Cloud infrastructure is a type of in-memory, computing system that contains all of the hardware and software components needed to run the cloud computing model through one virtualized environment. Included in the components of the cloud infrastructure are the servers, storage, memory, firewalls, networking, and virtualization software.
The cloud infrastructure virtualizes all of these resource components through the service provider or IT department and then makes them available to end users through logical means.
The cloud infrastructure is present in all three of the models making up the layers of the cloud computing stack:
• Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
• Platform as a service (PaaS)
• And software as a service (SaaS)
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is the first layer of the computing stack, Platform as a service (PaaS) is the middle layer, and Software as a Service (SaaS) is the top layer.
Typically, businesses use cloud infrastructure services to run their software applications more effectively and efficiently which in the end saves time and money.
Biggest benefits of computing through cloud infrastructure:
- Cost flexibility: Cloud infrastructures allow businesses to cut costs by only commissioning and paying for the server and infrastructure capacity that their business needs. Traditional computing methods require businesses to buy enough capacity for peak business times forcing the extra capacity sit unused during slower periods.
- Scalability: Businesses with fluctuating needs can easily scale up or down the amount of cloud capacity they need because flexibility is inherent to the service. This gives businesses that use cloud infrastructures a sharp edge over competitors.
- Up-to-date Software: Using SaaS services allows customers to obtain the very latest versions of their software solutions as soon as they are released, up to the very minute. This is a sharp contrast to purchased software that takes much longer to roll out. Having up to date software features and functionalities allows businesses to stay productive and get more bang for their buck through their IT budget.
- Disaster Recovery: Cloud-based backup and recovery solutions allow businesses to get back on track faster in the wake of unforeseen disasters. Cloud infrastructures allow businesses to have peace of mind knowing that their information is always stored in a safe place.
- Mobility: The cloud infrastructure makes data and applications available to businesses no matter where they are in the world. Employees can easily work anywhere, whether they are working from home on their laptop, on a tablet visiting customers, or on a smart phone in the subway.
- Effective Collaboration: Applications within the cloud allow employees to meet virtually and easily collaborate on projects or share information in real time through shared storage. This improves productivity, product development, customer service, and ultimately allows businesses to stay competitive.