Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is one of the most popular aspects of cloud computing, and it is fundamentally thought to be one of the main stacks or layers of cloud along with Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). In a cloud computing pyramid, IaaS is at the bottom because the set of services that come with IaaS relate to providing instant computing infrastructure over the Internet without any physical data centers.
In essence, IaaS provides tenants with the ability to create, manage, and use infrastructure elements via programming. Through this programming, tenants can build robust firewalls, secure virtual servers, and improve network security. IaaS allows you to either build PaaS and SaaS over the developed infrastructure or you could purchase PaaS and SaaS from cloud providers. IaaS is particularly useful for emerging businesses that seek to cut costs wherever possible.
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The best part about cloud computing and IaaS is its scalability provision. You can scale up your computing power as required in real-time without affecting the performance of the applications being run. This dynamic scaling model ensures that resources are provisioned to the tenant as and when required, and you are not subject to the data and resource limits of physical data centers. As you scale up and down, the price you pay for the services is automatically adjusted.
Testing and development
One of the biggest uses of IaaS is as a testing and development environment where new applications can be written, developed, and tested out in the cloud. Development and testing are much faster and economical on IaaS as you do not need to install physical infrastructure. You can scale as required and understand the performance aspects of development instead of trying to stay within a certain bandwidth of resources.
Nearly every IaaS model is a pay-as-you-go model that allows you to pay by the hour, day or week. In addition, you only pay for what you use and nothing more. This eliminates the need to deploy in-house hardware for infrastructure, but users do not have much control over systems monitoring and management. If the user is on the public cloud and the IaaS provider experiences downtime, everyone in the cloud will experience downtime. However, this is very rare and IaaS has no single point of failure due to the multitude of software resources at hand.