Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in Cloud Computing

In this article, I am going to discuss Infrastructure as a Service which is also called IaaS in Cloud Computing. Please read our previous article where we discussed the differences between Public, Private and Hybrid Clouds in Cloud Computing. At the end of this article, you will understand what is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in Cloud Computing. Who uses this service and the advantages it provides?

Different Types of Services in Cloud Computing

Most of the Cloud Computing Service Providers, nowadays, provides the following three types of services as shown in the below image. That means, most of the cloud providers provide Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (also called SaaS). In this article, we are only going to keep the focus on the Infrastructure as a Service which is also called IaaS in detail.

Different Types of Services in Cloud Computing

As day by day, the demand of cloud computing services increases rapidly, in addition to the above 3 cloud computing services, now the cloud service providers also provide Containers as a Service (CaaS) and Functions as a Services (FaaS) which is also called as Serverless Computing as shown in the below image.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in Cloud Computing

How we manage an on-premise data center or server?

Let us understand how we are managing the infrastructure i.e. on-premise data center if we are not using the cloud services. Without cloud services, we need to manage everything on-premise. That is the organization is only responsible to do everything or manage everything. Some of them are as follows:

  1. The organization is responsible for procuring the physical servers, storage, and the related hardware.
  2. Also, responsible to Install the necessary software and set up the network
  3. The organization is also responsible to set up the server room as well as the data center if required
  4. Again, the organization’s responsibility to Make sure there is a proper power supply, back-up power supply, as well as the cooling system, etc. are in place up and running.
  5. They also need to Install as well as configure the virtualization software, the operating system, any other software or components required for your software development or to run the application.

So, the point that you need to understand is, without the cloud, your organization is only responsible for managing everything. For better understanding, please have a look at the below image.

How we manage an on-premise data center or server?

Now let us proceed and understand what Infrastructure as a Service and what exactly it provides?

What is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in Cloud Computing?

With Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), the Cloud Service Providers such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, etc while providing the IT infrastructure to you or your organization on a rent or lease basis. For better understanding, please have a look at the following image.

What is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in Cloud Computing?

As you can see in the above image, with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), the cloud service provider will provide the required IT Infrastructure to you or your organization over either on an internet connection or through a virtual private network as per your or your organizations business need.

In our upcoming articles, we will discuss virtual private networks in detail. For now, you just think it as a dedicated and secure and private network between the cloud service provider and you or your organization. 

So, the point that you need to understand is, with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), there is no need for you or your organization to procure and manage the IT Infrastructure. It is the responsibility of the cloud service provider to manage everything.

  1. The Cloud Service Provider is responsible for procuring the physical servers, storage, and related hardware.
  2. Also, responsible to Install the necessary software and set up the network
  3. The Cloud Service Provider is also responsible to set up the server room as well as the data center if required
  4. Again, Cloud Service Provider is responsible to Make sure there is a proper power supply, back-up power supply, as well as the cooling system, etc. are in place up and running.
  5. The cloud service provider is also responsible for setting up, securing, and managing the cloud data center.

So, in simple terms, the cloud service provider hosts the infrastructure at their data center. You as a client, you need to decide whether you want the IT Infrastructure on-demand over the internet or through a virtual private network

Note: The networking, storage, servers, and virtualization are generally managed by the cloud service provider. The OS, Runtime, Data, and Application are still managed by you if you want. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is also known as hardware as a service (HaaS).

That means you have better control and you can install any operating system as per your requirement. So, you can use this infrastructure as a service (IaaS) for anything you want such as computational or storage needs, to host and run your web application. You can also use IaaS for your storage needs such as install SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle, etc. to store your business data.

Who uses Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)?

In most organizations, it is the Infrastructure team that procures servers, and computers. Install the software and provide systems to employees. Set up and manage networks. So in most cases, it is usually your infrastructure team that uses Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Sometimes, even software development teams use this service if they want to have enhanced control over the underlying hardware and network.

Advantages of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Reduced financial risk

There is a reduced financial risk for organizations. Let’s say, you want to try something new (maybe you are launching a new business or a new product to the market), and to do so, you create a software application. Then you need to host and run this application and for this, you need a server. To set up a server, you required all the related infrastructure (software plus hardware) and workforce to set up and maintain the server. Now think one worst scenario, the new product, or the new business you launch or experiment fails. You already have spent huge money to purchase the server and its related infrastructure. That means it’s a huge loss for you.

With Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), you need to pay as long as you use the cloud infrastructure where you host your application and run it from there. If the new product you launch or the new business you start succeeds, then it well and fine. On the other hand, if the new product or business doesn’t succeed, then you just shut things down and you no longer pay. This encourages businesses to try new things, experiment, and innovate more.

Improve Deployment Speed

As we already discussed to set up a server, we need several things such as Procure physical servers, storage, and related infrastructure. Then Create a server room or data center and secure it. Again, we also need to have the proper power supply, backup power as well as cooling systems, etc, for the server to up and running. You also need to set up and configure the network. That means you need to do so many things in order to host and run your application. It takes a considerable amount of time to have all these in place. Probably days, sometimes even months in worst-case scenarios.

On the other hand, if you are using, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), everything is managed by the cloud service provider. You just need an internet browser and connect with any cloud service provider web portal, and with a few clicks in just a few minutes you have one or many virtual machines procured. So, you can see the speed with which we can procure and start using cloud infrastructure. So, you really get time to focus on what matters to your business.

Provision resources from geographically closer locations

Cloud service providers, for example, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google have data centers all over the world. This means, with the Infrastructure as a Service, you have the option of provisioning the servers from geographic locations close to your customers.

Unlimited scalability

You almost will never run out of resources in a public cloud. It provides near-unlimited scalability. You can set threshold limits to automatically scale up and down depending on the demand.

In the next article, I am going to discuss Platform as a Service also called PaaS in detail. Here, in this article, I try to explain Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in Cloud Computing. I hope now you understand the need and use of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in Cloud Computing. 

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