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Understanding IaaS in Cloud Computing

8 of 17 in Series: The Essentials of Services in Cloud Computing

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) refers to the renting of computer hardware (servers, networking technology, storage, and data center space) instead of buying and installing it in your own data center. Operating systems and virtualization technology to manage these resources can also be rented for use in a company’s cloud computing environment. More and more companies are looking to defray costs and gain flexibility by leveraging infrastructure that can be used on demand. What does this mean to you and your cloud computing environment?

  • Think about how you’re getting your services.

  • Understand which services include a set of well-defined interfaces and which ones will lock you in to a complex set of services that will be difficult to move away from.

  • Know why you’re using a cloud service. For example, if you need some temporary capacity to test a new application, your requirements will be very different than if you’re creating an application that will operate in a cloud.

In addition to understanding potential cloud gains, get familiar with how your infrastructure service provider handles the following capabilities:

  • Explicitly defines service level agreements for availability, support, and performance (of provisioning more resource)

  • A utility computing billing arrangement, relating cost to actual resource usage in a measured way

  • A virtualization environment that enables the configuration of systems (for compute power, bandwidth, and storage) as well as the creation individual virtual machines (all to be available on an ad hoc basis)

  • A flexible, extensible, resource-rich environment that’s engineered for secure multi-tenancy (multiple users or tenants running the software in a shared environment on its servers)

  • Internet connectivity, including a Web services interface to the customer’s management environment.

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The Essentials of Services in Cloud Computing

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