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You will be hard-pressed to come up with a technology innovation that has had more of an impact on enterprise IT than cloud computing and, more specifically, the sub-category of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS).

At the turn of the century, public cloud computing had advanced sufficiently for companies like Amazon Web Services (AWS) to launch, and begin popularizing the IaaS model

Simply put, IaaS is where a big vendor – typically AWS, Microsoft or Google – provides virtualized computing resources over the Internet, instead of organizations running them on-premise. The scale of these services allows companies to essentially outsource things such as storage, compute and database, to a vendor which offers a flexible model where you only pay for what you consume.

This has allowed start-ups like Spotify, Netflix and Uber to scale their services at a staggering rate, but is also transforming traditional enterprises looking to stay up to date in the modern age, and leverage modern technologies such as machine learning.

Here we have a breakdown of the difference between IaaS, SaaS and PaaS, before diving into a detailed comparison of the big three vendors and then offer some case studies of large organizations moving towards the IaaS world.

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