Infrastructure hosting, also known as IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), is a cloud model that brings your backend IT resources into a digital environment. Servers, storage space and even the network resources are delivered as a service – as the name implies – by a CSP (cloud service provider), along with the virtualized representation of your workstation devices. To help you better understand the ROI involved, this article will cover where this model fits into your digital transformation journey and what options are available when working with a managed Infrastructure as a Service provider.
Here are key points to know about IT infrastructure hosting services and how to determine if they are right for your business:
Infrastructure as a Service – IT Resources at Scale
To define IaaS in a nutshell, it is best to look at the most demonstrative example of its impact and ROI in the widespread digital transformation pivots seen during the 2020 global pandemic. Digitization of IT assets proceeded gradually but slowly previous to this period, and at a pace that varied tremendously between different industries, nations and business sizes. Once remote work became a more standard practice, however, it ushered in an unprecedented wave of cloud adoption that can still be seen years later with the growth of solutions such as Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, as well those below the enterprise level tailored to SMBs.
What software and infrastructure hosting enabled during the onset of COVID-19 was scalable business continuity – without digital environments, many businesses would have had a much harder time accessing the data and network resources they needed. In simpler terms, IaaS takes these backend IT resources and hosts them in a managed cloud environment, where access, bandwidth and storage space are handled by your provider according to your needs.
Top Benefits of IaaS Hosting
The benefits of infrastructure hosting are defined as much by the strengths it brings as by the challenges it solves, including:
- Managing Costs
Migrating to the cloud typically brings more predictable, consolidated regular operating expenses as opposed to the more irregular and piecemeal capital costs of on-premise IT networks, as well as savings from hardware investments.
Security posture in cloud-hosted environments is dependent on the model used, but with an IaaS provider the backend monitoring is delegated to your CSP.
Without the limitations of physical hardware and local storage capacity, hosted infrastructure resources can be scaled up or down as needed.
Server and local devices have a hard ceiling on their capacity without being upgraded, while virtualization allows for hosted workstations to leverage potentially limitless processing power delivered remotely through the cloud.
- Managed Service & Support
With a third-party provider hosting your application infrastructure, you also gain access to consolidated IT support and managed services on your backend environment that include direct server maintenance handled by IaaS CSP.
- Business Continuity
One of the key benefits a cloud-hosted service is the frequent backing up and safeguarding of your data in a remote storage space, which ensures that your backup can be spun up and restored to your systems on-demand.
Technology is evolving fairly rapidly in the age of digital transformation as vendors keep pace with persistent security threats – a supported IaaS environment will ensure that your IT stack stays on top of these updates and is protected against emerging cyber risks at no extra cost to you for the upgrade.
- Remote Work Enablement
If your business has remote or hybrid employees – or multiple locations – cloud solutions are highly beneficial for maintaining communication as well as control over your data.
- Peace of Mind
Small business IT support is often overwhelmed by the sheer volume of systems that need to be managed from workstations to servers and networks, but hosting your infrastructure with a provider delegates the backend resource management and allows your internal team to focus on more immediate concerns.
Infrastructure Hosting vs Application Hosting & SaaS
The difference between IaaS and SaaS (Software as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service), etc. is evident in the naming, denoting which part of the environment is being hosted externally. However, some of these terms may be used interchangeably with each other and it is important to note the key areas where they are dissimilar.
SaaS solutions are generally those that are hosted in a public cloud and the customer has no relationship with the hosting data center. Application hosting typically means a third-party provider is delivering the software from their private data center in a manager agreement with the user. Both of these differ from infrastructure hosting in that those contracts are centered on one application with a set number of users, and do not involve an entire technology stack and its backend network resources.
Managed IaaS Services – Security, Support, etc.
Part of the agreement with an external CSP is the inclusion of direct support and often a variety of managed services available for your environment. These range from basic oversight of those hosted backend resources to more comprehensive maintenance and security in the cloud. The presence of the latter, however, depends greatly on which provider your partner with.
Hosted ERP Software Infrastructure
Many applications have different infrastructure requirements, and these impact how your IT stack needs to be set up and managed. ERP, for example, needs to be able to integrate seamlessly with your other esoteric software to be able to effectively act as the accounting system of record for all your synchronized transactional data or your will be faced with disruptive silos.
Choosing SWK Technologies as your IaaS provider gives you access to our expertise with ERP and other core business management solutions, including HR and payroll, WMS, CRM, EDI, business intelligence and sales tax automation. We leverage this experience to ensure that your hosted infrastructure deployment is optimized to your specific application stack and its unique needs across each system.
Learn More About Infrastructure Hosting Services
There is plenty more to cover for infrastructure hosting, and how you can enhance business productivity while saving on total cost of ownership (TCO) by migrating your disparate systems to the cloud. Let SWK help you discover if IaaS and cloud hosting is the right fit for your business right now or in the future.
Contact SWK today to learn more about infrastructure hosting and how it could benefit your business.
Talk to Us About IaaS