What is Infrastructure as a service (IAAS) and how does it help small businesses?

What is Infrastructure as a service (IAAS) and how does it help small businesses?

Bernard Sciberras

Data… more data… it’s everywhere! Data is one of the common factors in our everyday lives. Whether we are sending work emails, reading the news or simply scanning social media networks, we are consuming, transmitting or sharing data.

Businesses are no exception. It is estimated that between work, personal use and government use, the world transacts in 2.5 quintillion bytes of data… Every. Single. Day.

To give that number a sense of context, it would take you 158 years, 178 days, 8 hours, 53 minutes and 20 seconds (assuming 22 leap years). Counting to one million would take 2 years, 8 months and 26 days.

So… we can all see that we are using a lot of data! This is where IAAS can be a life saver. is a form of cloud computing that provides virtualised computing resources over the internet. IaaS is one of the three main categories of cloud computing services, alongside software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS).

One of the most popular IAAS providers is Microsoft, through the Azure platform which offers particular benefits to small businesses. The first thing that need to be understood is that there are three types of clouds: The public cloud, the private cloud and the hybrid cloud, which is a mixture of the two.

Microsoft Azure is a top public cloud service provider. Small businesses may not have the necessary financial and human resources to maintain their own hard network. Azure offers scalability in terms of data, services provider against cost as well as maintenance and storage.

So what does this mean in concrete terms for a small business. If you run your IT network through Azure, you do not need to invest in costly servers, complicated networking and the costs of purchasing, installing and maintenance.

You will also save on floorspace as well as the costs involved in employing an IT person. In addition to the practicalities of using Azure as an IAAS, it is also worth keeping in mind that Microsoft is a multi-billion dollar organisation and can afford much more robust security on its servers, especially when compared to a small business.

Another bonus of using Azure is that you will save on other costs such as cooling the server room and protecting against power outages. One last and very important advantage of using Azure as an IAAS is that Microsoft has detailed disaster recovery protocols and also factors in backup on the cloud, just in case something does happen and you need to retrieve your data swiftly.

The advantages of using IAAS for a small businesses are numerous and allows them to be more secure, more competitive while reducing unnecessary costs.

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