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Infrastructure as a Service Overview

IDC's Infrastructure as a Service Overview is a program focused exclusively on the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) market, technology trends, buying patterns, adoption, and use cases.


Markets and Subjects Analyzed

IaaS Storage Services

There are standardized, highly automated web services for programmatically accessing scalable storage capacity in on-demand, pay-per-use basis for ephemeral and/or persistent data. These may be used by customers alongside compute services or independently. Basic storage services are further segmented by data organization:

  • File: Storage capacity is delivered as a service and is accessible via standard network protocols such as NFS and CIFS.
  • Block: Virtual storage volumes are delivered as a service that customers can mount and use with virtual servers. These are typically delivered as a complementary offering alongside virtual server offerings from the same cloud provider but may also be delivered by third-party providers.
  • Object: Storage capacity is delivered as a service and is accessible via object storage protocol and object-based APIs such as REST.

IaaS Compute Services

There are standardized, highly automated web services for programmatically accessing scalable compute capacity in an on-demand, pay-per-use basis for a range of workloads. These services include instance families optimized for memory, I/O, compute, and general-purpose use cases. These may be delivered as virtual machines, containers, or bare metal instances. Compute instances are further segmented by the compute environment offered:

  • Virtualized: Compute services are delivered as virtual machines to an end customer, without any add-ons such as GPUs or FPGAs.
  • Bare metal: Compute services are delivered as bare metal servers, with no hypervisor overhead and high levels of customizability.
  • Accelerated: Compute services are integrated with accelerator capabilities as well as standalone accelerator offerings.
  • Serverless: Serverless compute environments are offered as a service.
  • Containerized: Containerized compute environments are offered as a service.

Core Research

  • Worldwide and U.S. Public Cloud IaaS Market Shares, 2016
  • Worldwide Public Cloud Infrastructure as a Service Forecast, 2017–2021
  • Growth of Storage and Compute IaaS Services in the enterprise IT Environment
  • IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Infrastructure as a Service 2017 Vendor Assessment

In addition to the insight provided in this service, IDC may conduct research on specific topics or emerging market segments via research offerings that require additional IDC funding and client investment.


Key Questions Answered

  1. How large is the IaaS market, and what is the outlook?
  2. Who are the key players within the IaaS market?
  3. How are customers using IaaS for workloads and deployments?
  4. What are the economic and operational advantages and considerations with the use of IaaS?
  5. What capabilities will be added to current IaaS services over the next 24 months?
  6. How do the services among different providers compare?

Related Links


Meet the Experts
Deepak Mohan

Research Director, Public Cloud Infrastructure as a Service