Thursday, October 9, 2014

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a form of cloud computing that provides virtualized computing resources over the Internet. IaaS is one of three main categories of cloud computing services, alongside Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS).

In an IaaS model, a third-party provider hosts hardware, software, servers, storage and other infrastructure components on behalf of its users. IaaS providers also host users' applications and handle tasks including system maintenance, backup and resiliency planning. IaaS platforms offer highly scalable resources that can be adjusted on-demand. IaaS customers pay on a per-use basis, typically by the hour, week or month. Some providers also charge customers based on the amount of virtual machine space they use. This pay-as-you-go model eliminates the capital expense of deploying in-house hardware and software. However, users should monitor their IaaS environments closely to avoid being charged for unauthorized services.




The following are salient examples of how IaaS can be utilised by enterprise:

  • Infrastructure designed for Enterprizes; by internal business networks, such as private clouds and virtual local area networks, which utilise pooled server and networking resources and in which a business can store their data and run the applications they need to operate day-to-day. Expanding businesses can scale their infrastructure in accordance with their growth whilst private clouds (accessible only by the business itself) can protect the storage and transfer of the sensitive data that some businesses are required to handle.
  • Cloud hosting (Public/Prive/Hybrid); the hosting of websites on virtual servers which are founded upon pooled resources from underlying physical servers. A website hosted in the cloud, for example, can benefit from the redundancy provided by a vast network of physical servers and on demand scalability to deal with unexpected demands placed on the website.
  • Virtual Data Centers (VDC) independent of locations; a virtualized network of interconnected virtual servers which can be used to offer enhanced cloud hosting capabilities, enterprise IT infrastructure or to integrate all of these operations within either a private or public cloud implementation.
A typical Infrastructure as a Service offering can deliver the following features and benefits:

  • Scalability; resource is available as and when the client needs it and, therefore, there are no delays in expanding capacity or the wastage of unused capacity
  • Zero hardware investment ; the underlying physical hardware that supports an IaaS service is set up and maintained by the cloud provider, saving the time and cost of doing so on the client side
  • Cost based on Utility; the service can be accessed on demand and the client only pays for the resource that they actually use
  • Location Free; the service can usually be accessed from any location as long as there is an internet connection and the security protocol of the cloud allows it
  • Securing locations of data centers; services available through a public cloud, or private clouds hosted externally with the cloud provider, benefit from the physical security afforded to the servers which are hosted within a data centers.

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