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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 Basic Storage

Standardized, highly automated web services for programmatically accessing scalable storage capacity on-demand, pay per use 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: Basic storage services accessed via standard network protocols such as NFS, CIFS, and SMB.
  • Block: Virtual storage volumes users can attach to compute instances. Basic storage services between compute instances and storage volumes via block interfaces such as SCSI and iSCSI. These are typically used in concert with compute instances.
  • Object: Basic storage services accessed via object-based APIs such as REST and SOAP.
  • Other: Ancillary storage services used for cloud gateway services, data seeding services, and so forth.

IaaS Compute

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:

  • x86 VMs: Compute services delivered as virtual machines on an x86 CPU-based server
  • Bare metal: Compute services delivered as bare metal servers, with no hypervisor overhead and high levels of customizability.
  • GPU VMs: Compute services built on graphics processing unit (GPU)-based servers, offering faster execution of specialized mathematical algorithms such as parallel processing.
  • Others: All other compute services offered through an IaaS compute model. These include the tensor processing–based Google TPU, FPGA-based AWS F1, containers delivered as a service, and so forth.

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 Services in the Public Cloud IaaS Market
  • 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?
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Meet the Experts

Deepak Mohan Research Director, Public Cloud Infrastructure as a Service