What is Iaas

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service): 

A form of cloud computing where a third-party provider hosts virtualized computing resources online. Infrastructure as a Service is also often referred to as Hardware as a Service (HaaS).

With organizations increasingly looking towards IaaS services to help in their organizational endeavors, it comes as no surprise that IaaS providers are coming out from all fronts to woo organizations. While the customer’s primary concerns relate to reliability and security, IaaS providers have a number of other challenges to deal with. IaaS providers help organizations outsource their server, storage and networking needs. All infrastructure and equipment necessary are owned by IaaS providers and help companies balance load and delivery requirements.

Cloud providers offer much more than just simply storing organizations information. A number of them offer monitoring tools and management functions to better aid organizational needs.

As an organization you need to look at the provider’s customer support, the integration of their cloud services with your existing infrastructure and their pricing as it pertains to the amount of resources your company will need.

The top Iaas Providers today

Amazon AWS

Amazon Web Services assists with all your computing and storage needs. If you’re worried about data loss, AWS has high performance SSD’s on the storage side while Elastic Block Storage (EBS) to keep your information safe. There are other features as well that include workflows and in-memory caching services.

2. Windows Azure

You can access Windows Azure from multiple platforms though it will come much more natural to those who have used a Microsoft platform before. You can access message queues, virtual networks and services buses easily. It has a very effective and usable administration tool and Azure can also be utilized as a PaaS.

3. Google Compute Engine

Wondering how to store all the information you have easily and in a structured manner? Google Compute Engine can help you with your Big Data and data warehousing needs. From Google’s stables, it is a whole lot easier to integrate Google Compute Engine with Google Cloud Storage, Google Cloud SQL and Google BigQuery. Google Compute Engine scales incredibly easily and well, while integrating with its numerous other products and services.

4. Rackspace Open Cloud

Rackspace is perhaps best known by its focus on excellent customer service. The company offers cloud computing services in addition to hosting. While some might remember Rackspace as a hosting company, the company is right at the top today when it comes to offering quality IaaS services. Rackspace is the co-founder of OpenStack and you can choose from both Linux and Windows Servers. There are also features like monitoring checks and HTTP checks that you can access for an additional fee.

5. IBM SmartCloud Enterprise

If you are comfortable using IBM, you will also enjoy using their cloud services as well. The SmartCloud is for organizations with a number of developers and testers who need to deploy different virtual machines. SmartCloud arranges storage efficiently, and helps set/manage user and administrative roles with ease. You can also limit resources allocated to each user as well as receive daily reports on user activity.

6. HP Enterprise Converged Infrastructure

The last on our list is the Converged Infrastructure, by HP. Designed for public, private and hybrid clouds, it is built upon OpenStack. You can operate from both Windows and Linux command line interfaces and access HP’s cloud functions though restful API. The Converged Infrastructure is useful for companies with a very large user base worldwide.


Most of the IaaS providers have a “Pay As You Go” model where organizations have to pay per month. Below is a comparison of all six providers:

Features Potential Issues Price
Amazon AWS Well known and reliable. Can be used as PaaS and has integrated monitoring tools. Pricing can be tricky and the additional features can dramatically increase cost. Range from $0.113/hour to $6.82/hour but there are volume discounts available. Storage prices can go up to $0.125/GB/month and there are charges for using other services as well.
Windows Azure Can be used as PaaS . The Windows platform creates a very easy learning curve.
The portal interface may inhibit those looking for Command Line Interfaces. Range from $0.02 to $1.60 per hour while storage prices can cost up to $0.12/GB/month
Google Compute Engine Easy integration between a number of Google applications enabling you integrate even further. A new arrival to IaaS and still rolling out features. Not "tried and true" yet. Range from $0.019 to $1.659/hour while storage costs can go up to $0.125/GB/month 
RackSpace Excellent customer service and user friendly Control Panels. No specialized messaging services. There are alternatives, but they are add-ons. Range from $0.04/hour to $5.44/hour while File and Block storage for a month is priced around $0.10/GB/month - $0.12/GB/month
IBM SmartCloud Enterprise Extensive management and security features. To get full use of the varied features you will need a number of developers and testers. The pricing plans are not disclosed but you can pay both by the hour or monthly.
HP Converged Infrastructure Hybrid Cloud. HP BladeSystem Matrix helps in private cloud deployment and reduces costs. Lacks some of the management and monitoring tools that the others provide. Range from $0.03/hour to $3.40/hour for instances and around $0.10/GB/month for Block Storage. Object storage can cost ~ $0.09/GB/month.


Category: Infrastructure

About The Author

David Moskovitz

David Moskovitz is a Co-Founder at BrainiUX.


Loading Conversation