Beyond IaaS: The Benefits of Using EaaS
The market for cloud infrastructure is growing at a rapid clip. Driving factors include IT’s need to cut costs, provide more services, respond faster to business needs, and enable innovation and digital transformation. For many years, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offerings have been both the first and most used cloud services consumed by businesses. But increasingly, more is needed. That has opened the door for Environment-as-a-Service (EaaS), what some call IaaS Plus.
To put the demand for such services into perspective, consider cloud spending. While most organizations were already executing on their cloud migration strategies pre-COVID, the pandemic was a serious wake-up call for those lagging behind. Gartner predicts public cloud services global spending will grow to $332.3B this year, up from $270B in 2020. Gartner also anticipates that by 2024 almost half of all IT spending on software, system infrastructure, and process outsourcing will have pivoted from traditional solutions to the cloud.
Within those numbers, the IaaS segment is predicted to have the largest growth (percentage-wise) over the next few years. The IaaS market will nearly double from roughly $60,000 in 2020 to about $107,000 in 2022. Looking beyond next year, ResearchAndMarkets.com predicts the IaaS market will reach $74.63 billion in 2025 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.8%.
Why the big jump? Cloud-based service models can provide significant financial advantages for businesses, allowing them to quickly access new functionalities without requiring heavy upfront investments. Cloud services rotate some capital expenditure costs into operational costs, with infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) enabling organizations to move fundamental storage and networking functions to the cloud and away from on-premises hardware.
One of the greatest fundamental changes companies have encountered in the last few years is that business demands for new applications and services have rapidly grown, causing a need to accelerate application development.
And most importantly, development is no longer a one-time effort, and applications must continuously be patched, updated, and enhanced. Each change or addition requires one or more development environments, plus infrastructure and applications for performance testing, quality assurance and deployment.
That’s where EaaS helps. EaaS extends the capabilities and benefits of IaaS into the development environment. It offers the infrastructure, applications, and data that DevOps teams need to develop, deploy and maintain their applications.
An ideal EaaS solution will offer certain features to increase the efficiency of the DevOps staff, reduce costs and help businesses maintain control over fast-paced development environments.
For example, a well-suited EaaS would use automation to configure servers for a specific application. It would be a self-service offering that integrated with normal DevOps workflows, tools, and methodologies. For example, a business might look for an EaaS offering that gives users a choice in how they access the services. That might include access via a web portal, command-line interface, or directly through a developer’s CI/CD tools.
That last capability is particularly important today, given the way applications are developed and maintained. An EaaS must integrate into the existing DevOps ecosystem and CI/CD pipeline to support today’s demand for complete, ready-to-run environments delivered on demand. The way to ensure this is to look for an EaaS provider that supports out-of-the-box plugins and an extensive REST API for common CI/CD and DevOps tools.
One additional issue that businesses need to address is cost control. Costs can quickly add up with the use of cloud services being so easy and with some providers offering self-service options. In many situations, cloud service users have no insights into their cloud spending until after the monthly bill arrives. And even then, there is often no granular view into where the costs were incurred.
What’s needed is an EaaS offering that incorporates cloud cost management capabilities that are implemented in such a way as to not slow down application development and delivery. In particular, cost visibility and control are required but cannot be implemented in a way that adds friction to the process. Many cost management approaches fail in this regard. A good EaaS solution will provide the needed visibility and control while not hindering development and deployment.
Modern applications development must be based on CI/CD to deliver new applications, services and updates in a timely manner to match fast-changing business opportunities and requirements.
While IaaS platforms satisfy many of the core infrastructure requirements, EaaS complements these capabilities by offering the complete environments delivered on-demand needed for DevOps to work. EaaS also offers tight integration into DevOps workflows and CI/CD pipelines.