In a recent post, we explained what cloud computing is and described the three service models, including Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). SaaS is familiar to businesses that take advantage of tools such as Microsoft Office 365 or Salesforce.com. But for many organizations, IaaS may offer more far-reaching benefits.
IaaS is a complete IT environment including server, storage, networking and other foundational computing resources. In essence, it allows you to outsource your IT infrastructure to a service provider, and buy the IT services you need for a predictable monthly fee. The costs of ongoing maintenance, management and support are built in.
IaaS offers small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs) many operational, financial and strategic advantages. It allows you to:
- Upgrade your environment with no capital outlays, and shift the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the equipment to the service provider
- Access enterprise-class technologies and services that enable you to increase productivity, enhance customer service and boost the bottom line
- Rely upon the service provider to ensure the performance, availability and security of your IT environment
- Reduce risk through greater resilience and business continuity
Business continuity is a key advantage of IaaS. Enterprise-class IaaS solutions are hosted in a data center facility with redundant power, cooling and network connections to ensure 99.98 percent availability. In addition, your staff will be able to access the environment anywhere they have an Internet connection, helping to keep your business running even if severe weather or another emergency prevents travel to the office.
IaaS can provide these benefits even if you keep some or all of your IT infrastructure in-house. Because IaaS solutions provide the agility to turn the infrastructure on and off as needed, with fees based upon usage, you can use an IaaS environment as a “warm” disaster recovery (DR) site that can sustain operations in the event of a power outage, system failure or disaster. During normal operations, active data can be mirrored to virtual machines in the DR site. Should a disaster strike, the full capacity of the DR site can be turned on, often automatically.
Protection against Obsolescence
IaaS also helps you stay abreast of the latest technologies. Many SMBs postpone new technology deployments and upgrades because of the time and technical expertise required. Once new technologies are identified, implementations are disruptive and often come with a steep learning curve.
IaaS enables you to tap new technologies without the cost and complexity of evaluating, purchasing, implementing and maintaining them in-house. You can roll out new applications more quickly and with less risk, and scale the IT infrastructure to meet changing business needs. As a result, IaaS helps to level the playing field, allowing you to take advantage of advanced solutions and services that would be beyond the reach of many small businesses.
As your outsourced IT department, Atlantic-IT.net offers a robust IaaS solution that enables you to reduce capital outlays and operational overhead and ensure that your IT environment continues to support business demands. Contact us to discuss whether outsourcing your IT infrastructure makes sense for your business.