There are lots of good reasons to switch your IT to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
Benefits of Using Infrastructure as a Service
IaaS can be cost effective, leading to a significant reduction in your IT spending. It becomes much faster and easier to provision and bring new capacity online, eliminating the need to purchase spare capacity based on anticipated rather than actual demand. Support costs are also reduced, because the IaaS provider handles many of the ongoing requirements. Because environments can be shut down when they aren't needed, you don't need to pay for development and test environments forever, only when there's active work being done.
Those same features that reduce your spending also increase your agility, making it easier for your IT team to react to changes in your business environment. Your day-to-day procedures become less complex, enabling your team to focus on priority projects rather than routine maintenance.
To get those benefits, your team will need to adapt to the changes that come with IaaS.
Challenges to Using Infrastructure as a Service
Security and Compliance
The most critical aspect your IT team needs to understand is the shared responsibility for security in the cloud. The cloud provider makes sure the cloud infrastructure is secure; your team needs to make sure your data and applications are secure. This means paying special attention to configuration details; it's unfortunately common for resources to be made public when they should be private.
There are tools that will scan your environment to identify dangerous configuration settings and recommend best practices. You should also use tools that monitor your environment and help you detect any unusual access. If the IaaS provider offers environments certified compliant with your industry standards, take advantage of them.
Another challenge you'll need to handle is integrating your existing environment with your IaaS environment. It's unlikely you'll completely replace your existing infrastructure with new IaaS infrastructure all at once; there'll be some period of time during which you'll have both environments processing. You'll need a strategy for how you'll manage both environments and how you'll share data between them, if necessary. Fortunately, because much routine maintenance of IaaS will be handled by the provider, your team won't have double the work as a result.
One of the major advantages of IaaS is the ability to scale rapidly; you don't have to go through an extensive purchasing and provisioning process to obtain new resources. However, this doesn't necessarily happen automatically. You need to understand how you'll know when your environment needs to grow and how to make it happen. You'll also need to understand how to monitor usage, so you can shutdown environments that are no longer needed and eliminate their expense.
The network lies outside your cloud environment but is crucial to your ability to access and use the cloud. Understand the bandwidth needed and get it in place before you cut over to the IaaS environment to avoid problems that hide the benefits of cloud.
IaaS makes working successfully with the vendor critical to the success of your IT operations. It's important to understand their service level agreements and how problems will be resolved. You may also have concerns about depending on one vendor for so much of your infrastructure. Some firms choose to create multiple cloud environments using different vendors to reduce this dependency as well as increase the resiliency of their IT.
Gain the confidence to overcome these IaaS challenges with help from dcVAST. We offer our own IaaS service built on Oracle Enterprise Cloud as well as provide managed Amazon Web Services. Our team of experts will help you design an environment that matches your needs and ensure you minimize the challenges and maximize the benefits. Contact us to learn more about using IaaS.