Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Platform as a Service: Expert advice for selecting a PaaS vendor
Contributor(s): Michelle Boisvert

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a form of cloud computing that provides virtualized computing resources over the Internet.  IaaS is one of three main categories of cloud computing services, alongside Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS).

In an IaaS model, a third-party provider hosts hardware, software, servers, storage and other infrastructure components on behalf of its users. IaaS providers also host users' applications and handle tasks including system maintenance, backup and resiliency planning. 

IaaS platforms offer highly scalable resources that can be adjusted on-demand. This makes IaaS well-suited for workloads that are temporary, experimental or change unexpectedly.

Other characteristics of IaaS environments include the automation of administrative tasks, dynamic scaling, desktop virtualization and policy-based services.

IaaS customers pay on a per-use basis, typically by the hour, week or month. Some providers also charge customers based on the amount of virtual machine space they use. This pay-as-you-go model eliminates the capital expense of deploying in-house hardware and software. However, users should monitor their IaaS environments closely to avoid being charged for unauthorized services.

Because IaaS providers own the infrastructure, systems management and monitoring may become more difficult for users. Also, if an IaaS provider experiences downtime, users' workloads may be affected.

For example, if a business is developing a new software product, it might be more cost-effective to host and test the application through an IaaS provider. Once the new software is tested and refined, it can be removed from the IaaS environment for a more traditional in-house deployment or to save money or free the resources for other projects.

Leading IaaS providers include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Windows Azure, Google Compute Engine, Rackspace Open Cloud, and IBM SmartCloud Enterprise.

This was last updated in January 2015

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I need to know that what are the key areas where infrastructure as a service plays a major role
If you need well configuration machine to develop highly configured game. then you only need to have high speed internet and you can use AWS EC2 to get well configured window server.
awesome definitions for alltrems
thank u
where did the definition go? I read it yesterday, but now when I goto this page I can only see the comments regardless of how I navigate to this page.......

either way it was a great definition while it lasted.
ussopking - I'm able to see the definition; what browser are you using? You might try refreshing the page to see if that fixes the issue.
Too early for comment - registering in order to access the articles. Will let "you" know what I think - once I have read them. But - the overall content looks informative.
how is iaas is usefull for company business and what is there objective and limitations
baljit singh
Wouldn't it be easier and to take all of these 'aaS' acronyms and just call them 'aaSS', meaning "as a Service System". I have seen a lot of people in the IOT community using 'aaSS' instead of detailing every acronym; IaaS, HaaS, SaaS, EaaS (emulation). Since all of this is fairly new everyone is trying to coin a phrase, but aaSS is the one that makes the most sense across the board.
What is IaaS in cloud computing ?
Which IaaS provider do you use most? A) Amazon Web Services B) Microsoft Azure C) Google Compute Engine D) Other (specify):
Amazon Web Services
Although we use multiple IaaS providers, our largest is AWS.
AWS and Digital Ocean. Want to experiment with Azure more in 2016.
Our business was utilizing the AWS system for a long time. The problem was we didn't have the IT to support the need requirements for managing it.

Instead of hiring more IT staff to handle the work load, we ended up finding the company Wowrack to fully manage them. They are a IaaS company from Seattle. Because of them we were able to let go of one of our IT people we didn't like working with but needed. This gave us a bigger budget we now spend with Wowrack expanding our platform support.
If you don't mind me asking, what type of organization do you work for?

I would like to know, dynamic bandwidth allocation is related to which one of the 3 main categories of cloud?

How IAAS is implemented in Amazon Web services?
with the help of EC2
 Two essential components of cloud laaS?


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