Infrastructure as a service, or IaaS, is managed computing infrastructure that is offered on demand such that computing can be quickly scaled up and down. This is the basis for cloud computing. Infrastructure as a service typically includes technologies for using many compute instances to provide a single service. It is often charged on a utility model whereby customers pay for what they use. This can be compared with the traditional upfront capital investment required to build data centers and install your own computing equipment. The following are illustrative examples of infrastructure as a service.
Computing instances that can be used to run websites, software as a service, automation and analysis. Instances are often virtual machines that typically support attached storage and networking. Data centers are fully managed by the provider.
FirewallsFirewalls for computing instances. For example, a firm might use a firewall to restrict access to a compute instance such that only its corporate IP addresses can connect.
Auto ScalingThe ability to automatically start and stop instances in response to current demand. For example, a website that automatically adds instances when cpu utilization passes 66% for more than two minutes on an instance.Load balancers to distribute work to instances. For example, software as a service that uses load balancers to distribute traffic to instances. This can be combined with auto scaling to provide a target cpu to user ratio such as a minimum of 1 cpu for every 50 users.
MonitoringCloud infrastructure services may provide monitoring tools that allow automated responses to situations such as a server that appears to be down.
Batch JobsPlatforms for scheduling and managing batch jobs. For example, an ecommerce company might perform inventory management tasks as a daily batch job.
Data StorageComputing instances may have attached storage. It is also common to use a cloud storage service that may be more scalable, sharable and resilient than local storage.Databases including cloud-based SQL and NoSQL databases.
Infrastructure ManagementUser interfaces and APIs for managing computing infrastructure. For example, an API that allows you to back up an instance image automatically.
Identity & Access ManagementTools for managing authentication and authorization.
Keys ManagementTools for managing encryption keys.A service that delivers content and media to users from a data center that is physically close to them. For example, an ecommerce website that delivers its images and web pages from dozens of regional data centers near popular centers to reduce page load times.
MessagingMessaging platforms such as a service for delivering transactional and marketing emails.
IntegrationIntegration tools such as publish and subscribe notifications. For example, an ecommerce site might notify all instances when a new product is added to its product database.
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