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Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), What it is and What it has to Offer

 




With the deepening relationship between IT and the business process, IT architectures have a big impact on the ability of the business to compete and change. Most organizations find it difficult to implement new outward-facing business processes. They may find their business logic is hidden in legacy applications that are needed to sustain established operations. An architected approach to IT operations is needed in order to balance the requirement for a stable IT infrastructure with the agility needed to move the business ahead in a rapidly changing, virtual, and dynamic environment. 

Operations architecture will not just enable and stabilize the business transformation but will be a key part of the enterprise architecture. This will enable enterprises to lower their cost of operation and improve the availability and performance of a business process in a rapidly changing, virtual, and dynamic environment. Defining operations architecture can help break down the walls that exist between enterprise architects, developers, and operations. 

An IT operations architecture can minimize complexity, and improve manageability. Adopting a sound operations architecture will help an overall enterprise architecture to be sustainable and agile. The business benefits are agility, stability, and an improved ROI on IT. IT operations’ benefits are in a more strategic position within the enterprise, providing improved staff retention and monetary support for IT infrastructure projects.

Structured Environment for System Deployment

Infrastructure components are largely determined by business needs and application architecture. New architectures are typically constructed with a combination of new services (such as Web services) and established infrastructure components (such as databases, servers, and network devices). This layering of old and new makes the IT environment very complex. Environmental complexity arises when there is little or no standardization across a set of systems. 

In a complex environment, operating system images, database instances, and application platforms are built on a “custom” basis. There are no economies of scale, no repeatable processes and it is almost impossible to automate. In order to provide a highly available, flexible, and efficient IT infrastructure, the IT operations group needs to define and implement a structured environment. It also provides the best possible competitive positioning with respect to external sourcing alternatives. 

Economies of scale are achieved by defining a limited number of standardized “application infrastructure stacks” that are deployed in a consistent way. Standardized and automated processes can be developed for the ongoing operation of the environment. Rather than attempting a wholesale conversion of all systems to the standards, organizations should instead view new product releases, new application deployments, and consolidation projects as opportunities to drive structure into a chaotic environment. 

But What is Infrastructure as a Service?

On-demand access to computing, storage, and networking resources. This is the dynamic scalability that provides near limitless power that is affordable even for smaller companies looking to move to the cloud. For most businesses, servers and other data center equipment remain idle the majority of the time, yet still have to be powered and cooled. For enterprise-grade hardware, the cost to maintain operations with up to 90% downtime is even more extensive and wasteful. Cloud service providers (CSPs) utilize multi-tenancy to offset these costs on their end and are able to offer IaaS to their clients in an affordable, scalable package. This on-demand model offers substantial savings for organizations that have variable computing needs as most do.

With IaaS there is no need to purchase any expensive high-end hardware. One of the problems facing small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) is the ability to cover the initial investment in IT infrastructure. Even for larger corporations, it is often the staggering cost of equipment required to keep their organizations competitive that tops the list of concerns for CIOs. IaaS eliminates the need for purchasing and inevitably upgrading expensive hardware which replaces these capital expenses for a far more manageable operational expense.

On-Premise Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Private clouds give users immediate access to computing resources hosted within an organization's infrastructure. Users self-provision and scale collections of resources drawn from the private cloud, typically via a web service interface, just as with a public cloud. However, because it is deployed within the organization's existing data center—and behind the organization's firewall—a private cloud is subject to the organization's physical, electronic, and procedural security measures and thus offers a higher degree of security over sensitive code and data.

In addition, private clouds consolidate and optimize the performance of physical hardware through virtualization, and can thus markedly improve data center efficiency while reducing operational expense.

Conclusion

IaaS provides flexible accessibility. Many organizations today find that their central office is not always the hub of activity. There are more businesses today that require remote access to their data center for employees and third parties than ever. This is a trend likely to continue, and CSPs address this with IaaS. Users will be able to access the infrastructure globally, using any device that can connect to the internet.

By outsourcing to a vastly improved infrastructure provided on a pay-as-you-go basis, organizations can finally take advantage of the power that cloud computing provides. IaaS offers companies the ability to utilize enterprise-grade hardware without incurring the capital expense that it would require to build in-house. Working in this virtual environment, provides more freedom within the IT department, a partnership with CSP professionals, and a safer, accessible infrastructure to work with from anywhere in the world.



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