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All servers and systems
Cloud infrastructure is no different from typical data centre infrastructure except that it’s virtualised and offered as a service to be consumed via the Internet. Servers, storage, compute resources and security are all key components of cloud infrastructure.
The “cloud” consists of front- and back-end platforms and the delivery network that connects them. The front-end platform can be an end-user device – such as a PC, tablet or mobile phone – or it can be a computer network. The back-end platform is the physical infrastructure or software applications being accessed via the delivery network, which is typically the Internet, but in some cases, might be an intranet.
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) forms the foundational layer of cloud-based computing, allowing users to build virtualised IT platforms that scale easily. In this model, third-party-hosted hardware is made available to users for rapid provisioning in a virtualised environment. Users access these resources via a browser-based management console or by API. IaaS services scale to meet demand, and customers pay only for the resources that they use.
Taking infrastructure a step further, platform as a service (PaaS) offerings include a complete development environment that is hosted in the cloud and includes an OS, web server, tools, programming language, database, network, servers, storage and more. The PaaS provider hosts and maintains the system and often builds a solution tailored to the unique needs of the customer. Many providers offer pay-as-you-go and other online pricing models.
The set-up, configuration, monitoring and optimisation of virtual machines and cloud services all fall under the heading of “cloud infrastructure management.” These activities typically happen through a web-based interface.
Cloud infrastructure can be managed much more efficiently than traditional physical infrastructure, which typically requires that individual servers, storage, compute and networking components be procured and assembled to support an application. With cloud infrastructure, DevOps teams can deploy infrastructure programmatically, as part of an application’s code.
Cloud infrastructure is flexible and scalable, making it ideal for enterprise computing. Using technologies such as hyperconverged or composable infrastructure, you can turn your on-premises data centre into cloud-like infrastructure that can be integrated into a multicloud system and managed from a single dashboard.