IaaS Examples: Cloud Infrastructure for the Enterprise
After multiple requests for IaaS examples in enterprise settings, we put together a post on the problems IaaS can solve and three IaaS examples from our own client base.
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is provisioned, managed IT infrastructure available via the Internet. This infrastructure solution scales up and down on-demand, allowing subscribers to pay for what they use. The virtual nature of the solution also prevents expenses related to buying and managing IT infrastructure. A Managed Service Provider (MSP) configures and manages the infrastructure, allowing enterprises to focus running their businesses– and not on IT administration.
Choosing an IAAS Provider
When selecting an IaaS provider, consider the following factors:
- Data backup protection: Choose a partner skilled in disaster recovery and business continuity planning (DR/BC).
- Solutions stack: Review a prospective provider’s technology offering. Ask for case examples demonstrating the solutions they’ve used to build an IaaS solution for other enterprises.
- Solutions Management Team: Consider the team’s experience in planning and deploying a comprehensive IaaS solution.
- Service bundles: Maximize your budgeting efficiencies by bundling services, from backup, anti-spam and remote desktop access services.
- Service Level Agreements (SLA): Ensure providers meet your regularity and reporting requirements.
For a comprehensive review of IaaS migration, visit our Step-by-Step Guide to Cloud Migration.
IaaS Examples: 3 Case Studies
To help prospective IaaS clients conceptualize the kinds of problems IaaS can solve, we’ve put together 3 IaaS examples featuring 3 very different clients: a real estate brokerage, a regional school board and an industrial design/manufacturing firm.
IaaS Example 1: Real Estate Brokerage
Royal LePage Performance and Team Realty operates more than 20 sales offices in Canada’s National Capital region. With over 1,200 real estate agents and 80 staff members, the brokerage required a robust IT infrastructure that promised uninterrupted service to support complicated, ongoing transactions. With a focus on running an efficient real estate brokerage, the Royal LePage Performance executive team sought out a strategic partner capable of assessing the brokerage’s network and IT systems, and recommending a cloud-based alternative.
Royal LePage Performance chose to partner with HostedBizz, who audited and planned a highly redundant, fully managed enterprise-grade IT infrastructure solution. The recommended solution offered scalability to support ongoing growth and redundancy to ensure recovery time and recovery point objectives were respected. With Royal LePage Performance’s approval, HostedBizz deployed a managed Veeam backup solution, and executed a successful migration to the cloud.
The managed IT solution now delivers performance improvements that exceed the brokerage’s expectations. Data is fully recoverable, so accidental deletions or system outages no longer disrupt workflow for agents and staff alike. HostedBizz actively monitors and manages the IT systems, allowing the Royal Lepage leadership team to focus on their passion for real estate.
IaaS Example 2: Regional School Board
The Limestone District School Board, the administrative body responsible for overseeing a school district in Ontario, Canada, relies on a student information system (SIS) to store student grades, transcripts and attendance records. The SIS is a comprehensive management tool documenting 19,000 students and their educational history.
To ensure educators and administrators have continuous ongoing access to student data, Limestone School Board sought a highly redundant back-up and data recovery solution. The school board required a solution that ensured educators could maximize student success and communicate with families/caregivers at every step along the way.
HostedBizz and partner Zycom Technology, a leading IT solution provider, created a Business Continuity (BC) and Disaster recovery (DR) strategy that transferred data from on-premise servers to the cloud, and optimized overall IT infrastructure. In the process, the technology partners reduced the Limestone District School Board‘s IT costs by 70 percent – a cost savings of $70,000 annually. In response, the school board channeled the savings into improved technology across the district. Now, administrators have peace of mind that student data is always secure and available – and that students are learning with the best possible technology.
IaaS Example 3: Industrial Design & Manufacturing
Gastops, an industrial design and manufacturing firm, required a comprehensive failover solution to cover 20 physical and virtual servers containing several terabytes of data. As a manufacturer of industrial equipment for marine, aviation, oil & gas, power generation and military applications, the company strictly adheres to the Canadian Controlled Goods regulations and the American ITAR requirements. Adhering to these regulations required multiple back-up services to ensure IT system and customer data recovery in the event of data breach or disaster.
Gastops required an IT partner with the skills and knowledge to create a strategic IT Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plan – and one who qualified as a Controlled Goods certified vendor. HostedBizz brought both the expertise and the certification required, plus the added benefit of offering hosting in Canadian data centres.
HostedBizz carefully developed an IT infrastructure that respects Gastops’ encryption, data compression, reporting and retention requirements. Once the backup solution was in place, the systems were programed to automatically back-up data. Full image-based backups are made and stored onsite and offsite. In the event of complete server outage, this multi-failover approach ensures full system recovery to the HostedBizz cloud.
Now the solution is deployed, HostedBizz monitors the status of each backup. The on-premise backups serve as the primary restoration repository in case of accidental deletion of a file/ folder, corrupted files, or individual server failures. The offsite cloud-based repository provides Gastops with the ability to completely fail over to a cloud server infrastructure. The cloud also offers a “Sandbox” environment where Gastops can restore VMs, complete application updates and test new software in a non-production environment.
IaaS vs SaaS vs PaaS
SaaS: Software as a Service
Software as a Service (SaaS) is the most commonly used cloud service. SaaS delivers applications over the Internet, usually through a web browser. In some instances, they are downloaded as apps onto a mobile device.
PaaS: Platform as a Service
Platform as a Service (PaaS) offers a development framework over the Internet. PaaS allows for the development of customized applications, while offloading the infrastructure maintenance to a third-party service provider.
IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions are highly scalable, automated, on-demand IT resources. IaaS is frequently used for networking, storage, and other IT infrastructure services. IaaS offers cost savings by preventing enterprises from buying hardware outright.
Infrastructure as a Service: Convenient Data Storage
The benefits and convenience of IaaS extend to enterprises of all sizes.
- Reduce upfront & maintenance costs: Eliminate upfront capital expenses and reduce ongoing maintenance costs. Ideal for businesses with limited operating funds (like start-ups) and businesses testing new ideas.
- Improve business continuity & disaster recovery: Create a strategic business continuity and disaster recovery plan to ensure adequate IT resources and personnel are available in the case of a disaster or outage.
- Increase security & reliability: Rely on SLAs that ensure infrastructure reliability reflect your regulatory requirements and respect your business tolerances to downtime.
- Rapid response to changing business conditions: Quickly scale resources up or down to accommodate for spikes in demand. Add computing resources in minutes or hours, allowing you to test new ideas without delays.
- Focus on your core business: Let your team focus on your core business needs – not on IT infrastructure maintenance.
Partnering with HostedBizz
Moving to the cloud is the first step to liberating your business from the limits of traditional IT systems. Finding the right cloud partner is the second. We established HostedBizz to deliver the best cloud infrastructure service experience in the industry. Offering services like scalable on-demand computing, flexible solutions, 100% Canadian operations and no term contracts – so that businesses like yours can grow.