Infrastructure as a Service acts as the equivalent to computing hardware by using virtual machines. An IaaS configuration reduces the cost overhead of managing many servers, whether on premises or off premises, as you do not need to manually configure each system. For example, you can apply security patches to all virtual machines simultaneously by using a script.

The advantage of using IaaS with IBM is to create a scalable solution that does not require increasing configuration as it grows in size. By configuring scripts, you can scale and change attributes as required, instead of manually recoding the system infrastructure.

You can use IaaS on premises or off premises, but the primary benefit of IaaS is the ability to use a vendor to reduce the costs of maintaining and configuring the physical machines. If you want to use IaaS on premises, consider the skill availability of system architects in your organization to configure your architecture, and the associated costs.

The benefits of using an IaaS are:

  • Flexible (or elastic) hosting. An IaaS provider can provision new virtual machines for you quickly.
  • If you use an IaaS provider, remove the responsibility and associated effort of applying fixes, security patches, and other upgrades.
  • Removes or reduces capital expenditure on hardware and human resources.

Considerations for using IaaS are:

  • If you use IaaS without PaaS, the lack of dynamic scalability: you must predict your peak usage in advance.
  • Choosing an IaaS vendor with the right cost model for your usage.
  • The capability of the vendor to meet your ongoing business requirements.
  • Security and data compliance, if you have restrictions for data use and sharing.
  • Dependency on the IaaS vendor for uptime and potentially recovery.
  • Requires new and different security measures.

For an example lets, review the following business context:

A retail company uses an IBM solutions that theyuse for their transaction system. The company knows that its peak message processing period is December. Their previous solution used their own on-premises servers, which met the peak demand. However, during the rest of the year, the full capacity of the servers was not used, but the company still had to pay the associating operating and maintenance costs for the entire year.

The retail company changes its infrastructure to an IaaS solution. The retail company now pays an IaaS provider for public cloud servers. The retail company pays the IaaS vendor monthly, by capacity required. The company pays for more IaaS capacity for December only to meet its peak demands. As the company now use less resources across most of the year, this solution is a cheaper option.