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Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is similar to SaaS in the sense that IaaS provides capabilities on-demand but for IaaS, those capabilities are more focused on IT infrastructure such as servers, storage and network.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is one of the better known IaaS solutions “With AWS you can requisition compute power, storage, and other services-gaining access to a suite of elastic IT infrastructure services as your business demands them.”

Amazon touts the following benefits with AWS:

  • - Cost-effective – pay for only what you use
  • - Dependable – use a battle-tested, web-scale infrastructure
  • - Flexible – build any application you want using any platform
  • - Comprehensive – don’t start from scratch. AWS gives you a number of services.

Most of the SaaS are in actuality providing Infrastructure as a Services since their software runs on their infrastructure. To be successful the SaaS providers must have highly available IT infrastructure. Workday as an example bought Cape Clear so that they would have a solid foundation on which to run their software. SaaS providers might separately offer software and infrastructure services or just the software services.

HP, Verizon, AT&T and many other large IT companies have IaaS offerings.

Boomi, Cast Iron and Pervasive are other examples of IaaS providers. is another IaaS solution provider. They provide IT infrastructure hosting services such as servers, storage, network and support. “We deliver enterprise-level hosting services to businesses of all sizes and kinds around the world.”

DediPower is another IaaS solution provider. “We have the in-depth knowledge to deliver everything from managed hosting to email exchange and co-location. What’s more, we’ll deliver this custom-made solution with a base-line service level agreement of 99.99% for business class servers to 100% enterprise-class network uptime guaranteed”.


  1. Along the same lines a lot of large enterprises are trying to leverage their existing infrastructure to provide IaaS to their business unit owners so that cost effective, multi-tenant, shared infrastructure can be provided internally within the organization. A growing trend is to automate such infrastructure creation (provisioning) using the toolkits that platform vendors like VMWare, NetApp, Cisco provide along with Management/Orchestration tools like BMC Atrium and others.

    -Ben Sharma

  2. Ben, very good point. Large enterprises are repacking their infrastructure in the form of "services", wrapped up in Service Level Management agreements and leveraging those with their internal customers such as the business functions. Those enterprises typically need to be rock-solid in terms of automation, provisioning and enterprise management.

    I think the biggest challenge is really a cultural one for IT and less so a technical one. Specifically "running IT like a business" is a very foreign concept to most in-house IT departments.

  3. Brett, a nice blog! i think you are spot on when you said "running IT like a business is a very foreign concept to most in-house IT departments".
    I think a starting point for this change could be when IT starts to put a dashboard showing Cost, Quality and Time to Market of key services/capabilities. That will sure open a few light bulbs in the way IT services have been built and run. That conversation can pave the way to the future enterprise architecture involving IaaS,PaaS and Saas, in an incremental and sequenced way.
    - Srikanth Narasimhan, Enterprise Architect


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