service provides infrastructure support, including server, storage, networking resources, and data center space, in the cloud. Software products in the IaaS category help organizations reduce infrastructure costs, perform tests and develop faster, and thus speed up time-to-market. IaaS software offers highly scalable infrastructure solutions, enabling you to respond to market demands more quickly. These products also provide a cost-effective solution to disaster recovery. Some other features include website hosting capability, big data analysis, and the ability to develop web apps faster.  Read the full software guide...


IaaS Software Guide

What is IaaS Software?

Infrastructure as a service, or IaaS, is a type of cloud computing service that offers virtualized computing resources via the cloud.

IaaS is among the three fundamental layers of cloud computing services, alongside the other cloud-based services such as software as a service, or SaaS, and platform as a service, or PaaS.

IaaS is a service model that provides computer infrastructure through third-party outsourcing. Its main purpose is to provide support for businesses that rely heavily on servers, storage, hardware, and data center space or network components for enterprise operations.

Also referred to as hardware as a service, or HaaS, IaaS offers policy-based services and is responsible for housing, managing, and maintaining the hardware and other equipment systems it provides for the client.

Businesses normally pay the service provider on a per-use or utility computing basis. In addition, the service comes with a few key characteristics such as platform virtualization, automated administrative tasks, dynamic scaling, and internet connectivity (since this is a cloud-based service).


Types of IaaS Software

Infrastructure as a service is the modern data center platform for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as large enterprises. The operating systems, servers, core applications, and networking solutions you’ve long deployed in your existing data center are now migrating from inside your company walls to the cloud.

As a cloud-based service, there are three existing types of IaaS offerings: public IaaS cloud, private IaaS cloud, and hybrid IaaS cloud.

Public IaaS cloud is exactly what it sounds like—your organization’s data center is housed and maintained via the public cloud. It works through the service provider renting out hardware resources in a multi-tenant method to different clients using virtualization technology.

Public IaaS cloud services involve multiple users or clients that share the same server resources and, as such, it is the prime example of the cloud computing model. Some of the advantages of this type of IaaS cloud are that it’s generally easy to set up and it’s highly scalable and flexible, especially when it comes to pricing—since clients will only pay for the resources they actually use.

Private IaaS cloud, on the other hand, is the opposite of public IaaS. This type of IaaS utilizes virtualization technology and provides cloud computing services to a single client or organization, instead of the multi-tenant or resource-sharing approach.

The services in private IaaS are provisioned privately and are secured behind firewalls and other security measures that are managed and maintained by the organization itself. The servers and other offered resources are specifically dedicated to the client and are not shared with other users. This type of IaaS service is ideal for large businesses and organizations that rely on their own data center personnel and IT security specialists.

Hybrid IaaS cloud is a type of IaaS that generally integrates both physical and virtual infrastructures in either a private or public cloud. This method of IaaS allows businesses and organizations to manage a few physical servers in a private cloud while outsourcing other resources via the public cloud. As for which components and/or resources are outsourced will mostly depend on the client.

The hybrid IaaS cloud enables businesses to take advantage of the scalability and flexibility offered by this type of solution and also the cloud technologies inherent with most cloud services—all this while benefiting from the efficiency and security of managing sensitive organizational data and applications otherwise not suitable in the public cloud.

For the majority of businesses, specifically small and medium-sized companies, IaaS provides a fairly reasonable substitute for buying and managing traditional hardware. For SMBs, IaaS simply makes more financial sense.


How to Choose IaaS Software

Infrastructure as a service has fundamentally changed the way organizations acquire, deploy, and manage their IT infrastructure. Nowadays, provisioning infrastructure has effectively transformed from a rather complex and time-consuming process to something as simple as making a few keystrokes in a portal or an automated API call to manage hardware resources via the cloud.

Nevertheless, regardless of the potential benefits IaaS offers, businesses still have to find the right vendor or provider that can accommodate the needs of their IT infrastructure. With that said, an IaaS checklist should be in order for when it comes to finding the right service provider for your company.

Choose an IaaS provider that can provide the level of access that your organization needs

The number of IaaS providers out there is quite staggering. The various offerings provided by these vendors make things even more confusing. Whichever IaaS vendor or service provider you go with, just make sure you know what you’re paying for and what features and capabilities you are getting based on the given price point or cost of the plan.

Figure out the level of modification you need to run your apps on the IaaS cloud

In the majority of IaaS platforms, the software applications that run on the cloud-based infrastructure will most likely undergo some type of modification. In the most basic scenarios, this modification may only be limited to administrative steps when implementing new applications. In more advanced or sophisticated scenarios, on the other hand, modifying your application could entail code-level modification.

Make sure to understand completely the provider’s monitoring and support process

Before signing up or buying an IaaS service, you need to be clear about the provider’s monitoring and support processes. At surface level, it would seem every IaaS vendor offers topnotch support, especially during the sales process. However, you may find that that isn’t actually the case once you become a paying customer.

To guarantee you won’t end up shortchanging yourself, make sure you read the fine print on the agreement and that you understand clearly the policies presented by the IaaS provider when it comes to monitoring and support.

Carefully consider and understand the vendor’s pricing model and usage control

At first glance, most IaaS pricing can seem very enticing, especially when compared to procuring and maintaining your own infrastructure. By design, most IaaS pricing models are made to look simple and very attractive to potential customers. In some cases, though, expected savings and return on investment (ROI) from moving your data center to IaaS cloud services may never materialize.

What you need, when choosing an IaaS software solution, is to understand clearly the pricing model offered by the provider and take into account how to control your usage in order to maximize your savings. You should also consider the options available to you when it comes to monitoring and resource tracking so you will be able to disable any resources you’re not actually using.


Benefits of IaaS Software

IaaS can provide businesses and organizations with a plethora of benefits, from creating cost-effective and scalable IT solutions to minimizing or eliminating the complexities and expenses normally associated with managing and maintaining traditional hardware and software resources.

One of the key benefits of migrating to IaaS cloud services is scalability. Hardware and software resources are available when you need them. Furthermore, you can remove or disable certain components you don’t need and focus on the resources you actually rely on for your day-to-day operations.

Additionally, you can expand the availability and capabilities of your cloud resources as your business evolves and continues to move forward and grow.

Another clear benefit from IaaS services is the fact that there is no hardware capital or expense required since the underlying physical hardware supporting the IaaS cloud is provided, set up, and maintained by the vendor, essentially saving you time and money.

Opting for IaaS cloud services also means your business, including all of its resources and applications, will not be hindered or limited to a singular location. Since IaaS is cloud-based, you or your team and your clients will be able to access any app or service over the internet, so long as the security protocol allows the action.

Finally, IaaS also allows for utility style costing. This means services can be accessed on demand, whenever and wherever. What’s more, you will only have to pay for the resources you actually use.


Common Features of IaaS

API Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are programmatic intersections with external products or platforms that allow for custom integrations with your own solutions or other solutions you are using.
Batch Permissions & Access Control user or group access and permission settings for software or other systems.
Bug Tracking Log and track issues to capture, report and monitor bugs for the purposes of software development and maintenance.
Data Export Exporting functionality can be used to streamline the migration of data sets and information across systems, platforms or applications.
Data Import Importing functionality allows you to use data sets from other systems or platforms to cut down on data entry requirements or to more easily migrate records from similar applications you have used in the past.
Email Integration Integration with email clients or providers to create and send emails as well as view received emails within an application.
External Integrations Integrations with other software products or platforms to improve efficiency and compatibility across systems.
Google Apps Integration Integration with the G Suite, including Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Calendar, etc.
Multi-User Supports more than just one user account and generally allows for collaboration with colleagues.
Network Device Performance Monitoring Measure and monitor the performance of device within your network
Network Traffic Monitoring Monitor traffic within your network and with external sources.
Network Visualization Emulate networks and virtual endpoints within your network
Notifications Includes notification support and sends you alerts with information on important events and other time sensitive instances. For example through push notifications on mobile phones or email notifications.
Password & Access Management Manage passwords or access to systems for yourself or your organisation.

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