What is IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)?


As digitalization continues to disrupt industry after industry, the “everything-as-a-service” business model is one of the most important shifts. By reducing the need for owning high-cost and high-maintenance technology, the possibility to subscribe for hosted software, platforms and infrastructure is revolutionizing the way companies operate.

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) is a business model where companies rent servers for cloud computing and storage. This way, users can run operating systems and applications on the servers without having to worry about the maintenance and costs related to them.

In this article, we’ll look at what IaaS is, how it works, and the business benefits. We’ll also dive into the difference between IaaS and other as-a-service tools and look at some relevant use cases.

Table of Contents

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IaaS Explained – What Is It and How Does It Work?

Infrastructure as a Service is a type of cloud computing providing computing resources over the internet. IaaS is one of three main categories of cloud computing services. The other two are Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS).

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) means that the infrastructure is hosted on the public and/or private cloud, instead of on an on-premises server. It’s delivered to customers on-demand and is fully managed by the IaaS provider. This includes all the infrastructure components an on-premises data center would traditionally entail, such as servers, networking hardware, and storage. Often, the IaaS provider also offers a range of services to complement those components, such as detailed billing, security, monitoring, and clustering. Storage resiliency, like backup and recovery processes, is also included.

7 Business Benefits of IaaS

There are numerous advantages of using IaaS rather than building your own infrastructure. Many of the gains and benefits are similar to those of other XaaS solutions.

1) More Focus on Core Issues

IaaS allows your dev team to focus more on your core business and value-adding activities than infrastructure and computing resources.

2) Increased Scalability and Reduced Risk

IaaS enables companies to scale and shrink resources in accordance with their changing needs.When the workload suddenly changes, you can adjust your usage – and your costs.

3) Quicker to Market

With IaaS, small or vast amounts of resources can be provisioned super quickly. This means new ideas can quickly be tested, scaled, and implemented.

4) Reduced Capital Commitment and Lower cost

IaaS eliminates the need for high, up-front capital expenditures and unnecessary “owned” infrastructure. It is more cost-efficient than owning and managing your own infrastructure. The Pay-as-you-Go model means both lower costs and lower risk.

5) Geographic proximity

Infrastructure as a Service can be a way to give customers access to servers in geographic proximity to their end-users. Through multi-zone regions, availability and resiliency exceed traditional approaches. Putting apps closer to end-users reduces latency and improves performance.

6) Improved Security and Performance

IaaS providers guarantee things like uptime and performance in the service-level agreement (SLA). This is insurance against costly downtime and eliminates the need to manage and support physical servers in data centers manually.

7) Redundancy, continuity and disaster recovery

Having your cloud service in different locations can be a great way to ensure you have access to your applications and data even during outages or disasters.

IronWorker and IronMQ: Scalable Serverless Tools

Looking for true elasticity?  Iron.io allows your application to scale on demand without having to worry about servers.

IaaS vs. PaaS vs. SaaS – What’s the Difference?


The number of as-a-service solutions keeps growing, and it’s not always easy to understand how they differ. The easiest way to explain the distinction between IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS is to look at what elements of the tech stack are managed by the vendor and the end-user, respectively.

In the traditional IT organization, the end-user managed the whole stack: from hardware for servers to operating systems and software. Simply put, IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS each bring a layer of abstraction. IaaS takes away the physical computing, storage, and the tech to virtualize that. PaaS takes it further and handles the management of the operating system and middleware. And then comes SaaS, providing the software as-a-Service. Together, these as-a-service tools abstract away all of the tech stack, removing the need for costly ownership.

Are IronWorker and IronMQ IaaS tools?

Now that we’ve defined what IaaS is, and what the benefits are, you may be wondering if IronWorker and IronMQ belong in this category. The answer is yes. IronWorker and IronMQ are serverless business tools that provide your company with all the benefits listed above. Developers send their jobs (IronWorker) or messages (IronMQ) to Iron and then we process those tasks at scale. This means that your development team does not have to worry about the number of servers, or about maintaining the infrastructure for your operations – because Iron does that for you.

Examples of tasks we can help with:

  • Image and video processing
  • Push notifications
  • ETL processing
  • Email delivery
  • Cron replacement

We offer a hosted background job solution that lets you run your containers with scale, detailed analytics and world class customer support. You can use our IaaS tools to run short lived containers quickly, or for containers needing to work across multiple days. Whether it's a one-off job, or one that needs 1000's of workers running in parallel, we’ve got you covered.


The IaaS provider handles the servers, virtualization, storage, and network. This means users no longer need to have on-premise data centers, and they don’t have to worry about updating or maintaining any of it themselves.

In this article, we’ve looked at what is Infrastructure as a Service and some of its main benefits such as:

  • More Focus on Core Issues
  • Increased Scalability and Reduced Risk
  • Quicker to Market
  • Reduced Capital Commitment and Lower cost
  • Geographic proximity
  • Improved Security and Performance
  • Redundancy, continuity and disaster recovery

We’ve seen that just as with other as-a-Service solutions, IaaS means a cloud computing service managed for you – so that your team can focus on what really matters, such as your code and your customer relationships.

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About Korak Bhaduri

Korak Bhaduri, Director of Operations at Iron.io, has been on a continuous journey exploring the nuances of serverless solutions. With varied experiences from startups to research and a foundation in management and engineering, Korak brings a thoughtful and balanced perspective to the Iron.io blog.

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