Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Before we jump to IaaS as a term, let’s get ourselves some refresh about the history of our industrial revolutions. We all studied the 3 industrial revolutions that happened in the last 200 years more or less, the third and closest to us being the computer revolution of the 60s. That revolution used electronics and information technology to drastically improve productivity.

These timelines which are presented below explains that we are into 4th Industrial revolution.

Industrial Revolution Timeline

The 4th Industrial Revolution

“We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way live, work and relate to one another. In its scale, scope & complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before”
Klaus Schwab
Founder and Executive Chairman
of the World Economic Forum


As a matter of fact, companies that better leverage this new revolution are able to generate significant competitive advantages compared to others. Recent studies confirmed that leaders in digital transformation generate an average of $100m in additional operating income each year.

So let’s try to understand how this digital transformation have affected our life with live examples who are an excellent role model of the digital transformation who only provided digital platform for the world to adopt


The digital disruption is already happening

The digital disruption is already happening

The above companies have become part of our life as some or more we all must be using it on regularly and none of them were known before 10 years. These companies don’t own their core business product but they provide digital platform for business leaders as well


3 major trends converging to enable DT

3 major trends converging to enable DT

Today we see three major megatrends enabling digital transformation.

The quantity of data which is today available is incredibly huge. And it is increasing day after day. But it’s not only about having a lot of data. It is about knowing how to use it, make it clear and available and leverage it. Companies that know how to do it create for them a significant competitive advantage.


Cloud momentum continues to accelerate

Cloud momentum continues to accelerate

Cloud computing is completely changing the structure for technology investments. By providing scalable, elastic capacity on demand, the cloud allows companies to shift from capital expenses to operational expenses while reducing management costs. Think about pay TV. In many countries you are given the opportunity to just pay for the game of your favorite cricket team! This is also how cloud economics work! J But beyond reducing costs, the cloud reduces the time it takes to innovate and deliver new products and services, making companies more agile.

Cloud industry, which is around here for almost 10 years now is the result of Continuous evolutions and adoptions of technological advancement and paradigm. Cloud services are getting more and more matured and productized.

We all know that essentially, cloud services are aimed to provide cost cutting, maximum utilization of computing resources, and allowing companies to focus on their core business.


There are two key features of the Cloud

According to Gartner, a datacenter solution is a Cloud solution if it comes with at least these two distinct capabilities:

There are two key features of the Cloud

The concept of sharing the IT resources (Hardware as well as software or even manpower) is helping to cut the costs, virtualization technologies and elasticity are addressing the maximum utilization of computing resources and with most of the tasks managed by the service provider, companies are able to focus more on their core business.

In the cloud also there are multiple model exists and popularly termed as – Public, Private and Hybrid and names are self-explanatory but let’s represent diagrammatically for our understanding


Private, Public and Hybrid Cloud

Private Cloud, Public Cloud Service Provider UAE Hybrid Cloud Service Provider UAE

In a nutshell, “Cloud computing” fundamental tiers will remain same and each of these tiers will be adding more and more services in future. There tiers are termed as IaaS, PaaS and SaaS

If one browses thru internet they will find ample definitions on each of these tiers and we will just take one or two here for our understanding. These three terms can be clearly understood on entire spectrum.

According to Gartner:

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is a standardized, highly automated offering, where compute resources, complemented by storage and networking capabilities are owned and hosted by a service provider and offered to customer’s on-demand. Customers are able to self-provision this infrastructure, using a Web-based graphical user interface that serves as an IT operations management console for the overall environment. API access to the infrastructure may also be offered as an option.

For a business user, typically IaaS is subscribing the IT resources which are used over internet and managed by the service provider and with no worries on hardware maintenance, and also scaling up or down whenever needed and even shutdown whenever possible and pay only for the actual usage.

Now we will try to understand all the three tiers with some Analogy of Pizza making. From the above example we can understand for Pizza Making at home what is normally purchased from outside. The components in Dark Blue are mainly we have it with us and used for many preparations and not for this pizza only.


Cloud Services as a Pizza!

On Premise
(On Prem)
Infrastructure
As a Service
(IaaS)
Platform
As a Service
(PaaS)
Software
As a Service
(SaaS)
 
Dining Table Dining Table Dining Table Dining Table You Manage
Soda Soda Soda Soda Vendor Manages
Electric / Gas Electric / Gas Electric / Gas Electric / Gas  
Oven Oven Oven Oven  
Fire Fire Fire Fire  
Pizza Dough Pizza Dough Pizza Dough Pizza Dough  
Tomato Sauce Tomato Sauce Tomato Sauce Tomato Sauce  
Topping Topping Topping Topping  
Cheese Cheese Cheese Cheese  

The above analogy can explain the core differences across the tiers. And now the same can be applied to the IT resources under the cloud computing environment.

On Premise
(On Prem)
Infrastructure
As a Service
(IaaS)
Platform
As a Service
(PaaS)
Software
As a Service
(SaaS)
 
Application Application Application Application You Manage
Data Data Data Data Vendor Manages
Runtime Runtime Runtime Runtime  
Middleware Middleware Middleware Middleware  
O/S O/S O/S O/S  
Virtualization Virtualization Virtualization Virtualization  
Servers Servers Servers Servers  
Storage Storage Storage Storage  
Networking Networking Networking Networking  

Here’s another way to look at the cloud services taxonomy and how this taxonomy maps to the components in an IT infrastructure.

In a typical scenario, when any company wants to user “packaged software” or any “Application” a customer would be responsible for managing the entire stack – ranging from the network connectivity to the applications.

With Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), the lower levels of the stack are managed by a vendor. Some of these components can be provided by traditional Service Providers (Hosters) – in fact most of them have moved to having a virtualized offering or cloud offerings.

Generally, the customers are still responsible for managing the OS through the Applications however in recent scenario, baring the large providers like Amazon, Azure, Google many of the local service providers who are also termed them as “Managed Services Provider” are offering the OS and other layers which are independent of the Application layer.