Evolution of Infrastructure as a Service
Till a few years back, Infrastructure meant servers in house which were managed by an IT resource personnel or a service provider. With cloud infrastructure coming into play, there came both physical and cloud environments to be managed. Many enterprises decided to host some applications on the cloud, where as some were to be kept on premise. In this scenario, the enterprises wanted different service providers to manage each the infrastructure offerings. Gartner predicts, by next year, 20 % of businesses will own no physical IT assets at all. As an Infrastructure as a Service provider, we have seen that irrespective of the underlying environment, most customers required infrastructure, OS and application to be managed by the provider.
An infrastructure as a service provider can step in and help cloud adoption, helping customers draw unique value from cloud solutions. As a managed services provider primarily involved in cloud infrastructure management, there are many differences as opposed to service providers specialized in physical IT infrastructure management.
The following are the key differences between physical IT management and cloud infrastructure management:
Cloud infrastructure as a service provider focuses on bringing in services to the application stack to improve cloud performance and benefits.
- Physical IT management involves ensuring that the infrastructure is maintained as per customer requirements.
Cloud Infrastructure as a service provider has the capability to provide elastic capacity, as per customer demand.
- The traditional approach where a client’s infrastructure is set up and maintained under the same specifications and configurations.
Many cloud infrastructure as a service providers work with hybrid cloud or private cloud set ups as this is an area of demand where security and compliance are key players
- Physical IT management works well or specific applications such as those which cannot run on virtual servers.
Choosing between a private, hybrid or a physical infrastructure set up is all dependent on the application in question. The hype surrounding cloud infrastructure offerings tend to confuse many customers but as an infrastructure as a service provider, we educate the customers about what cloud offers and what are the components which can be utilized for the customer application. The nature of the cloud and the application need to be assessed to determine what will be the best suited and economical solution.
Some customers have a few applications which work in tandem, and here we assess whether the all applications can be hosted on the cloud environment. If not, then a hybrid approach works well. For example, a web-centric application requiring resources based on demand fluctuations, will benefit from a flexible public cloud, while a critical database environment would need dedicated managed hosting. And this dedicated environment can be a private cloud or physical infrastructure set up and managed by a provider. As seen over the years, there still exists a requirement for a managed services provider to manage security, monitoring, data centers and backups.
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