What is infrastructure as a service and how can it boost your business?

By IBM Services

What is infrastructure as a service?

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is a label often applied to a particular type of cloud service model. In IaaS, a vendor provides clients with pay-as-you-go access to storage, networking, servers and other cloud services, and organizations use their own platforms and applications within a service provider’s infrastructure. An IaaS model is different from a platform as a service (PaaS) model and a software as a service (SaaS) model.

The IaaS basics

Here are several key features of an infrastructure as a service model:

  • Users pay for infrastructure as a service on demand instead of purchasing hardware outright.
  • Infrastructure is scalable depending on processing and storage needs.
  • Enterprises save the costs of buying and maintaining their own hardware.
  • Because data is in the cloud, there can be no single point of failure.
  • It enables the virtualization of administrative tasks, freeing up time for other work.⁽¹⁾

For companies without their own data centers, infrastructure as a service models can provide an inexpensive, fast, fundamental infrastructure that can be stretched or terminated as needed. Despite providing this infrastructure, infrastructure as a service requires the customer to deal with installation, configuration and the operation of the necessary software stacks.⁽²⁾

Infrastructure as a service models tend to work well for businesses that have scalable workloads and offer vast control over those resources. They also benefit companies looking to a “pay-for-only-what-you-need” service.

IaaS challenges

When IBM Integrated Managed Infrastructure Services for Networking leader Annapoorni Chittore was asked what the infrastructure related challenges were that she heard about from CIOs, she responded “Infrastructure should be ‘always on’ and ‘hassle-free’ [and] CIOs are looking for infrastructure as a service in a true sense, with less intervention for the CIO in operations.” Infrastructure as a service works best when it requires minimal investment for future scalability and repair from attacks and vulnerabilities.⁽³⁾

As cloud computing, mobility and the internet of things (IoT) foreshadows a greater reliance on a wide range of infrastructure and service providers. Businesses will display a greater use of multiple infrastructure as a service, platform as a service (PaaS) and statistics as a service (SaaS) providers to meet the full range of IT and application requirements. Further, one of the greatest challenges for CIOs will be the management of several, disparate cloud computing and network service providers. When businesses increasingly rely on more than one network service provider, the ability to have visibility in such a hybrid environment becomes essential.⁽⁴⁾

How IBM can help

IBM has a variety of different services to help you with migrating and modernizing to your cloud infrastructure, or integrating, managing and optimizing your existing cloud infrastructure.

IBM Integrated Managed Infrastructure Services for Networking help you to simplify network management, reduce costs and improve performance, all while driving economies of scale. The service provides customizable, modular and catalog-based network monitoring, as well as management and reporting services to support physical, virtual and software-defined network environments. It enables management of networks across multiple technologies and providers by means of dynamic automation, advanced analytics and cognitive capabilities.

The IBM® Cloud™ platform combines infrastructure as a service with platform as a service (PaaS) to provide a unique integrated experience that scales and supports small development teams and organizations, and large businesses. When the IBM Cloud platform is globally deployed, it stretches between data centers around the world, and gives you quick, reliable access to your work on a trusted, supported environment.

Infrastructure as a Service cloud servers help you accelerate your business and improve your bottom line and IBM Cloud Infrastructure as a Service offers powerful and robust hardware to help you meet any demand or budget. With provision servers available on demand, you can create, deploy and manage infrastructure as a service servers on their own or in a hybrid cloud. You can deploy an infrastructure as a service bare metal or virtual server in minutes and customize a bare metal server in two to four hours. Further, all these services are integrated to optimize performance and management.

For more information about cloud services, hybrid cloud management and how to move your workloads to the IBM Cloud high-performance global cloud infrastructure, schedule a one-on-one with an IBM expert at no cost. IBM experts are here to help you get all the answers you need to move your business forward with confidence.




1. IaaS, PaaS and SaaS – IBM Cloud service models, IBM Cloud

2. A practical guide to platform as a service: What is PaaS?, Cloud Computing News, August 2016

3. Chittore, Annapoorni, “Q&A: Managing hybrid infrastructure and evolving network needs with Annapoorni Chittore,” IT Biz Advisor, October 2018