What is IAAS?
IAAS stands for Infrastructure-as-a-Service. It refers to a cloud based infrastructure for your business. Cloud service providers offer virtual computing resources over the Internet. The powerful cloud servers offered by leading IAAS providers tend to keep your web applications active all year round.
- What is IaaS ?
- What is IAAS Provider?
- Common IaaS Business Scenarios
- Best IaaS Providers
- Amazon AWS
- Google Compute Engine
To begin with, many small scale businesses tend to develop in-house web servers to cut down extra expenses. As the organizations grow, the demand for a cloud infrastructure also increases. The in-house servers are unable to scale significantly and they often consume a lot of time that the employees could have spent productively in order to increase profits.
So what is the ideal solution for small medium enterprises? The answer is reliable IAAS providers also known as cloud service providers!
What is IAAS Provider?
In simple terms, a reliable IaaS provider offers a service comprising of a cloud infrastructure for your business so that you can grow seamlessly. More than 90% of international organizations are on a cloud infrastructure today for outgrowing their potential and maximizing their profits. Furthermore, experts say that 60% of workload will be running on a hosted cloud service in 2019. For reference, the cloud infrastructure hosted 45% of workloads in 2018.
An IAAS provider will allow you to scale your business with minimum effort. You don’t have to become a server administrator and waste your time with the technicalities of cloud server management. Your IAAS provider will do that for you. All you need to do is setup and manage the use of cloud infrastructure in order to adapt it to your organization’s needs.
Common IaaS Business Scenarios
Testing and development: Teams can quickly set up and dismantle testing and development environments, bringing new applications to the market. IaaS makes it quick and economical to scale up dev-test environments up and down.
Website Hosting: Running websites using IaaS are less expensive than traditional web hosting.
Storage, Backup, and Recovery: Organizations avoid the capital outlay for storage and complexity of storage management, which typically requires a skilled staff to manage data and meet legal and compliance requirements.
IaaS is useful for handling unpredictable demand and steadily growing storage needs. It can also simplify planning and management of backup and recovery systems.
Web Apps: IaaS supports web apps with storage, web and application servers, and networking resources. Organizations can quickly deploy web apps on IaaS and easily scale infrastructure up and down when demand for the apps is unpredictable.
High-performance Computing: High-performance computing (HPC) on supercomputers, computer grids, or computer clusters helps solve complex problems involving millions of variables or calculations.
Examples include earthquake and protein folding simulations, climate and weather predictions, financial modeling, and evaluating product designs.
Big Data Analysis: Big data is a popular term for massive data sets that contain potentially valuable patterns, trends, and associations. Mining data sets to locate or tease out these hidden patterns requires a huge amount of processing power, which IaaS economically provides.
With that said, let’s move on to the examples of IaaS providers.
Best IaaS Providers:
We know DigitalOcean, founded in 2011, and is one of the most successful IaaS examples today. This cloud service provider with a “developer first” mentality. They simplify web infrastructure for software developers, and their mission is to smooth out the complexities of infrastructure. How?
By offering one simple and robust platform for developers to easily launch and scale their applications. DigitalOcean is now the second largest cloud computing platform of all public apps and websites, according to Netcraft.
Over 750,000 registered customers have launched more than 20 million Droplets combined on DigitalOcean. The IaaS cloud company is now investing heavily in advancing its platform to further support growing teams and larger applications in production.
Why should you select Digital Ocean ?
The consoles of popular IaaS providers, make you feel you are in a Boeing 747 cockpit. There are way too many knobs, dials, switches, and levers to deal with.
DigitalOcean’s user interface is minimalistic and makes the job much simpler. There are just enough links and buttons that give you access to the available functionality. This doesn’t mean the platform lacks functionality, it offers everything to deploy and manage scalable web applications.
DigitalOcean’s simplicity doesn’t come at the cost of its performance. It is one of the first in the industry to offer SSD-based virtual machines. It offered IPV6 much before the mature IaaS providers started talking about it.
The droplets – a container that DigitalOcean uses for its VMs – have the best boot times. The only IaaS that comes close is Google Compute Engine. It boasts of provisioning the droplets at a lightening speed of 55 seconds.
The IaaS cloud servers are made up of powerful Hex core machines with dedicated ECC Ram and RAID SSD storage.
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Personally, I am a huge fan of DigitalOcean’s documentation. It is one of the most extensive collections of tutorials, how-to guides and walkthroughs.
From setting up a simple LAMP stack to deploying complex Kubernetes cluster, DigitalOcean’s documentation covers it all. The best thing about it is that the tutorials are useful for developers working on any cloud platform. This is what you expect from effective cloud infrastructure services.
DigitalOcean hands down wins the pricing structure section. For as low as $5 a month, it’s not only the most affordable, but also the most comprehensive structure. There are no complex calculators that quiz you to guess your usage.
The choice of hourly and monthly payment makes things more affordable for early stage startups. In reality, all droplets are billed hourly until a monthly cap, which means, there will be no surprises in your bills.
DigitalOcean has an enormous community around it. From contribution to documentation and responding the queries on the forum, its community plays a significant role in their success.
If you’re willing to find more about DigitalOcean and their services, you can redirect yourself to my article “What is DigitalOcean?” and gain deeper insights so that you can make an informed decision. Also, a detailed comparison of DigitalOcean Competitors can help your decision-making process too.
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AWS stands for Amazon Web Services. Being one of the most popular IaaS providers, it offers a wide range of storage services.
Whether one is looking for content delivery, computer power, massive storage of data, or other service functionality, AWS has got your back when it comes to the IaaS cloud computing infrastructure.
Today, millions of organizations are leveraging AWS cloud services for their sophisticated online applications that help them increase their reliability, flexibility, and scalability.
Why should you select Amazon Web Service ?
Amazon web services make up for a durable and secure technology platform. To ensure the safety and integrity of your data, Amazon’s data centers and services have several layers of physical and operational security. You’d be pleased to know that AWS conducts regular audits to ensure its infrastructural security is never at risk.
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There are no long-term commitments or upfront expenses with the AWS pricing model. It provides an affordable ‘pay as you go’ pricing model. Amazon passes the benefits of cost savings in the form of lower prices as it manages and builds global infrastructure at scale.
You pay only for the storage or computing power you consume. There is no upfront investment or minimum expenditure requirements. Generally, it is not easy to predict the requirements for the resources. So, you might allocate fewer resources than required and impact customer satisfaction. There’s a chance you might allocate excessive resources and not be able to maximize the return on investment (ROI).
No doubt, their pay-as-you-go pricing model is a fantastic bargain. You can enjoy low costs when you’re first starting to develop an application. However, since the meter is always running, therefore, it would be wiser to continuously track what you use.
Amazon web services is a platform agnostic to operating systems and languages. You select the programming model or development platform that can be the most beneficial for your business. You can select (one or more) services you want to use and also select how to use them. The flexibility lets you concentrate on innovation rather than infrastructure.
You can use the programming languages, architectures, operating systems and databases you are familiar with. In this manner, there won’t be any need for your IT personnel to pick up new skills and the overall time to market and productivity will improve.
It is cost-effective and easy to migrate legacy apps to the cloud. You don’t have to rewrite apps and can utilize advanced capabilities of computing to move legacy apps to AWS cloud.
AWS lets you iterate, experiment, and innovate quickly through its huge global cloud infrastructure. You can quickly scale up or scale down on the basis of demand. You can also use new apps, rather than wait for months for hardware.
You can swiftly subtract or add resources in accordance with customer demand and manage costs more effectively. You can also avoid resource provisioning upfront for projects with short lifetime and variable consumption rates.
In the context of AWS, elasticity is the ability to scale computing resources downwards or upwards without difficulty. You can use AWS to allot resources through API calls, instead of buying hardware, setting it up, and maintaining it to allot resources to apps.
Auto-scaling and elastic load balancing can scale the Amazon cloud-based resources automatically in case of unforeseen increase in demand, and also scale them down with a decline in demand. The AWS cloud is also useful for jobs recurring at regular intervals, especially the jobs that are ‘mission critical’.
Furthermore, AWS offers a wide range of services that covers all your major cloud computing requirements. Their widely used services are as follows:
- Network and content delivery
- Developer’s tools
- Management Tools
- Media Services
- Machine Learning
- Security, Identity & Compliance
- Mobile Services
- Application Integration
- AR & VR
- Customer Engagement
- Business Productivity
- Desktop & App Streaming
Hence, if you want to reap all the cloud computing features from an IAAS provider, then AWS is an ideal choice for you. If you would like to know more about AWS, you can go through this comprehensive guide on AWS for beginners.
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Google Compute Engine
Google Cloud Platform is a suite of cloud computing services which runs on the same infrastructure used by Google to power its end-user products. Their popular services comprises Platform-as-a-Service, Infrastructure as a Service, and Serverless Computing.
Being an innovative example of IaaS, the platform was initially released in 2008. GCE lets users create business solutions using Google-provided, modular web services. Since the platform is an IaaS, it also offers built-in web services utilities and managed platform.
Why should you select Google Compute Engine ?
GCE refrains from complications and offers only one pricing plan i.e. monthly payment as per resource consumption. The minimum billing usage time starts from ten minutes and is then rounded off to the nearest minute.
Google dominates the race of reliable IAAS providers especially when it comes to providing unmatched speed. Two years ago, Google announced that it is investing in Faster Cable system, enabling the company to provide speed that goes up to TBS (Terabits per second) for Google Cloud and Google App customers.
The speed considerably improves performance. As per TechCrunch, even though computing and storage are separate in Google Compute Engine, due to super-fast speeds, to the user it seems as if it is one.
Google offers live migration of virtual machines between host machines, which lets business applications to be up and running without any hindrance in performance. Google launched this service back in 2014.
“We’re introducing transparent maintenance that combines software and data center innovations with live migration technology to perform proactive maintenance while your virtual machines keep running.”
Live maintenance is in the best interest for a company since it provides time to repair and update software including security-related programs without having the need to reboot the machines.
Google stands out because of its data analytics feature. Google’s innovative cloud warehousing tools such as Google BigQuery, batch and real-time data processing tools such as Google Cloud Dataflow, and Google Cloud Dataproc provide great insights about valuable data.
Consider BigQuery as a managed data warehouse which allows to compute massive amounts of data at a super-fast speed. According to Google, its customers regard tools like BigQuery as “nearly magical” since what used to take hours can now be completed within minutes. So managed hosting on Google cloud has an edge along with these benefits.
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Since its inception in 2003, the company has grown into a multinational corporation. Linode has customers in 131 countries and counting. Linode also prides itself as a niche service. Linode VPS caters primarily to developers. It’s one of the highest rated VPS and IaaS providers in the industry today.
Linode is hosting over 400,000 infrastructures and catering to customers across the globe with eight data centers spread throughout North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Linode offers an array of products and services for its clients. Its flagship products are IaaS cloud-hosting services having multiple packages at various price points. Linode Manager and NodeBalancer give users the ability to manage multiple server instances across a single system. In September 2013, Linode launched Longview, an analysis package for Linux.
Why should you select Linode ?
Linode offers a wide range of VPS hosting services. Whatever your needs, Linode has a custom package for you. These packages start from as low as $10 and can go up to $400. Their servers are located all over the globe and amongst an array of features, Linode offers solid state drives, a 40 GBPS network, and intel E5 processors. All their options cater to experienced web and app developers, providing them all their preferred features in one go.
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You can also upgrade additional features at no extra cost. Whether you want more RAM, faster bandwidth, or updates on software, they’ve got you covered. All plans include SSH and root access. Linode also offers free data backup, as well as extra features like StackScripts to make managing your website easier.
Even within the specific niche, users have a lot of choice when they sign up for Linode. They can pick a plan, a distributor, and the server location. Linode appears to trust their users and lets them select their preferred features from their arsenal.
Linode provides reliable hosting on a daily basis. They have a 99.9% uptime guarantee, keeping up with the industry standard. If users experience a significant amount of downtime, Linode offers a pro-rata credit as well. While they don’t publish statistics on uptime and downtime, users can choose to monitor them on their own servers.
Linode also offers a prompt and quality customer service. They close support tickets as quickly as possible, more or less within five minutes – whereas usually this could take up to 24 hours for other companies.
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Founded in 2014, Vultr is on a mission to empower developers and businesses by making deployment of infrastructures easy via its advanced cloud platform. Vultr has 16 datacenters around the globe and is a provider of frictionless provisioning of public cloud, storage and single-tenant bare metal.
Today, the company has more than 50 engineers and developers and they’re constantly making the world a better place. The company also has 18,000,000 cloud servers and prides themselves with scalability in focus. It has more than 100,000 customers and answers to more than 25,000 support requests each month.
Why should you select Vultr?
Vultr vps provides high-performance SSD cloud servers that boast a global footprint. It aims to create the most reliable and efficient service for launching a blazing fast SSD cloud server.
Vultr offers 100% solid-state drives (SSD) using the latest generation Intel CPUs on a feature-rich control panel.
Vultr’s cheapest cloud hosting plan costs $5.00 per month. You can choose between 14 low latency locations around the world, and you get your cloud server instance spun up in 60 seconds.
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After selecting your ideal cloud service provider as per your needs, deploying your applications or managing will become less tedious. As time passes by, new technologies evolve and bring in new updates and patches. Managing your server with the latest patches while ensuring that your server configuration is in sync with your application is not an issue with reliable IaaS providers.
The cherry on top, a managed cloud hosting platform like Cloudways can assist you in removing all the technical barriers and server-management hassles for you. It is aware of all the technical ins and outs of the aforementioned cloud infrastructures and takes care of all your troubles so that you can spend your precious time growing your business.
Cloudways provides an interface which makes it extremely easy to deploy a server / application. It also helps to clone your servers with just one click. Migrating your applications is also an easy task when you are with Cloudways as it supports multiple top-end IaaS providers including DigitalOcean, Google Cloud Platform, Vultr, Linode, and Amazon Web Services. It’s about time you begin to scale your business through the roof!
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Taha is a tech enthusiast and he believes there's no end to creativity. His roots are in content, digital marketing, and analytics. In the after-hours, he reads philosophy and teleports his game controller to its afterlife.