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Technical Insight: Infrastructure-as-a-Service – Who Does What for Whom? (Part 2)

Published September 14th, 2021. Part 2 of "Evaluating Infrastructure-as-a-Service" series. This Technical Insight covers the shared responsibility model of IaaS. Download this free Technical Insight now!

This is Part Two of the “Evaluating Infratructure-as-a-Service” series. To view the rest of the documents in this series, click here.

The Shared Responsibility Model in On-premises Infrastructure Delivered as-a-Service

When data center infrastructure is purchased, users have an in-grained understanding, gained over decades of experience, of their responsibilities with regard to the infrastructure purchased and what their vendors are responsible for. These responsibilities are typically defined in purchase, maintenance and support agreements.

Premises Infrastructure as-a-Service agreements reshuffle these responsibilities. Performance of periodic updates and patch application typically shifts from the user to the vendor, for example. In the case of fully managed services offerings such as Hitachi’s EverFlex Storage as a Service or Kyndryl’s Private Cloud Infrastructure as-a-Service, the vendor may also be responsible for performing a list of operational tasks normally the responsibility of the user under a purchase scenario.

We believe that it is critical for users to clearly understand these responsibility shifts before they sign contracts. For this reason, we offer an analysis of a Shared Responsibility Model in on-premises Infrastructure as-a-Service offerings.

The Shared Responsibility Model

All vendors of on-premises IaaS offerings have a shared responsibility model – whether or not they call it out as such. They know what they are responsible for and what they expect or require users of their services to be responsible for. Those requirements may be expressed in some sort of graphic such as Figure 1 by AWS for Outposts users. Or they may be expressed verbally in a number of different forms such as FAQs, product briefs and contracts.

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