Infrastructure as a Service or IaaS is one of the service models of cloud computing. It is the least expensive and most basic model. In IaaS, the cloud vendors provide us some resources in a virtualized form.
The IaaS includes four resources of cloud computing; Network, Storage, Server, and Virtualization. If you have no idea what are cloud computing resources or what cloud computing is, check our article on cloud computing.
Read: What is Cloud Computing?
What is IaaS in cloud computing?
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in cloud computing is similar to a rental car service. For instance, you rent a car, drive it yourself, fill gas in it, and responsible for any damage. So, the vehicle is the Infrastructure rented to you for your usage. Above all, you will be charged only for the period you have used that car.
Likewise, in Infrastructure as a Service(IaaS), you are given a virtual machine with remote access through the Internet. It is precisely like remotely accessing another PC from your own. In short, the service providers have a PC, and they will allow you to use it through Internet.
Furthermore, you have the option to choose your operating system, a storage medium(HDD/SSD) and its capacity, Memory(RAM) capacity, processor capacity, etc. These things are termed as Infrastructure in cloud computing, and you will be billed according to their usage.
Popular IaaS Examples
Amazon AWS EC2
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud or EC2 is an IaaS platform in Amazon AWS. It offers virtual machines to users. In AWS, these machines are called instances. You can choose instances according to your needs and will be charged on a per-second basis.
Instances can have different configurations and are categorized according to them. For example, AWS offers these categories of instances:
- Storage optimized
- Accelerated computing
These instances are highly scalable. Users can easily create, launch and terminate an Instance as required. Moreover, one user can create multiple Instances of different configurations. But, these instances stay isolated from each other.
Azure Virtual Machine IaaS
Azure Virtual Machines are an IaaS offering by Microsoft. These work the same as AWS Instances; however, Microsoft calls it Azure Virtual Machine.
Microsoft Azure offers virtual machines with different configurations, but its limitation is that it doesn’t support MAC OS. As a result, you cannot install MAC OS in your Azure Virtual Machine. Meanwhile, AWS EC2 provides instances of MAC OS. So, MAC lovers, choose Amazon.
Azure VMs are limited to Windows and Linux Platforms. Azure has four categories of Virtual Machines:
- Burstable VMs
- High performance compute
Google Compute Engine
Google Compute Engine is an IaaS offering by Google itself. It is the cheapest IaaS Platform in the market. However, Google also doesn’t support MAC OS Instance. It supports Windows, Linux, SQL Server, CentOS, Debian, etc.
Google Offers Predefined machine types, Custom machine types, and preemptive machines(short-term instances). It has various categories of Virtual Machines or Instances:
- Shared core
Advantages of Infrastructure as a Service(IaaS)
Cost-Effective – IaaS providers are giving very cost-effective packages. For Instance, they charge for per second, hour, or milliseconds basis, so you only pay for what you use.
No hardware cost – We use virtual machines through the Internet. Therefore, there is no need to buy a new PC or performance-enhancing hardware.
No maintenance – No extra hardware, so no maintenance and upgrades. Your service provider handles all these issues at his server site.
Quick implementation – You can set the virtual machine of your choice in minutes and start developing applications quickly. As a result, It reduces the time of application development significantly.
Easy collaboration with the team – As the whole process is online, your team can easily collaborate on any project through the Internet.
Scalability and flexibility – IaaS are highly scalable. So, you can easily upscale or downscale your Instance as needed. You can upgrade to new instances according to your needs.
Multiple server support – Even if one of the cloud servers fails, your instance or virtual machine will not stop. Because multiple servers stores a copy of your Instance, restoration becomes easy in case of a failure.
Disadvantages of Infrastructure as a Service(IaaS)
Security – In IaaS, the whole application and servers are managed by your service provider. It can result in the leaking of highly confidential data.
It is always advised to take services from reputed organizations like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft.
Vendor Migration is complex – You will face a hard time migrating from one vendor to another due to their platform-specific applications. Therefore, before migrating, you have to get familiar with the new vendor’s applications.
Everything depends on an Internet connection – If your internet connection is down, then there is no way for you to manage your application or data.
In this fast-paced world, IaaS services are your savior. You are free to choose the platform for your machine. There is no need to buy a whole new PC or install a new partition for the new OS.
IaaS opens up many doors for you. The disadvantages mentioned above are situational; however, the advantages are way more rewarding. In conclusion, if you plan to use IaaS, then don’t hesitate, create a free account and try it.
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