IaaS Architecture

IaaS architecture is the structural design of a computing network that enables the delivery of computing resources as a service via the cloud. Physical resources such as processing capacity and data storage are examples of common components that may be incorporated into a cloud computing environment, under the IaaS (infrastructure as a service) model of IT resource delivery.

As with traditional computing network design, IaaS architecture aims to achieve optimal levels of efficiency, in the delivery of computing services to end users. This requires an architectural design that provides a highly available pool of cloud based IT resources and which also adequately delivers its resources in an elastic or scalable manner, especially during times of peak demand.

Since cloud computing services are delivered to consumers in a manner similar to a utility (e.g. water or electric services), organizations that provide IaaS via the cloud need to develop and implement an IaaS architecture that successfully optimizes the use of its physical computing resources, in order to maximize cost savings and/or revenue for the organization.

IaaS Architecture Considerations

As with SaaS (software as a service) and PaaS (platform as a service) solutions, the architectural design of an IaaS solution is impacted by the specific business requirements and goals of each organization that delivers its IT resources via the cloud. For example, a private enterprise typically requires a different IaaS architecture than what is required by an IaaS vendor whose service offerings are primarily driven by revenue concerns.

Nevertheless, within the IaaS landscape lies an opportunity that many enterprise private cloud IaaS managers are frequently unaware of, which is the ability for a private enterprise to monetize its IaaS offerings on a spot market, thereby providing a secondary revenue stream that can offset the normal operational costs of delivering IT services within an enterprise. Innovative companies are already capitalizing on this facet of IaaS.

Monetization of IaaS enterprise private cloud resources may be facilitated through cloud computing clearinghouses who serve as intermediaries or brokers for trading cloud computing resources between buyers (consumers) and sellers (cloud services providers).

In the final analysis, an organization needs to carefully consider its current and future IT strategy, to ensure that the design of its IaaS architecture can be scaled to meet present organizational needs, while retaining the capacity to capitalize on an ever-evolving model of IT service delivery in the cloud.

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