For a lot of companies, having good computer resources is a must. These resources can be for maintaining their applications, running servers, or even running complex algorithms that need a computer with super power.
From another point of view, a lot of researchers in the last period want to use a powerful computer resources in order to find a vaccine for coronavirus. And for any computer scientist, sometimes he/ she needs to have powerful computer resources to run the project. This requires also a good infrastructure, network, and databases with scalable feature if needed.
In today’s world, all of those people don’t have to have those computer resources in your company and may take advantage of the new technology that will make your work easier. Let’s know how technology can help in such a thing and make it much easier for us doing our tasks.
What is IaaS?
IaaS or the Infrastructure as a Service is one of the cloud computing services in which the service provider provides the needed computing resources for a user or a company in order to use it while working.
The good part is that the service need not be implemented in your company, but you can take advantage of what the service providers provide from their cloud resources without worrying about the infrastructure needed for such a process.
Advantages of IaaS
Why should you use IaaS?
Well, the ultimate benefit for IaaS service is the availability to access high-scalable IT resources that can be adjusted according to your need and the amount of capacity you want. The advantage appears if your company has a high workload with a huge number of customers like the online stores for example.
One thing that makes you take advantage of the IaaS service is when you are in a holiday season or you have a lot of flash sales on your website and need good cloud resources in order to be able to serve a lot of customers at the same time.
As many as the benefits of IaaS, there are disadvantages too. And one of them is to train your developers team to work with the new structure provided by the IaaS. This might take you a lot of time and effort until they become professional in doing that.
Features of IaaS
The cloud provider who provides IaaS services usually has these offerings:
1- Public and Private Cloud IaaS
As we know before in the cloud computing article there are different types of cloud computing services. In IaaS services, the provider can provide both public and private infrastructure to work in.
(Link to the cloud computing article)
2- Security Standards
As any company wants to use a cloud service, the company wants to make sure that this service is secure for their work. That’s why service providers offer a high-quality security whether internally or from third-party security assessments.
One of the most common concerns for companies is to have high-availability infrastructure that meets their expectations. And for the IaaS services, many providers have high network availability as well as having a responsive customer service experience.
There are also two points that should be declared in this section, the availability zone and regions.
By taking the IBM cloud provider as an example, the two terms are defined as the following:
- IBM Cloud Region
The region is geographically and physically separated with a group of one or more availability zones with a specific network and infrastructure from the others. This will help serve the companies that are in the same region and reduce the latency time connecting to the cloud.
Another point is that this separation helps if any bad situation happened in which the cloud infrastructure is down.
- IBM Cloud Availability Zone
The availability zone is logically and physically separated within an IBM cloud region with independent power, cooling, and network. This can be counted as an extra layer of safety to avoid any single point of failure.
All of the cloud service providers have a collection of subscription plans such as:
– Long-term contracts
The cloud service providers offer special discounts for those companies who are willing to have a long- term subscription to the service for 1 to 3 years.
– Monthly billing
This is the most widely used plan for BMaaS or Bare Metal as a service in which customers have access to the hardware as well.
– Per hour/ second
This is the most common plan for IaaS in which the users are charged only for what they use.
This plan is offered by some providers in which they offer an unneeded capacity with a discount. The disadvantage of it is that the provider can reclaim this capacity if needed at any time.
– By VMs
Some providers provide a plan in which the customer can be charged per a virtual machine.
IaaS service is made from a collection of both physical and virtual components. Those components are gathered to provide the highest cloud service possible and bear workloads.
1- Physical Data Centers
The IaaS providers are managing large data centers around the world in order to serve companies with the least possible delay. The data centers are originally physical machines which are designed to power the various layers of infrastructure in order to make it possible for the end user to use them. To be clear, the end user doesn’t interact directly with the infrastructure, but it’s required for him/ her to complete work.
As for IaaS services, they’re supposed to have high-computing resources to do tasks. Those resources are typically virtual machines that are capable of running various applications through them and can be adjusted according to the user’s need. The user can ask for a specific memory and GPU resources and the cloud service provider manages that to meet the user’s specifications.
The interesting thing is that those resources are scalable according to each user and designed for different workloads.
The most needed component all the time is the network availability. Sometimes we hear about problems of being not able to connect to the servers. For this reason, the high network availability in the IaaS service is a must.
The network itself is composed of routers and switches that are made available programmatically through application programming interfaces (APIs).
The storage as well as the computational resources of the cloud are both scalable. There are 3 types of cloud storages: block storage, file storage, and object storage.
Both block and file storages are suitable for a consistent size and can not be called or have their performance increased. The object storage is the only type that can be scalable for the companies and it’s the most common storage type out of the three.
IaaS vs. BMaaS
As we mentioned before, IaaS doesn’t give access to the end user to control over the lower lever infrastructure. But what if the end user wants this service?
Well, the BMaaS solves this problem. This service provides the user control over the resources he/ she wants. BMaaS is also a service that can be charged for hourly or monthly as you go.
In SaaS or Software as a Service, the user can get virtualized computing resources, network and storage according to the demand and need to do specific tasks. In BMaaS, this doesn’t happen as the service provider provides the end user with direct access to the hardware itself.
In this case, the users want to control the total hardware specs without being virtualized like in the IaaS. As a consequence, the user can get the highest amount of value out of the hardware like the GPU, databases, and more.
The BMaaS is also perfect for the users who are familiar with traditional data centers and it may be the best fit for the existing architecture patterns used before.
Using the IaaS services can help in a lot of fields such as:
1- Digital Business
As a business that has only online presence, it’s essential to have a proper infrastructure that can bear the workload and be scalable. IaaS can do a great job helping in such a thing with the ability to scale and high computing resources.
2- Data Centers
For a lot of companies that have critical applications as products, the IaaS can help a lot, substituting their data centers infrastructure or maybe make them for the less critical data or applications.
3- Batch Computing
In this case, people need a computational power for rendering, video encoding, or any process that needs high-computational power. And with the service of IaaS, they can use them for their computing or project.
A very simple example is Google Collab as you can use it to run a python program which is typically a machine learning algorithm that needs high performing capabilities.