The modern world runs on data. Lots and lots of data! Some of Silicon Valley’s largest tech giants such as Facebook and Google have amassed great fortunes through the commoditization of data. Whether it’s personal information, financial transactions, business documents, photos, or videos, people create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. It’s crucial that all of this information is securely stored and protected.
The need for a secure infrastructure that optimizes data storage and management has given rise to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) over the years. IaaS is nothing new after all and has led the way to advances such as PaaS (Platform as a Service) and SaaS (Software as a Service). The idea with PaaS and SaaS is to move "up the stack" and get away from managing the actual IT infrastructure traditionally found on-premises or even within an IaaS environment. With that said, I still believe IaaS has it's rightful place, especially when it comes to small businesses.
A little bit of background
IaaS providers like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google and IBM Cloud provide servers, storage, databases, and software solutions and platforms that are designed to be turned on and off quickly for easy consumption. The idea is that IaaS can quickly scale up (or even down) with the needs of the business. Again this is nothing new here right?
For small business, leveraging IaaS means they receive access to hardware, software, apps, and services without having to buy the equipment, install it, power it, cool it, maintain the software, and even manage licenses in many cases. IaaS allows companies to move from CapEx to OpEx. Cloud solutions leveraging IaaS also provide flexibility and can quicky adapt
IaaS for Small Businesses
Businesses that are considering IaaS or any other cloud solution should understand there are three main cloud "options" as we'll call it here. We're talking about public cloud, private cloud and hybrid cloud solutions. There are others, but let's stick to these three for the moment.
Public Cloud - Amazon Web Services is a very popular public cloud option and is widely available to everyone. It's extremely easy to quickly fire up IT resources on AWS from the comfort of your sofa. Microsoft Azure is also another top public cloud provider.
Private Cloud - A private cloud typically exists within a business’s current technology infrastructure. Some may argue that the servers currently sitting in the back closet of your office can be considered a private cloud. Maybe. There a number of partners that offer private cloud services that can extend or even replace traditional on-premises environments.
Hybrid Cloud - A hybrid cloud solution gives companies the ability to extend their on-premises IT environment with the scalability and flexibility of a public cloud offering.
IaaS gives users on-demand access to IT resources without having to build or scale an internal "private cloud" infrastructure. This is particularly useful for small businesses who often lack the resources - and quite frankly usually don't have the requirement - to have a full, well-staffed IT department. Leveraging IaaS gives the business added IT resources immediately without having to deal with finding a spot in the office for the server, making sure it's kept cool, ensuring the power never goes out, and providing physical security. Small companies have limited IT staff to manage these resources (sometimes across multiple locations), which is why an IaaS is such an attractive option. If used correctly, IaaS can help decentralize storage, effectively minimizing outages. The top cloud providers, such as AWS, Azure and IBM have better security measures in place than can be found in an on-premises environment. These providers have a full security team that small businesses just don't have.
According to Gartner, Inc., the IaaS market is poised to grow to $74 billion by 2022, with much of the growth attributed to small businesses that rely on the service for storage, and the mitigation of risk at an affordable price. Here at Cima, we offer IaaS solution through our top partners (AWS, Azure and IBM). We also offer hardware solutions for on-premise scenarios when it’s right for the company. Our service allows small business owners to not have to worry about data storage, data security, or managing a cloud or on-premise infrastructure.
Does your company currently use IaaS today? I'd like to learn more about how your company is leveraging IaaS and other cloud solutions.