What is IaaS | ITProPortal

What is IaaS?

IaaS, or Infrastructure as a Service, is digital infrastructure such as servers and storage hosted by a cloud provider on behalf of consumers.

What does IaaS do?

  • Allows users to outsource their digital infrastructure to a dedicated provider
  • Facilitates the scaling of digital infrastructure: If demand increases, users can simply buy more storage. Conversely, if demand decreases, they don’t have to keep paying to maintain more infrastructure than they need.
  • Eliminate the need for in-house digital infrastructure configuration. Rather than configuring their systems from scratch, users can store their existing data on an already operational infrastructure.
  • Experts working for the cloud provider handle billing, monitoring, access to server logs, load balancing, and data backup on behalf of the user.
  • Ultimately, an IaaS solution is often less expensive than maintaining the same amount of digital infrastructure in-house.

How departments can use IaaS


The alternative to paying for IaaS is to keep the digital infrastructure in-house. The purchase of internal digital storage and its maintenance is the responsibility of the IT department. Other associated responsibilities would include digital security and the scaling of digital infrastructure as needed.

If the business uses IaaS instead, IT teams don’t have to spend the money or maintain the manpower needed to manage digital infrastructure setup and maintenance. Instead, they can free up those resources for use elsewhere.


Financial reporting compliance requirements typically require sensitive data to be stored securely for several years. In the event of an audit, this data must be accessible for examination. Since IaaS providers typically include data backup as part of their services, this provides an additional layer of security for the finance team, who can rest easy knowing that important information from past reports is less likely to be damaged. be lost due to a technological error.

Sales and customer service

woman making online purchase with credit card

Sales and service can use IaaS to protect personal information (Image credit: Getty)

Personal customer information is highly confidential and businesses have a legal and moral obligation to protect it. However, it must remain easily accessible for employees in contact with customers so that they can communicate easily and effectively with their customers. Using IaaS can be a viable solution for secure but accessible storage of customer information. This can be especially beneficial for small businesses that may not have the budget to hire the specialists necessary to maintain a server secure enough to securely store customer information.


IaaS web hosting is a specific form of IaaS where the host provides server space for the user to maintain their website. Unlike traditional web hosts, IaaS providers have larger data centers that dramatically reduce downtime and facilitate scalability. While some businesses may have the infrastructure and expertise to host a website in-house, it is often much more economical to outsource it to a hosting provider. Marketing departments can use IaaS web hosting to manage landing pages and e-commerce websites as part of their ongoing campaigns.

Features and Benefits of IaaS

How much does the IaaS cost?

Most IaaS providers, including the five on our best IaaS overview adopt a pay-as-you-go model. Since individual needs vary widely, each piece of digital infrastructure is billed separately.

To illustrate this, let’s take a look at a specific service, a virtual machine (VM). Essentially, a virtual machine is a fully functional computer delivered to the user entirely in the cloud. Microsoft AzureB1 | s virtual machine with one core and 0.5 GB of RAM costs users $ 0.0052 / hour. A user who needs 10 of these machines will pay $ 1.25 / day or $ 37.44 per month. The overall cost of your subscription will vary widely depending on the number of services you need and their type.

What is IaaS

IaaS is priced per service: pay only for what you need (Image credit: Elchinator, pixabay)

It should be noted that most IaaS providers offer substantial discounts if you get stuck for an extended period. The same B1 | s VM only costs $ 0.0031 / hour if the user commits to a one-year plan, a 41% discount.

In addition, most suppliers offer a volume discount. For example, Amazon Web Services offers users a discount of $ 0.01 / GB for customers who use more than 50TB of storage.

In short, the default pricing method for IaaS is pay-as-you-go, and pricing varies widely depending on usage. High volume users and those willing to give up some flexibility and lock in for 1 year or more usually get big discounts, sometimes over 50%.


Answers to the most frequently asked questions about IaaS.

What is IaaS, SaaS and PaaS?

Together, IaaS, SaaS and PaaS form the cloud SPI model. This model divides the cloud computing services available to consumers into three categories. In addition to IaaS, cloud providers can also provide cloud-based software development tools (PaaS) and fully-functional cloud-based software directly for consumer use (SaaS). Together, these three categories encompass most of the cloud computing services available to consumers.

What are some examples of IaaS?

What is IaaS container encryption?

Encrypting IaaS containers is a way for IaaS users to protect their data. Specifically, it encrypts data held by an IaaS provider on behalf of the user. This service is often available free of charge either from the IaaS provider itself or through a partnership with a third party. For example, Amazon Web Services provides container encryption in-house, even to free plan users, and Microsoft Azure users can take advantage of Bitlocker and DM-crypt, which are security tools that work on Linux systems and encrypt data stored in Azure.

What is IaaS in AWS and Azure?

This question illustrates just how confusing the wide variety of terms, brand names and acronyms in the cloud computing world can be for consumers. To clarify, tech companies like Amazon and Microsoft are creating brand names, like AWS and Microsoft Azure, to sell IaaS (the product) to consumers. Some brands, like AWS, sell more than IaaS. AWS also sells PaaS and SaaS services (see above).

What is IaaS

Save money, time and manpower by outsourcing your digital infrastructure with IaaS (Image credit: ananitit, pixabay)

What is IaaS software?

This question illustrates another source of confusion regarding cloud computing and IaaS. IaaS is not software. Essentially, IaaS users are renting out the use of a physical part of the digital infrastructure. For example, when a company hosts its data on a server provided by another company, it uses IaaS.

Main takeaways

  • IaaS is an economic model whereby a cloud service provider makes digital infrastructure, such as servers or storage, available to consumers directly in the cloud.
  • IT teams can use IaaS to save time and money, while HR can use it to reduce hiring costs. Teams in contact with customers can use it to store information securely.
  • Compared to setting up a digital infrastructure in-house, IaaS is cheaper and easier to set up, and provides security and expert surveillance.
  • it’s a lot digital infrastructure that is easier to scale up according to your business needs with IaaS.
  • More IaaS is billed on a pay-as-you-go basis. High-volume users and those willing to commit to plans of one year or more can take advantage of significant discounts.

Further reading

To learn more about infrastructure as a service, see our list of Best IaaS in 2021. To learn more about migrating your business from an internal digital infrastructure to an IaaS model, read these useful tips for migrating to the IaaS hybrid environment. To better understand the cloud computing market and what it offers to consumers, read our guide to IaaS, PaaS, SaaS and hosted appliances.

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