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Truly analyzing IaaS

The rapid proliferation of the cloud has made the market for the technology rather complex, as decision-makers are forced to plan well in advance which model best meets their unique demands. In general, there are three major archetypes: Software, Platform and Infrastructure as a Service. If organizations are to successfully implement the cloud, they need to understand what these models represent.

This was highlighted in a recent report by InfoWorld, which noted that Software as a Service (SaaS) is commonly considered to be the most successful exemplary of the cloud, though not forever. Cloud infrastructure services are quickly gaining momentum.

Unfortunately, exponential market growth predictions do not necessarily guarantee success. Instead, InfoWorld analyzes IaaS on three key criteria.

Who does IaaS appeal to?
Unlike SaaS, IaaS is generally designed for the private sector, as it gives organizations the ability to improve internal operations and enhance efficiency. The CIO, IT department and application management teams are particularly fond of IaaS, InfoWorld noted. This is especially true as DevOps, or the streamlined software development and deployment process, picks up speed.

How much does it cost?
Although the term "cloud computing" is thrown around with the promise of reducing IT costs, IaaS is in fact an operative expense, not a capital expenditure, InfoWorld said. In other words, paying for IaaS comes out of the CIO's wallet. Nevertheless, cloud infrastructure services provide a lot of bang for their buck, giving organizations the unique ability to gain a competitive advantage over rival firms and enhance their ability to carry out more data-heavy tasks.

What does its disruption pattern look like?
Similar to the other cloud models, IaaS is quickly picking up momentum, especially as firms adopt bring your own device and other mobile programs. A separate report by Synergy Research Group noted that the IaaS and PaaS market generate more than $2.7 billion in revenue in the first half of 2012, up 65 percent from the same time in 2011.

"We are in the early days of a profound shift in the data center market towards cloud infrastructure services, which presents extremely exciting growth opportunities for emerging cloud providers and traditional service providers the world over," said Jeremy Duke, founder and chief analyst at Synergy Research Group.

As the cloud market continues to expand, organizations will increasingly focus on deploying cloud infrastructure solutions to stay ahead, with IaaS leading the charge.

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