What is IaaS?

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is one of the fundamental service models of cloud computing. As with all cloud computing services it provides access to computing resources in a virtualized environment, “the Cloud”, typically across a public internet connection. With IaaS, the computing resource provided is specifically that of virtualized hardware, in other words, computing infrastructure. The definition includes such offerings as virtual server space, network connections, bandwidth, and IP addresses. Physically, the pool of hardware resources is pulled from a network of IBM Blade Servers attached to iSCSI disc arrays located in the DAHQ Data Center in Atlanta. The client is given access to the virtualized components in order to build their own IT platforms.

In common with the other forms of cloud hosting, IaaS can be utilized by enterprise customers to create cost effective and easily scalable IT solutions where the complexities and expenses of managing the underlying hardware are outsourced to Digital Agent. If the scale of a business customer’s operations fluctuate, or they are looking to expand, they can tap into the cloud resource as and when they need it rather than purchase, install and integrate hardware themselves.

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Examples of how IaaS can be utilized:

Enterprise infrastructure; by internal business networks, such as private clouds and virtual local area networks, which utilize pooled server and networking resources and in which a business can store their data and run the applications they need to operate day-to-day. Expanding businesses can scale their infrastructure in accordance with their growth whilst private clouds (accessible only by the business itself) can protect the storage and transfer of the sensitive data that some businesses are required to handle.

Virtual Data Centers (VDC); a virtualized network of interconnected virtual servers which can be used to offer enhanced cloud hosting capabilities, enterprise IT infrastructure or to integrate all of these operations within either a private or public cloud implementation. In conjunction with Digital Agent transport IP access IaaS performs at Layer 2 as if computing power were located on the LAN itself. Very few CLEC/ISP offer both connections to the internet and IaaS Cloud datacenter access from the same centralized provider. All the benefits of Cloud, plus the security and reliability of direct layer 2 access with or without requirement of expensive MPLS links.

IaaS benefits:
  • Scalability - resource is available as and when the client needs it and, therefore, there are no delays in expanding capacity or the wastage of unused capacity
  • No investment in hardware - the underlying physical hardware that supports an IaaS service is set up and maintained by the cloud provider, saving the time and cost of doing so on the client side
  • Location independence - the service can usually be accessed from any location as long as there is an internet connection and the security protocol of the cloud allows it.
  • Physical security of data center locations - services available through a public cloud, or private clouds hosted externally with the cloud provider, benefit from the physical security afforded to the servers which are hosted within a data center.
  • No single point of failure - if one server or network switch, for example, were to fail, the broader service would be unaffected due to the remaining multitude of hardware resources and redundancy configurations.