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Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). The capability provided to the consumer is to provision processing, storage, networks, and other fundamental computing resources where the consumer is able to deploy and run arbitrary software, which can include operating systems and applications. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure but has control over operating systems, storage, deployed applications, and possibly limited control of select networking components (e.g., host firewalls). –NIST Definition of Cloud Computing.  Version 15

On-demand data centers—also known as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)—provide compute power, memory, and storage.  The service provides all the capacity you need, but you’re responsible for monitoring, managing, and patching your on-demand infrastructure.

 Pricing models

  • Usage.  Rates vary based on the actual usage of the resources (storage, compute)
  • Flat Rate.  Pay a one-time flat rate or annual rate for a prescribed configuration. 

Examples:  Rackspace, Amazon EC2

Benefits are the same as the benefits identified in the Cloud Value Proposition.  In addition

  • The resources are elastic.  You can increase or decrease capacity in minutes, provisioning additional resources as needed.
  • You have full access to your systems to administer as needed.
  • IaaS can be architected and provided in a public or private cloud.
  • Reduced environmental impact with optimized use of hardware resources.

Additional Considerations:  Management, Security, Disaster Recovery, Virtualization, Public/Private Cloud Architecture

Virtualization is fundamentally what enables IaaS.  Virtualization uses software to create virtual machines that emulate a physical computer allowing multiple instances to run together on one physical server.  This is what enables the almost instant and automatic elasticity of the IaaS services and optimizes the use of the physical hardware.

Key characteristics

  • Resources delivered as a service including servers, network equipment, memory, CPU, disk space, data center facilities,
  • Dynamic scaling of infrastructure which scales up and down based on application resource needs
  • Variable cost service using fixed prices per resource component
  • Multiple tenants typically coexist on the same infrastructure resources
  • Enterprise grade infrastructure allows mid-size companies to benefit from the aggregate compute resource pools

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