In recent years, we have become accustomed to using the cloud in our daily operations. However, have you ever wondered what this cloud is after all? We could describe it simply as a mysterious place where our data rests, safe and secure from cyberattacks so that we can access it from any device at any time. And that would be true, but the reality is much more complicated than that. For any SMB owner or manager, it is crucial to understand how to assess, analyze and design proper cloud service solutions, and that requires a fundamental understanding of main components used by professional Managed Services Providers, such as Network IT Easy.

There are three main types of cloud services:

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Today we start by explaining what IaaS is, which can be a real ‘game-changer’ for your organization. Any business owner knows that maintaining on-premises IT infrastructure can be both pricy and labor-intensive. Finding and keeping skilled IT professionals on board is extremely hard and expensive. Infrastructure as a Service allows for on-demand access to all your computing resources without hiring an IT team.

Definition of Infrastructure as a Service

IaaS provides compute, memory, storage, networking, and related software, such as operating systems and databases, as a cloud service to replace traditional on-premises data center infrastructure. In simpler terms, IaaS stands for virtual servers that a customer rents from another organization running a data center. Essentially, IaaS promotes access versus ownership. End users can deploy IaaS in one of three service models, providing immense flexibility of operations:

Private Cloud: Infrastructure services are provisioned for exclusive use by a single organization. The physical infrastructure may exist on or off premises, and it can be owned, managed, and operated by the organization itself or a third party, such as an MSP (Managed Service Provider).
Public Cloud: Infrastructure services are provisioned for use by multiple organizations. The physical infrastructure exists on the premises of the cloud provider.
Hybrid Cloud: End-user chooses to leverage both public cloud and private cloud for applications; both cloud models remain unique entities bound together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and application portability.
Advantages of IaaS

IaaS is undoubtedly advantageous to those companies where scalability and quick provisioning are key. It can also benefit companies with steady application workloads that want to decrease the routine operations and maintenance involved in managing their own IT infrastructure. In other words, if your organization experiences rapid growth but lacks investment capital, it will surely benefit from IaaS.

Other advantages behind IaaS may include the following:

Pay for What You Use (Pay-as-you-go): Fees are computed via usage-based metrics
Reduce Capital Expenditures: IaaS is typically a monthly operational expense
Increase Security: IaaS providers invest heavily in security technology and expertise
Enable innovation: Instant access to the state-of-the-art data center, hardware, and operating systems
Reduce Downtime: IaaS enables instant recovery from outages
And finally, with proper use of IaaS due to cost-cutting, any SMB can start competing with larger organizations.

As mentioned above, Infrastructure as a Service is one of the three most common cloud computing services. IaaS is a pay-as-you-go service that often includes services, storage, networking, and virtualization. PaaS consists of hardware and software tools built on top of an IaaS platform; it reduces the need for system administration and allows focusing on development instead of infrastructure management. Meanwhile, SaaS is ready-to-use software that is available via a third party over the internet. All three platforms are intertwined, and they build up to provide end-users with immense potential for business growth.