Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) means that you can rent a computer plus storage capacity via the (inter)net and only pay for what you use. The ‘compute’ power delivered via IaaS is available immediately – as in ‘as-fast-as-you-type-your-credit-card-details’ – and there are no technical limitations (only financial) to the number of machines that can be launched.
Thanks to IaaS, you no longer have to buy a computer, when you need one. Small and large business alike have discovered how they can benefit from IaaS. It is a boon for those startups with a business idea that needs a lot of ‘compute’ horsepower, but who don’t have the funds to invest in a big datacenter. Examples range from the entertainment industry, such as online gaming, to scientific data-crunching for biomedical research. For large enterprises and government organizations, a public IaaS services is a shortcut to the slow and cumbersome corporate IT-requisition process. For example, application developers in need of a test environment or number-crunchers craving for a couple of hundred of computers for a couple of hours, can cut the waiting time from months to minutes by circumventing getting their fix from AWS, instead of the ‘official’ IT Department.
For enterprises, the ‘rogue’ use of a public IaaS service may be problematic and can even spell legal trouble: certain information or data, such as medical patient records, needs to remain under strict control of the owning organization; new software programs and algorithms often contain a company’s ‘secret sauce’, and are not allowed to leave the – physical – premises. A public cloud is likely to be a ‘no-go area’ for regular Enterprise use. Enter the private cloud, built and hosted for a single user, bringing the benefits of cloud computing to an enteprise near you.
Birthplace of IaaS: Seattle
The start of Amazon Web Services in late 2006 is the unofficial genesis of IaaS. Amazon can claim the bragging rights as the inventor of IaaS. As with most great inventions, AWS was born out of sheer necessity. Amazon has to cope with an annual surge in business between ‘black Friday’ – the unofficial start of the US shopping Season on the Friday after Thanksgiving – and Christmas Eve. To deal with the stampede of millions of Santa’s splurging on anything from appliances to watches, especially on ‘Cyber Monday’, Amazon keeps ample IT-capacity at hand. This ensures a smooth experience and high availability of its online store during this peak period. During the other 330 days of the year, this capacity is overkill and is sitting idle, eating into Amazon’s margins. Amazon’s epiphany to rent out this excess capacity has turned AWS into an IT-powerhouse almost overnight: AWS is currently at least a billion dollar business. An estimated 1% of all internet traffic is running on AWS’ infrastructure.AWS’ infrastructure.
This article was written by rondekko