IaaS provides on-demand access to fundamental computing resources–physical and virtual servers, networking, and storage—over the internet on a pay-as-you-go basis. IaaS enables end users to scale and shrink resources on an as-needed basis, reducing the need for high, up-front capital expenditures or unnecessary on-premises or ‘owned’ infrastructure and for overbuying resources to accommodate periodic spikes in usage.
In contrast to SaaS and PaaS (and even newer PaaS computing models such as containers and serverless), IaaS provides the users with the lowest-level control of computing resources in the cloud.
IaaS was the most popular cloud computing model when it emerged in the early 2010s. While it remains the cloud model for many types of workloads, use of SaaS and PaaS is growing at a much faster rate.