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Cloud Management

What is Infrastructure-as-a-Service?

Learn all about Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), and how to leverage virtualized resources for flexible, scalable, and cost-effective IT infrastructure.

Lois Neville A photo of Lois Neville, a writer and SEO expert

Lois Neville


Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provides businesses with a flexible and scalable option to meet their infrastructure needs. IaaS enables organizations to access the advantages of a strong and adaptable IT infrastructure. This is all done by outsourcing the difficulties of hardware management and provisioning. This is where the namesake comes from –  leveraging an external infrastructure provider which is offered as a service. Which you can see would be very helpful for a whole range of use cases! But how does it all work, and is it suitable for your particular application? 

In this article, we’ll be introducing what IaaS is, what it does, and what its benefits are. This has been written for anyone new to what IaaS is, as well as anyone wanting to brush up on their IaaS knowledge.

This is what we’ll be covering:

  • What does an IaaS Do?

  • What are the Advantages of IaaS?

  • Takeaways

What Does IaaS Actually Do?

IaaS offers internet-based access to virtualized computing resources. Organizations can rent computing power, storage, and networking components from a cloud service provider. This is instead of spending money on, and maintaining, physical hardware that have these capabilities. With this on-demand model, businesses can scale resources up or down in accordance with their needs. Plus, they only have to pay for what they really use.

What are the Advantages of IaaS?

So now we’ve go through what an IaaS does, let’s take a look at the benefits an IaaS can bring to a business:

  • Flexibility: IaaS allow users to select and design the components they require. This may be virtual machines (VMs), storage devices, and/or networks. This flexibility means businesses can create and alter their infrastructure to match their applications and workload requirements.

  • Scalability: Businesses can easily scale their resources to meet shifting demands. This can include increasing the number of VMs, boosting storage capacity, or enhancing network bandwidth. IaaS allows users to do this quickly, and without the need for substantial upfront investments or complicated hardware deployments.

  • Reliability and availability: Cloud service providers maintain redundant infrastructure in multiple data centers. This ensures that services remain operational even if there are hardware failures or network disruptions. By accessing an IaaS, organizations can benefit from robust disaster recovery mechanisms as well as built-in redundancy. All this without the burden (and cost!) of implementing and managing these capabilities themselves.

  • Security: Multiple IaaS providers make significant investments when it comes to putting in place strong security measures. This includes network security, data encryption, and access controls. Organizations may improve their entire security posture and safeguard their data from attacks by using the knowledge and resources of their provider(s).

  • Affordability: Organizations can cut upfront expenses by switching from a capital expenditure (CapEx) model to an operational expenditure (OpEx) one and only paying for the resources they use. Due to its ability to quickly increase resources as needed – without having to invest in or maintain expensive hardware –  it’s easier to manage the costs of resources.

  • Quicker time to market: IaaS usage allows organizations to be more agile. Users can quickly deploy applications, test out new concepts, and react quickly to market needs when infrastructure provisioning takes place in minutes or hours, rather than weeks or months. This adaptability enables businesses to remain competitive, develop, and embrace new opportunities.

Despite its many benefits, adopting IaaS requires organizations to take serious considerations. Businesses that rely on external service providers must carefully assess vendor dependability, service-level agreements, and data sovereignty to assure regulatory and industry standard adherence. Additionally, for effective monitoring, control, and optimization of their IaaS resources, organizations need to have a solid cloud management strategy in place. You just want to make sure all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed before going serverless.

What is the Difference Between IaaS and PaaS?

IaaS and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) differ primarily in terms of abstraction and level of responsibility they offer. IaaS, as previously mentioned, provides virtualized computing resources that let businesses manage and have control over the underlying infrastructure. Businesses have more freedom and control with IaaS when it comes to the operating systems, programmes, and settings they want to use.

PaaS abstracts the underlying infrastructure of an application. It offers developers a platform to create, release, and manage apps without worrying about the specifics of the infrastructure. Operating systems, databases, and middleware are all included in the development environment provided by PaaS providers. This allows developers to concentrate only on application development, rather than infrastructure maintenance.

What is the Difference Between IaaS and SaaS?

The main difference between IaaS and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is based on the level of service provided and the responsibility of the consumer. SaaS, unlike IaaS, provides fully functional software applications over the internet. The software provider manages all facets of the infrastructure, including hardware, operating systems, and application management. Users of SaaS apps don't need to handle any infrastructure or software upkeep. They may simply access and utilize the product through a web browser or dedicated interface.

What are Use Cases for IaaS?

A wide range of businesses can benefit from implementing Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) for their IT infrastructure needs. Some types of businesses that can particularly benefit from IaaS include:

  • Startups and Small Businesses: Small enterprises and startups frequently have limited (or constrained) funds and resources. IaaS allows them to access reliable and scalable infrastructure, all without having to make a big upfront investment. This means they can concentrate on their primary business goals and scale as they expand.

  • Growing and Scalable Businesses: Businesses that are expanding or anticipate demand changes can gain from IaaS's scalability. To meet changing needs, they may quickly scale up or down their infrastructure resources. This can result in improved performance, as well as saving money (affecting that all important bottom line.)

  • Seasonal Businesses: IaaS can be used by certain businesses to navigate seasonal changes in demand, such as e-commerce shops during different holiday seasons. This means their apps can handle traffic spikes during seasonal peaks, and scale back resource peaks and resource needs during quieter times.

  • Software Development and Testing Companies: IaaS is great for businesses that develop and test software. They can quickly deploy and deprovision testing and development environments. This means software development cycles can be sped up,  as well as a reduction in infrastructure spend.

  • Data-Intensive Businesses: Businesses that handle big amounts of data – such as those who handle data analytics, machine learning, and scientific research – can use IaaS to their advantage. They can access computing power and storage space required for processing and analyzing large chunks of data effectively.

  • Global Businesses: IaaS enables businesses who want to increase their geographical reach to deploy their apps and services across various areas, without having to build out physical infrastructure in each place. This contributes to more reliable performance, improved user experiences, and a quicker time to market.

  • Businesses with Compliance Requirements: Some IaaS providers offer industry-specific compliance certifications and strong security measures, making them particularly useful to industries with strict compliance rules. Think healthcare, finance, and government. This helps ensure a safe and scalable infrastructure environment while meeting regulatory standards.


Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offers businesses a flexible, scalable, and cost-friendly option to handle various infrastructure requirements. Businesses may concentrate on their core capabilities, acquire agility, and grow their IT infrastructure as needed by using virtualized computing resources. IaaS has transformed cloud computing by empowering organizations to innovate, and expand with high reliability, improved security, and lower capital expenditures.