Think of infrastructure as a service (IaaS) as a virtual version of a traditional data center. When you sign up for infrastructure services, you get access to servers, storage, networking and virtualization features. This can be incredibly convenient for a business, but are there any disadvantages to using these sorts of cloud services? Potentially—although it all depends on the use case. With that in mind, let’s take a look at three reasons to use IaaS and three reasons you might want to avoid it.
USE IT: IT’S SCALABLE
Being able to adjust the size of your infrastructure to meet demand is one of the best reasons to consider infrastructure as a service. For small businesses just starting out or businesses in a dynamic market, it can be a game changer by always delivering just the right amount of top-of-the-line infrastructure services. Trust us, the ability to scale up or downsize instantly can make all the difference in a competitive market.
AVOID IT: SECURITY ISSUES
Is IaaS secure? It depends on your needs. Cloud computing providers will undoubtedly have security protocols in place, but do they meet your businesses specific requirements? Another point to keep in mind is the fact that you’re never the only one using the hardware. IaaS’ multi-tenant architecture presents another challenge for your business to consider: would your end users approve of storing sensitive data on a shared server?
USE IT: IT’S COST-EFFECTIVE
Part of the beauty of IaaS is all the stuff you don’t
have to pay for. For one thing, there are plenty of service models that allow you to pay as you go. This means you aren’t on the hook with an expensive monthly retainer, overpaying and under-utilizing. You also don’t have to worry about paying for new servers every time you scale up or for the expensive maintenance required to keep your infrastructure running.
AVOID IT: SOFTWARE UPDATES
Remember: any software you install on your IaaS, you’re responsible for. That includes any and all versioning and updates. You might think this is really an advantage, and you could definitely view it that way. But if anything goes wrong, it’s all on you. So if that’s potentially a deal-breaker, you may want to consider software as a service (SaaS) instead.
USE IT: TASK VIRTUALIZATION
IaaS supports virtualization of management tasks, so that means your IT staff can be freed up to concentrate on other more thought-intensive work. It also may allow you to reduce headcount if a significant amount of work can be moved to your IaaS cloud, which will help boost efficiency and
AVOID IT: SERVICE OUTAGES
The cloud is great—until it isn’t. While they are rare, service outages are bound to occur and can range anywhere from a temporary inconvenience to a complete disaster for your business. When customers are unable to access the apps or data they count on, they’re rarely understanding. At the very least, you can expect an earful of bad press on social media. If you aren’t willing to take that risk, you may want to find a cloud service provider that guarantees 24/7 service availability.
For data center questions or to find out if IaaS is right for your customers, talk to Ingram Micro’s data center experts. Contact Samuel Alt at firstname.lastname@example.org
or Nick Vermiglio at email@example.com