Let’s take a quick closer look at cloud computing today starting with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). IaaS is one of the three main categories of cloud computing services. The other two are Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) – we’ll cover the last two in later posts.
So, basically an organization (larger or small) outsources equipment (hardware) that can include servers, routers, switches, storage, backup, etc. The service provider handles all of the maintenance, updating, connectivity, etc and the client pays on a per-use basis. Some of the common IaaS components include:
- Automation of administrative tasks.
- Dynamic scaling.
- Desktop virtualization.
- Policy-based services.
- Internet connectivity.
IaaS is a cost effective option, especially for small companies that do not want to invest directly in hardware and staff to maintain it. That’s why it is sometimes (and perhaps more accurately) referred to as Hardware as a Service (HaaS).
Who are the big IaaS service providers? Today it’s Amazon, Google and Microsoft. Security has always been a concern when it comes to cloud-based processes and there are a number of smaller enterprise level companies involved including Adallom, Alert Logic, FireBlade, FortyCloud, HyTrust, Imperva, JumpCloud, and Porticor.