Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Cloud infrastructure services, known as “Infrastructure as a Service” (IaaS), deliver computer infrastructure, storage, and networking. Infrastructure as a Service refers to a combination of hosting, hardware, provisioning, and the basic services needed to run a cloud. Using IaaS, an organization can outsource the equipment used to support operations, including storage, hardware, servers, and networking components. Service providers, including providers of platforms like Apprenda and many traditional IT vendors, own the equipment and are responsible for its housing, running, and maintenance. Instead of having to purchase software, servers, or network equipment, users can buy these as a fully outsourced service. Basically, in exchange for a fee, a third-party provider allows clients to install a virtual server on their IT infrastructure. Costs are typically determined using a utility billing model, so clients pay only for what they use.

IaaS Software and IaaS Services

With Infrastructure as a Service, users gain an infrastructure on top of which they can install any required platforms. IaaS services provide a cost-effective and flexible solution, allowing businesses to minimize their use of internal IT resources. Application integration tools, made available using the self-service model, can be configured, deployed and managed from a web browser or similar interface without requiring the on-premises installation of software or hardware. Companies that have multiple organizations can use the multi-tenant approach to isolate respective business units while maintaining their control of the system.

Organizations that opt to use IaaS often have considerable in-house IT skills. IaaS software clients select basic software servers for their part of the cloud, load their libraries, applications, and data, and then configure them themselves. Vendors manage virtualization, servers, hard drives, storage, and networking, while IaaS users maintain the management of applications, data, runtime, middleware, and O/S. Virtualization allows IaaS providers to offer nearly unlimited instances of servers to clients and to increase the cost-effectiveness of hosting hardware. Using IaaS software, organizations can rapidly build new versions of environments or applications without the need to order and configure new hardware. Many organizations also use IaaS to host their websites; providers take charge of keeping the site available and monitoring traffic, while the IaaS services allow clients to prevent the website from draining the IT resources of their internal infrastructure.