IaaS - computing
Cloud computing is the on demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage and computing power, without direct active management by the user. The term is generally used to describe data centers available to many users over the Internet. Large clouds, predominant today, often have functions distributed over multiple locations from central servers. If the connection to the user is relatively close, it may be designated an edge server.
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) are online services that provide high-level APIs used to dereference various low-level details of underlying network infrastructure like physical computing resources, location, data partitioning, scaling, security, backup etc. A hypervisor, such as Xen, Oracle VirtualBox, Oracle VM, KVM, VMware ESX/ESXi, or Hyper-V, LXD, runs the virtual machines as guests. Pools of hypervisors within the cloud operational system can support large numbers of virtual machines and the ability to scale services up and down according to customers' varying requirements.
Typically IaaS involve the use of a cloud orchestration technology like Open Stack, Apache Cloudstack or Open Nebula. This manages the creation of a virtual machine and decides on which hypervisor (i.e. physical host) to start it, enables VM migration features between hosts, allocates storage volumes and attaches them to VMs, usage information for billing and lots more.
An alternative to hypervisors are Linux containers, which run in isolated partitions of a single Linux kernel running directly on the physical hardware. Linux cgroups and namespaces are the underlying Linux kernel technologies used to isolate, secure and manage the containers. Containerisation offers higher performance than virtualization, because there is no hypervisor overhead. Also, container capacity auto-scales dynamically with computing load, which eliminates the problem of over-provisioning and enables usage-based billing.
IaaS clouds often offer additional resources such as a virtual-machine disk-image library, raw block storage, file or object storage, firewalls, load balancers, IP addresses, virtual local area networks (VLANs), and software bundles.
The NIST's definition of cloud computing defines Infrastructure as a Service as:
- 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, and deployed applications; and possibly limited control of select networking components (e.g., host firewalls).
According to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the most basic cloud-service model is that of providers offering IT infrastructure — virtual machines and other resources — as a service to subscribers.
IaaS-cloud providers supply these resources on-demand from their large pools of equipment installed in data centers. For wide-area connectivity, customers can use either the Internet or carrier clouds (dedicated virtual private networks). To deploy their applications, cloud users install operating-system images and their application software on the cloud infrastructure. In this model, the cloud user patches and maintains the operating systems and the application software. Cloud providers typically bill IaaS services on a utility computing basis: cost reflects the amount of resources allocated and consumed.
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Cloud Computing Basics
Whether you are running applications that share photos to millions of mobile users or you’re supporting the critical operations of your business, a cloud services platform provides rapid access to flexible and low cost IT resources. With cloud computing, you don’t need to make large upfront investments in hardware and spend a lot of time on the heavy lifting of managing that hardware. Instead, you can provision exactly the right type and size of computing resources you need to power your newest bright idea or operate your IT department. You can access as many resources as you need, almost instantly, and only pay for what you use.
How Does Cloud Computing Work?
Cloud computing provides a simple way to access servers, storage, databases and a broad set of application services over the Internet. A Cloud services platform such as Amazon Web Services owns and maintains the network-connected hardware required for these application services, while you provision and use what you need via a web application.
Six Advantages and Benefits of Cloud Computing
Trade capital expense for variable expense
Instead of having to invest heavily in data centers and servers before you know how you’re going to use them, you can only pay when you consume computing resources, and only pay for how much you consume.
Benefit from massive economies of scale
By using cloud computing, you can achieve a lower variable cost than you can get on your own. Because usage from hundreds of thousands of customers are aggregated in the cloud, providers can achieve higher economies of scale which translates into lower pay as you go prices.
Stop guessing capacity
Eliminate guessing on your infrastructure capacity needs. When you make a capacity decision prior to deploying an application, you often either end up sitting on expensive idle resources or dealing with limited capacity. With cloud computing, these problems go away. You can access as much or as little as you need, and scale up and down as required with only a few minutes notice.
Increase speed and agility
In a cloud computing environment, new IT resources are only ever a click away, which means you reduce the time it takes to make those resources available to your developers from weeks to just minutes. This results in a dramatic increase in agility for the organization, since the cost and time it takes to experiment and develop is significantly lower.
Stop spending money on running and maintaining data centers
Focus on projects that differentiate your business, not the infrastructure. Cloud computing lets you focus on your own customers, rather than on the heavy lifting of racking, stacking and powering servers.
Go global in minutes
Easily deploy your application in multiple regions around the world with just a few clicks. This means you can provide a lower latency and better experience for your customers simply and at minimal cost.
Types of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing has three main types that are commonly referred to as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). Selecting the right type of cloud computing for your needs can help you strike the right balance of control and the avoidance of undifferentiated heavy lifting.