Choosing the right IaaS provider requires planning

The Infrastructure as a Service market has recently become more crowded, making it difficult for decision-makers to choose providers that offer the best solutions for a particular business, according to an InfoWorld report. Basically, IaaS gives companies the ability to upload their virtual machines and run them remotely, enhancing operations and reducing costs.

With so many vendors in the market, however, unprepared organizations will not be able to compare services and decide which is best. This makes it important that IT departments and decision-makers have a solid understanding of their cloud storage, networking and computing needs from the start, InfoWorld noted. Failing to grasp these metrics early on will make it virtually impossible to compare IaaS providers in the future.

Offerings from different IaaS vendors vary widely, which makes the service-level agreement quite important and complicated. While some providers guarantee certain levels of uptime and storage, others may give decision-makers a refund if these problems are encountered, the news source said. Although this can be reason to adopt a particular service, a small refund may not be worth the hassle of temporarily losing mission-critical assets. Furthermore, as organizations continue to migrate to the cloud and adopt IaaS, these reimbursements might become smaller as vendors are forced to pay more out of pocket.

"All this argues for you to avail yourself of whatever free trials a provider offers," InfoWorld said. "Tweak your configurations, explore and determine the features you need and calculate and recalculate pricing, especially if you plan to run heavy workloads over the long term."

The report noted that IaaS is becoming popular because of several reasons, including the opportunity to leverage next-generation tools without upfront hardware costs. Some may argue that even more importantly, however, is the ability to scale the virtual environment when necessary, allowing organizations to adapt to all levels of traffic. As a result, organizations are using IaaS for periodic jobs that have a limited duration, InfoWorld said.

A separate report by NPD In-Stat revealed that the IaaS market is forecast to generate more than $4 billion by 2015. While companies of all sizes continue to adopt the cloud, small businesses, in particular, are turning into major contributors, expanding the market and making it more important that decision-makers prepare themselves for the cloud.

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