IMPROVING UTILIZATION OF INFRASTRUCTURE CLOUDS: UNDERSTANDING INFRASTRUCTURES

Posted by Kathryn Schwartz on December 11, 2013
Infrastructure

UNDERSTANDING INFRASTRUCTURES

Infrastructure as a Service is a form of hosting. It includes network access, routing services and storage. The IaaS provider will generally provide the hardware and administrative services needed to store applications and a platform for running applications. Scaling of bandwidth, memory and storage are generally included, and vendors compete on the performance and pricing offered on their dynamic services.

The service provider owns the equipment and is responsible for housing, running and maintaining it. IaaS can be purchased with either a contract or on a pay-as-you-go basis. However, most buyers consider the key benefit of IaaS to be the flexibility of the pricing, since you should only need to pay for the resources that your application delivery requires. IaaS provides an environment for running user built virtualized systems in the cloud. Figure 3 illustrates how a virtual machine is built for an IaaS environment, uploaded to the environment, configured, and then deployed within the environment.

Using this technique virtual machines are created on premise and loaded with all the software that will eventually run in the cloud. This includes custom built software as well as licensed software. After the virtual machine is built it is uploaded to the IaaS vendor’s hosting environment where it can be configured to use the IaaS vendor’s raw storage. Once configured, the virtual machine can be deployed and started via some form of automation which automatically finds available hardware to run the virtual machine. Once the virtual machine is started the IaaS vendor can ensure that the running virtual machine continues to look healthy as a whole. The computers needed to run the application and the raw storage that is needed by the application are owned and supported by the IaaS vendor. It is the responsibility of the customer to monitor all the custom built software and licensed software to insure that they are operating properly. IaaSis an option that is very flexible and is the best choice for moving applications to the cloud when there is no time to rework the application’s code for a cloud environment.

IaaS provider and Consumer

The key roles in a cloud environment include the service consumer and the service provider.

The cloud service consumer needs a secure anytime anywhere access to low cost services that are flexible and easy to use. The biggest hurdle to adoption of cloud has to do with consumers discomfort in the following areas: security of service and the underlying data, service availability and reliability, service management to ensure service level agreements, ensuring control over access and policies, and the appropriate administration to facilitate flexible pricing structures . The service provider actually runs the service that the service.

Consumer’s view on IaaS

* Enable users to access applications from anywhere
* A modular system, which is flexible, scalable, virtualized and automated.
* Resilient and always available
* Enable to put applications and data on platform provisioning & maintenance by provider
* Own the hardware & nuances about provisioning & maintaining the OS & hygiene facts like space and power etc

Provider’s view on IaaS

* Provide virtual infrastructure (server, storage and Network virtualization).
* Responsible for provisioning of space, power & cooling.
* Deploy web based applications to easily provision infrastructure for customer on demand.
* Responsible to provide load balancing services.
* Eases the process of cloning apps on additional infrastructure instances.
* Service level agreements with customers on “availability of infrastructure services”
* In a dense, shared, and pooled environment, the security of CPUs, data, and network is paramount.
* Account Management & Provisioning.

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