5 Ways Your Business Can Leverage Infrastructure-as-a-Service

5 Ways Your Business Can Leverage Infrastructure-as-a-Service

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 | Staff Writer

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is at the core of the cloud, making up its most powerful and complex layer. It’s no wonder then that most cloud spending today is being distributed in the IaaS arena, where Virtual Dedicated Servers (VDS) are offering IT managers access to services that look and act like real physical servers. Rather than spend on the costly maintenance of legacy servers, IT managers can now repurpose development time towards revenue-generating applications through the consumption of hardware-as-a-service. How can your business reap the benefits of IaaS? Here are five ways to leverage IaaS today.
Customise Service Level Agreements
Many experts agree that the IaaS layer is the hardest to measure. Rapid growth means that many firms do not yet report revenue numbers, whilst vendors are not publishing information in order to suppress any kind of competitor advantage. For businesses, this means that Service Level Agreements (SLA) can vary considerably from one provider to another. IT managers must be proactive about leveraging IaaS by finding a host who is willing to customise the SLA to their specific data centre requirements.

IaaS vendors provide outsourced servers, storage, operating systems, datacentre space and network equipment that are paid for by end users on a subscription basis and delivered across a virtualised environment. Today’s IT managers can leverage IaaS by outsourcing the equipment used to support operations, including storage, hardware, servers and networking components.

Seek out ISO 27001 Certified Hosts
To maximise the benefits of IaaS, take into account the sensitivity of your data and seek out web hosts with a history in becoming ISO 27001 certified. Standards’ bodies are still delineating how to enforce compliance in a virtualised environment. For now, find a host that offers regular security audits and that adheres to standards put forth by the PCI Security Standards Council.

24/7 Customer Support
Although the cloud is designed to be self-healing, finding a web host that offers 24/7 customer support, 365 days per year, is crucial to ensuring that your site, including apps and data, are always available and supported.

Understand the differences between VPS and VDS
Virtual Private Servers (VPS) and Virtual Dedicated Servers (VDS) are sometimes conflated, but it’s important to understand the differences when selecting a service provider from which to consume cloud services. A VPS offers a more limited type of infrastructure manipulation and may be likened to shared hosting on a traditional platform. A VDS, meanwhile, is composed of all the characteristics of VPS but is a more flexible option in terms of scale and more resilient for those looking for a more robust platform with automatic failover capabilities.
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