If you have spent any time reading or even overhearing conversations about cloud computing, you have undoubtedly heard of the term Software as a Service (SaaS). Other common cloud terms include Platform as a Service (PaaS) and even Storage as a Service (STaaS). Another cloud model that is quickly gaining steam is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
While SaaS is all about providing pre-packaged software on a subscription or other licensed basis and PaaS is all about the operating system and platform stack, IaaS covers so much more, including networking, hardware, and other equipment. Essentially, you can use IaaS even if you do not use PaaS or SaaS. If all you need is the infrastructure but can handle everything else yourself, IaaS might be a good idea for you.
Some of the services that may come with IaaS could be but are:
- Internet connectivity (especially when you need something like dark fiber but cannot afford it)
- Desktop virtualization
- Backup and recovery
- Dynamic scaling
- Automation of administrative tasks
IaaS may sometimes be called HaaS (Hardware as a Service) or even DCaaS (Data Center as a Service), as it very much like managed colocation. The key difference that makes it marketable is that the client pays on an affordable per-use basis, and the service is usually in a friendly package rather than something custom that the user must arrange.