Best Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Providers

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) describes the various ways in which third-party vendors provide cloud-driven, cloud-hosted infrastructure to businesses. This infrastructure comes in a variety of forms, including (but not limited to) public clouds, virtual machines (VMs), bare metal servers, and high-performance computing (HPC). Because of the incredible diversity of IaaS tools, any organization or user within a business could find benefit from the business employing IaaS.

Companies use IaaS for a wide variety of reasons, most commonly including convenience, ease of accessibility, flexible scaling, and reduced operational expenditure (OpEx) costs. The latter two benefits are facilitated by the pay-as-you-go nature of cloud services; with IaaS, businesses only pay for what use, eliminating the large upfront costs typically associated with purchasing infrastructure. Companies also don’t have to worry about infrastructure management, as with IaaS that responsibility falls to the cloud service provider (CSP). IaaS is ultimately used to build or expand business capabilities and can be especially beneficial during times of extreme growth.

Once a business has determined which IaaS tools they’d like to utilize, integration capabilities are the next big considerations, followed by how that infrastructure will be secured. IaaS presents no benefit to a company if it doesn’t integrate with its existing systems, and once it does integrate, the company needs to properly secure any data and transactions that might go through that infrastructure. IaaS security falls to the service user, not the CSP; however, many CSPs will offer compatible security solutions for that infrastructure or build basic security features into the service.

IaaS is the cloud computing representative of the “aaS" trio: IaaS, developer-focused platform as a service (PaaS), and generalist software as a service (SaaS).

To qualify for inclusion in the Infrastructure as a Service category, a product must:

Provide third-party-hosted infrastructure
Allow businesses to run computing, virtualization, storage, and/or other core infrastructure needs
Function on a pay-as-you-go or utilization-based purchase model
Provide live usage and performance tracking and reporting

Top 10 Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Providers

  • Amazon EC2
  • Compute Engine
  • DigitalOcean
  • Azure Virtual Machines
  • Linode
  • Virtual Machine Manager
  • Hostwinds
  • Alibaba Elastic Compute Service
  • OVHcloud
  • Alibaba E-HPC

Compare Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Providers

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(399)4.5 out of 5

AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (AWS - EC2) is a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers. AWS EC2۪s simple web service interface allows you to obtain and configure capacity with minimal friction. It provides you with complete control of your computing resources and lets you run on Amazon۪s proven computing environment. AWS EC2 reduces the time required to obtain and boot new server instances to minutes, allowi

(251)4.4 out of 5
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Scalable, High-Performance Virtual Machines

(222)4.5 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$5 per month

DigitalOcean provides the best tools to control your virtual server in the cloud. Learn how we deliver the most intuitive interface and features so you can start building your web infrastructure today.

(99)4.2 out of 5

Azure Virtual Machines gives you the flexibility of virtualization for a wide range of computing solutions: development and testing, running applications, and extending your datacenter with support for Linux, Windows Server, SQL Server, Oracle, IBM, and SAP.

(113)4.6 out of 5
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Entry Level Price:$5 per month

Simplify your cloud infrastructure with our Linux virtual machines and robust set of tools to develop, deploy, and scale your modern applications faster and easier. Linode believes that in order to accelerate innovation in the cloud, virtual computing must be more accessible, affordable, and simple. Our infrastructure-as-a-service platform is deployed across 11 global markets from our data centers around the world and is supported by our Next Generation Network, advanced APIs, comprehensive ser

(26)4.5 out of 5

Virtual Machine Manager allows you to run multiple VMs on your NAS, restore a VM using snapshot technology, and allocate IT resources among several VMs.

(264)4.8 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$99 per month

Hostwinds offers website hosting for individuals and businesses of all sizes, with 24/7/365 support and nightly backups.

Alibaba Cloud Elastic Compute Service (ECS) provides fast memory and the latest Intel CPUs to help you to power your cloud applications and achieve faster results with low latency. All ECS instances come with Anti-DDoS protection to safeguard your data and applications from DDoS and Trojan attacks.

OVHcloud is a global provider of hyperscale cloud, which offers businesses a benchmark for value and performance in the sector. Founded in 1999, the group manages and maintains 30 datacentres in 12 sites across four continents, deploys its own global fibre optic network, and manages the entire supply chain for web hosting. Running on its own infrastructures, OVHcloud provides simple, powerful tools for businesses, revolutionising the way that more than 1.5 million customers work across the glo

(12)4.3 out of 5

Alibaba Cloud Elastic High Performance Computing (E-HPC) is an end-to-end public cloud service. E-HPC provides individual users, education and research institutions, and public institutions with a fast, elastic, and secure cloud compute platform that interconnects with Alibaba Cloud products.

(12)4.2 out of 5
Entry Level Price:£0.02 per Hour

IONOS cloud is the European cloud alternative. It is the only cloud provider with a patented technology stack "Made in Germany" for maximum data security and compliance against legislation such as the CLOUD Act. The IONOS cloud portfolio includes an IaaS Compute Engine with its own code stack for virtualisation, managed Kubernetes for container applications, private cloud powered by VMware and S3 object storage. With more than eight million customer contracts, IONOS is the leading European pro

Deploy your favorite open-source, community-driven software in seconds

(68)4.5 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$15 per month

Netrepid is a provider of colocation, infrastructure and application hosting services designed to accelerate your technology while keeping your costs scalable and relative to your needs. No matter the size of your operations, you can still function with the ease and efficiency of a business twice your size with our infrastructure hosting. You pay for only the resources you use, which makes this an affordable and scalable solution for businesses of any size. Our infrastructure hosting also ens

(54)4.0 out of 5
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IBM Cloud Private is an application platform for developing and managing on-premises, containerized applications. It is an integrated environment for managing containers that includes the container orchestrator Kubernetes, a private image repository, a management console, and monitoring frameworks.

(15)4.3 out of 5

Elastic GPU Service (EGS) is a GPU-based computing service ideal for scenarios such as deep learning, video processing, scientific computing, and visualization. EGS solutions use the following GPUs: AMD FirePro S7150, NVIDIA Tesla M40, NVIDIA Tesla P100, NVIDIA Tesla P4, and NVIDIA Tesla V100.

(37)4.1 out of 5

Rackspace Technology is the multicloud solutions expert. We combine our expertise with the world’s leading technologies — across applications, data and security — to deliver end-to-end solutions. We have a proven record of advising customers based on their business challenges, designing solutions that scale, building and managing those solutions, and optimizing returns into the future. As a global, multicloud technology services pioneer, we deliver innovative capabilities of the cloud to help cu

(43)3.8 out of 5
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IBM Cloud delivers a secure, collaborative cloud-based environment that supports a full lifecycle of accelerated application development, deployment and delivery.

(50)4.0 out of 5

Vultr offers a standardized highly reliable high performance cloud compute environment with 14 datacenters around the globe.

(48)4.1 out of 5

OpenStack software controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a datacenter, managed through a dashboard or via the OpenStack API. OpenStack works with popular enterprise and open source technologies making it ideal for heterogeneous infrastructure.

(25)4.4 out of 5

Apache CloudStack is open source software designed to deploy and manage large networks of virtual machines on scalable Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud computing platform.

Azure virtual machine scale set automatically increases or decreases the number of VM instances that run your application. This automated and elastic behavior reduces the management overhead to monitor and optimize the performance of your application.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is a world-class, secure open source server operating system, built to power physical, virtual and cloud-based mission-critical workloads.

(7)4.2 out of 5

Open Cloud Management Platform, Developed for the Enterprise

VPC helps you build an isolated network environment based on Alibaba Cloud including customizing the IP address range, network segment, route table, and gateway. In addition, you can connect VPC and a traditional IDC through a leased line, VPN, or GRE to provide hybrid cloud services.

Managed networking functionality for your Cloud Platform resources

(6)4.9 out of 5

CloudServer eliminates the need to spend capital on upgrading physical hardware and moves businesses into an Operating Expense (OpEx) model. The business doesn't have to manage or control the underlying cloud physical infrastructure but still has control over operating systems, storage, and applications. Virtual servers offer numerous advantages over physical servers. Manageability of virtual servers is simpler because you can easily connect to the server’s console remotely without the need for

(5)4.0 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$14 per 30 days

CloudSigma, a pure-cloud IaaS provider with advanced hybrid hosting solutions enabling the digital industrial economy, offers highly-available, flexible, enterprise-class cloud servers and cloud hosting solutions in Europe, U.S. and APAC.

(6)4.3 out of 5

Joyent provides public and private Cloud Computing infrastructure and services.

(4)4.0 out of 5

As a major component of our Infrastructure Services offering, we offer a variety of Data Center Hosting services that can be customized to suit the individual needs of your enterprise.

(3)4.5 out of 5

Cloud Servers is a virtual Lunix and Windows servers that are both highly elastic and persistent.

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Check out the G2 Grid® for the top Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Providers products. G2 scores products and sellers based on reviews gathered from our user community, as well as data aggregated from online sources and social networks. Together, these scores are mapped on our proprietary G2 Grid®, which you can use to compare products, streamline the buying process, and quickly identify the best products based on the experiences of your peers.
Leaders
High Performers
Contenders
Niche
Amazon EC2
IBM Cloud Virtual Servers
Rackspace Technology
DigitalOcean
OVHcloud
Linode
Netrepid
IONOS cloud
Compute Engine
OpenStack
Hostwinds
CloudStack
Vultr
Azure Virtual Machines
IBM
Azure Linux Virtual Machines
Alibaba Elastic Compute Service
Alibaba Elastic GPU Service
Alibaba E-HPC
Virtual Machine Manager
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Learn More About Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Providers

What is Infrastructure as a Service?

IaaS, or infrastructure as a service, is a cloud computing model that outsources IT infrastructure. IaaS providers purchase and manage expensive, physical computing resources while providing a wide range of cloud services in return. Companies essentially rent out the provider’s processing power to virtualize servers, store data, and facilitate network traffic.

IaaS is typically considered the most bare bones offering model for cloud-based solutions. IaaS provides a wider range of functionality and customization compared to cloud platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) offerings. IaaS delivers computing power and management capabilities, while PaaS and SaaS provide a range of prebuilt tools and applications.

IaaS offerings allow businesses to create and utilize virtual hardware tools without buying, building, or hosting them. These tools are provided externally as virtualized servers, databases, or bandwidth, as well as other tools.

Key Benefits of Infrastructure as a Service

  • Create a cost-effective cloud solution by outsourcing costly hardware and maintenance
  • Scale IT operations on demand and quickly respond to changing IT needs
  • Push web-based applications and products to market faster
  • Pay only for the services and features your business needs
  • Focus time and other resources on business growth rather than on underlying infrastructure

Why Use Infrastructure as a Service?

IaaS solutions can be a great fit for all businesses. For example, small businesses can avoid the costly process of building or buying in-house software solutions by using IaaS solutions. These tools can require heavy maintenance, but are managed by the service provider rather than the small business. Instead of hosting the tools onsite, they are distributed through multiple data centers and maintained by the IaaS provider.

IaaS solutions are ideal for growing businesses. They are highly scalable and are offered on a pay-per-use basis. This means that companies don’t have to worry about surprises in cost. As the company grows and utilizes an existing plan, they are already presented with the price for additional usage.

Small businesses with limited physical resources can subscribe to an IaaS solution and multiply their potential infrastructure. New, larger databases allow companies to use scalable storage solutions. Virtual desktops enable customers to utilize products across any platform. Companies are also provided with as much bandwidth as they need.

If a company has limited staff or time, they can also benefit from the automation of multiple tasks. This includes IT administrative duties, deployments, application monitoring, and others (depending on the provider). Providers control resources to optimize a company’s services or an application’s productivity.

Tech companies developing new software can benefit from IaaS solutions significantly during the development and testing phases. Application hosting and testing can be much cheaper through remote servers than through self-hosting. Users are able to test and deploy a tool multiple times without requiring in-house servers. They can then either keep an application hosted remotely or deploy it on in-house resources once the application is ready to be made publicly available.

What are the Different Kinds of Infrastructure as a Service?

It is common for IT departments to use a patchwork of IaaS solutions to manage web applications across multiple environments. However, this complex architecture needs to be evaluated constantly to maintain efficiency and meet business goals. Deciding between using public, private, or hybrid clouds usually comes down to performance and cost.

Public – Public clouds are the most cost-effective route when choosing an IaaS provider, as they allow businesses to reduce upfront spending on hardware and maintenance costs. Technical benefits of public cloud options include: scalability, reliability, and broader feature sets. Public cloud options are popular among startups and small businesses; however, they may not be the best fit for businesses operating in industries regulated by data security laws (HIPAA, PCI, etc.).

Private – Private clouds offer better security and compatibility for legacy web applications, as well as an easier migration process than public clouds. Private clouds can be housed in on-site data centers; however, most mid-market to enterprise-level businesses that use private clouds opt to use third-party IaaS service providers. Private clouds are popular among businesses in industries such as finance, health care, and commerce, where data security is held to a higher standard than in other industries.

Hybrid – Hybrid clouds provide a combination of the two options mentioned above. Hybrid clouds are popular among large enterprises and other businesses looking to find common ground between security and cost. This approach to IaaS allows businesses to process certain parts of a web application in a public cloud while storing and processing confidential data in a private cloud.

IaaS Features

Virtual Machines – Provides virtualized networks, applications, and operating systems. IaaS solutions deliver emulated tools using the provider’s physical resources. VMs expand a user’s access to operating systems and host environments without requiring expensive hardware.

Storage Management – Provides management tools for data storage, database configuration, and scaling. IaaS solutions give users access to a variety of databases and cloud storage applications that scale as use increases. Cloud-based storage can become especially important for preventing data loss.

Networking – Lets users provision networks, deliver content, balance loads, and manage traffic. Networking features allow users to choose how data is connected and networks are communicating.

Cloud Migration – Allows transferring data and virtual machines during adoption and maintenance. The digital transformation has caused many businesses to shift from on-premise infrastructure to cloud-based solutions. Cloud migration tools simplify and expedite the process of transferring systems to the cloud.

Analytics – Lets users analyze storage, performance, and connectivity. Analytics features can help optimize performance for users by managing traffic and resource allocation. Some IaaS solutions also have big data analytics features to help users process enormous data sets.

Maintenance – Enables maintenance to existing virtual machines to improve functionality and security. Maintenance features help users centralize control over their users, their endpoints, and the virtual machines they access.

Database Management — Supports managing different types of databases and integration methods. Database support can give users access to your cloud databases and sync them to facilitate live updates.

Potential Issues with Infrastructure as a Service

Security – During your evaluation process, you will need to take into consideration the data you plan on processing in your IaaS solution. Sensitive data such as intellectual property, medical records, and payment information require strict security controls. As regulations like the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) dictate how confidential data is stored and transferred, businesses governed by these will have to make sure their IaaS provider can meet these standards.

Existing infrastructure – Businesses with existing cloud infrastructure will have to consider the cost and effort necessary to migrate to or integrate with a new cloud solution. While migrating to a private cloud can be easier for businesses with existing infrastructure, public clouds offer broader feature sets and lower costs. Furthermore, several IaaS providers offer entire ecosystems around their solutions which can also influence buying decisions.

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