Popular cloud computing services: the IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

A popular type of Cloud service these days is Iaas. It is a means of keeping costs down in the flexible area of hardware needs.  Iaas or Infrastructure as a Service is designed around providing a user with the available hardware to host whatever project needs hosting.

The best way to think about this is you are paying for the use of a network like you would a tax on infrastructure.  One day you may have to use the subway, another day the roads, and then some days you have five trucks and a subway car on the infrastructure.  Infrastructure as a service gives you real or virtual hardware that you can upload your information to.  Your programs or the users of your webpage go through the infrastructure of the Cloud host.  The host gives you the availability of storage and memory that scales according to your needs, but you have to build the project from the ground up to make use of the available infrastructure.

Getting down to basics allows the customer or the company renting out the Cloud service to scale their operations according to their needs.  For some the question may be why go through the extra effort to provide your own platform.  The scale of your operation when you rent out virtual room in the Iaas system is more flexible this way.  While Paas offers more software services to the customer, the open nature of Iaas gives a more established flexibility to create their own services with the hardware rented out.  The provider has the hardware, whatever particular hardware services they are offering, and the customer rents it out to keep costs down.  Any large database needs to be kept in a cool dry environment, and this amongst other things drives costs up especially for a project with variable memory needs.

Many services are virtual server space, network connections, bandwidth, IP addresses and load balancers.  Like Saas and Paas, Iaas is accessed by a client through the internet.  The Cloud in general is essentially an Application or a Web page that accesses the server through the internet and creates available storage for the user. The provider is able to keep their own costs down by letting the customer base make decisions on what type of platform or software to install on their hardware.  In turn, everything works seamlessly together. The hardware of an Iaas provider is often stored in many different facilities, allowing them to provide a product of scale.  Basically they can rent out their hardware to other users and by having a large facility or facilities they are able to keep costs down that are passed on to the customer.

The customer does not have to rent out their own facility this way.  By not having to maintain their own facility they are able to scale their operation according to peak and low traffic times.  For instance a weight loss website might want to rent out from an Iaas or Paas provider to keep costs down during  lulls in business.  But after New Years they might acquire a lot of customers that providing for would be a huge expense the rest of year.

Between Iaas and Paas providers the user has to decide what type of operation needs they have.  For a developer Paas might be the way to go, but for a more established company, or a company that has a product in line for their users a Iaas provider will be able to give them the hardware they might need at a scalable rate meeting their needs as it is needed.  Time, money, efficiency and ease of use are important factors in any business and tuning into the correct providers is the way to go.

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