What is Infrastructure as a Service?
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a cloud computing model that provides virtualised computing resources over the internet. In an IaaS environment, users can rent or lease virtualised hardware resources, such as virtual machines, storage, and networking components, rather than investing in and maintaining physical infrastructure.
Key features of IaaS
IaaS relies on virtualisation technologies to create virtual instances of computing resources. Virtual machines (VMs) are a common example, allowing users to run multiple operating systems on a single physical server.
Users can scale their infrastructure up or down based on their requirements. This flexibility enables organisations to adapt quickly to changing workloads and demands.
IaaS platforms typically offer self-service interfaces or APIs that allow users to provision and manage resources independently. This reduces the need for manual intervention and speeds up the deployment process.
IaaS providers often follow a pay-as-you-go or a subscription-based pricing model. Users pay for the resources they consume, providing cost efficiency and eliminating the need for large upfront investments.
IaaS solutions include networking capabilities, allowing users to configure and manage network components, such as firewalls, load balancers, and virtual private networks (VPNs).
IaaS platforms offer various storage options, including block storage and object storage, to meet diverse storage needs. Users can store and retrieve data as required.
While IaaS provides the foundational infrastructure, users are responsible for managing the operating systems, applications, and higher-level components. Some IaaS providers offer additional managed services to simplify certain tasks.
Examples of well-known IaaS providers include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Organisations leverage IaaS to build and deploy applications, host websites, store data, and manage computing resources without the complexity of maintaining physical hardware.
IaaS is part of the broader cloud computing service models, which also include Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).
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