Making The Decision Between Shared And Dedicated Infrastructure-As-A-Service

Infrastructure-as-a-Service allows a business to run multiple customer servers on just one physical server through server virtualization technology. This concept follows in the footsteps of technology applied in creation of LAN and WAN virtualization through MPLS and VLANs.

Server virtualization technology

In this process, multiple virtual servers are created to run atop a core physical server. The software doing this, called the hypervisor, has the job of scheduling the multiple servers’ access needs to available physical resources. Every virtual server is more or less unaware of the other virtual servers alongside which it runs; they are simply able to access their allotted virtual hardware. They have no way of accessing other virtual servers’ disk storage, memory or processor resources. In this way, IaaS providers can host many clients simultaneously provided they have the physical hardware to meet their needs.

A case for shared IaaS environments

Shared IaaS environments such as these are ideal for clients who are new to server hosting and unable to afford the prohibitive capital expenditure that accompanies getting one’s own servers. Customers are allowed a portion of the existing platform according to their storage, CPU and memory requirements. This in turn divides up the cost of maintenance, bandwidth and hardware across all hosted clients instead of a single business.

Contrary to common thought, there doesn’t have to be a trade-off when using New York managed IT services such as IaaS, to wit, reduced performance capability for the reduction in cost. This is not determined by whether or not one uses shared resources, but rather by the service provider’s operational scheme: any good service provider will make sure that shared hosting is assigned according to the business’s individual requirements to ensure that cost savings don’t come at the steep price of lesser performance.

The biggest risk in a shared environment is that one client ends up calling on more of the underlying resources than the rest, so that your own virtual servers’ capacity is affected. Good providers such as know how to ensure that maximum content rates are applied on CPU and resource usage so that resources are allocated fairly according to what each client pays to get. In this scenario, priority must be given to helping customers get the best fit for their hosting needs.

Migration to dedicated IaaS

For many, however, shared hosting will become limiting as the company grows. Because these servers are physically limited, a business will eventually outgrow their allotted resources and the provider may not be able to service an upgrade to bigger packages. The most important thing in this case is minimizing the interruption during transition.

This is where the flexibility and agility of IaaS shines through; customers can be effortlessly and seamlessly transferred from a shared platform to bespoke dedicated platforms. One of the core advantages is that a business’s performance and continuity can be safeguarded.

Is there a difference in security?

Finally, security levels on both platforms are similar, even though there’s a general distrust of security with shared resources. Think of it as living together in an apartment complex. You have some shared resources: car park, swimming pool and other amenities (representing memory, storage and CPU of physical server), but each apartment has its own privacy (your virtual machines). The complex is comprehensively protected by various security measures (CCTV, gates, security guards), even before coming to your front door, where there are various protective measures (locks, alarm, spy-hole).

In a similar way, you can rest assured that your valuable data is protected through a complex play of various security measures such as ports, firewalls, prevention devices, intrusion detection and round-the-clock monitoring among others.

Sujain Thomas is the head of marketing communications in a leading marketing company. Her contributions in brand building and reputation management are well known. She had spent some time with DBA Consultants as an advisor.