According to the September 2012 “Australian Infrastructure as a Service Market” report from Frost & Sullivan, the compound annual growth rate for the IaaS market Down Under is expected to grow almost 50 per cent by 2018. The report notes that small, medium and large organisations are choosing this cloud services model for reasons beyond cost savings, including to address the following issues:
- Production workloads: Of IaaS users polled in a survey by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), more than 80 per cent are running production workloads on IaaS, with 67 per cent running mission-critical workloads. Previously, organisations stuck to using cloud services to run development and testing. The migration of production workloads to cloud services demonstrates a greater trust in the IaaS model amongst enterprise organisations.
- Cloud services for storage: Seventy per cent of cloud customers are using IaaS cloud services for infrastructure storage. The appeal of IaaS here is that it moves critical infrastructure offsite, which cuts business risk for organisations that might be in natural disaster-prone areas.
- IaaS for DR: More than half of participants use the IaaS model for disaster recovery. Cloud services providers with multiple regional data centres and the ability to provide fail-over between them present a reliable option for protecting critical data in the event of an outage.
Where IaaS Makes the Greatest Impact
IaaS cloud services provide a number of attractive benefits that help organisations save on capital expenditure, leverage scale and free up their internal IT staff for more strategic projects. The below features are the main reasons enterprise-level organisations are starting to use IaaS cloud services more:
- The ability to reallocate department resources. Like any outsourced service, electing to have a third party manage infrastructure frees IT employees to focus on projects and strategies that provide more value to the department and organisation. The need for ongoing infrastructure education and ensuring proper staffing levels is eliminated. Certain IT employees can also serve as liaisons to the IaaS cloud services provider for day-to-day concerns as well as for taking advantage of this strategic partnership.
- Flexible billing. Beyond the immediate cost savings of no longer having to pay upfront for infrastructure costs, IaaS cloud services permanently move capital expenditure to a more flexible operational realm. IaaS is available on a pay-per-use or pay-as-you-go model, billed as continual operational expense, a key advantage over large on-premises infrastructure investments.
- A scalable model. As application usage escalates or declines, so can the IaaS supporting the software. There’s no delay in selecting and installing hardware. IaaS can adjust with a call to your cloud services provider without having to buy or waste more infrastructure.
What are your plans for leveraging IaaS in your organisation?