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Infrastructure as a Service

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) is one of the three models of service delivery within cloud computing solutions next to SaaS (Software as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service).      


IaaS services users have the technical expertise to drive operating systems and applications but do not want to buy hardware - servers, storage disk or network devices and space for physical data center. Service providers deliver the services on the multitenancy basis. Users will utilize virtual machines to suit their needs, install their own operating systems and applications on virtual machines.  


The most frequently cited features of IaaS services in this model include:      

- Flexibility that allows for adding and removing cloud instances for scaling the environment up and down;      

- Firewalls can base on the host for each cloud instance and/or it may be web firewall restricting clients’ access to their servers in the cloud;       

- Multi-tenancy as cloud servers are hosted on shared infrastructure, which means that one company’s cloud coincides with another company's cloud at service provider’s equipment. Although it is the provider who owns the entire infrastructure, it is the IaaS customer who is responsible for his applications;      

- The network is provided in the TCP/IP layer on the basis of a simple network between client’s cloud servers and the Internet through the client’s access point;      

- Segmentation and isolation. While resources are derived from the shared source and users of the cloud are based on the same infrastructures, there are different levels of segmentation to isolate one user from another;      

- The service provider charges only for the resources used;      

- Servers called cloud instances are delivered to the client as virtual machines;      

- Virtual machine is a server or workstation with operating system and applications that the user views as physical hardware;         

- Infrastructure as a service is offered in the public cloud, built as a private cloud or as a hosted private cloud.           


The IaaS services from a public cloud provider can be used by everyone who has access to the Internet. IaaS from an external service is used by individuals or organizations that do not want to incur expenditures on the acquisition of equipment and other costs conditioning the proper performance of new infrastructure. In contrast to the hosted private cloud IaaS, the IaaS interface from the public cloud is open to everyone, and access is limited only by a firewall and the requirement for authentication.           


Enterprises and organizations can build their own private clouds and deliver infrastructure services to their own branches or partnering companies. Building such a structure requires virtualization software, to run a hypervisor. When the virtualization or hypervisor layer is ready, the cloud software is required to ensure provide cloud characteristics such as on-demand availability and flexibility.            


A hosted private cloud is an offer for an organization or firm to use dedicated resources, which are not hosted in the organization’s data center but rather at an external provider’s data center. This gives the user the benefits of internal clouds, with no initial costs.           


Both, the public and private cloud requires the use of a management platform. Cloud management is about adding services, automation, and the private and public cloud servers administration.