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What is Cloud Infrastructure | Types of Cloud infrastructure

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Cloud infrastructure is a combination of hardware such as servers, storage, network, and software components such as virtualization software that is needed to support the computing requirements of a cloud computing model. The cloud computing industry is one of the fastest-growing IT industries in the world. AWS, Azure, and GCP are significant players in the cloud community.

In cloud computing, virtualized resources are hosted by the service provider and are delivered to users over a network or the internet.

What is Cloud Infrastructure

Cloud infrastructure is a term used to define the elements needed for cloud computing, which includes hardware, abstracted resources, storage, and network resources. Think of cloud infrastructure as the tools required to create a cloud. To host the services and applications in the cloud, you need cloud infrastructure.

Cloud Infrastructure resources include virtual machines and components, such as servers, memory, network switches, firewalls, load balancers, and storage.

Cloud infrastructure is the term used to describe the complete cloud computing system, once all the pieces are put together. In the same way that any “IT infrastructure” is a singular term used to describe the multiple technologies that together serve as the foundation for a company’s various computer systems.

Cloud infrastructure generally is categorized into three elements that all collaborate to create a cloud service:

1. Computing: Server racks deliver the computing portion of the infrastructure to provide cloud services for various services and partners.

2. Networking: We can transfer the data externally as well as between computer and storage systems; this part of the infrastructure relies on the routers and switches.

3. Storage: A cloud infrastructure will likely need a considerable storage, often using the combination of hard disks and flash storage.

Cloud Infrastructure Components

Major public cloud providers, such as an Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google Cloud Platform, offer services based on shared, multi-tenant servers. This model requires massive compute capacity to handle both unpredictable changes in user demand and to balance need across fewer servers optimally.

As a result, cloud infrastructure consists of high-density systems with shared power.

See the following major cloud infrastructure components.

  1. Virtual servers
  2. Virtual PCs
  3. Virtual network switches/hubs/routers
  4. Virtual memory
  5. Virtual storage clusters

Virtual Servers

virtual server is the server that shares hardware and software resources with other operating systems (OS) versus dedicated servers. Virtual servers are cost-effective and provide faster resource control; that is why they are popular in Web hosting environments.

Virtual PCs

Virtual PC is a Microsoft virtualization solution that facilitates the creation and installation of the virtual machines (VM) on Windows 7 and following operating systems (OS). It allows the execution of a legacy or earlier OS on a VM on supported systems.

Virtual Network routers

A Virtual Router, or vRouter, is a software function that replicates in software the functionality of a hardware-based Layer 3 Internet Protocol (IP) routing, which has traditionally used a dedicated hardware device. The vRouter is often used as a generic term for virtual routing, but it is also introduced in the name of several brand-name commercial products.

Virtual Memory

Virtual memory is a memory management ability of an operating system (OS) that uses hardware and software to allow the computer to remunerate for physical memory shortages by momentarily transferring data from random access memory (RAM) to disk storage.

Virtual Storage Cluster

Virtual storage extends the storage capacity of the individual computer and allows multiple clients to share storage space. Storing and sharing accessible data offsite can increase potency and save on overall cost for storage.

Types of Cloud Infrastructure

Cloud infrastructure is offered in three methods: private cloud, public cloud, and hybrid cloud. Each cloud offers a varying amount of security, control, and management.

Private Cloud:

Private cloud architecture is done in-house and on-premise. Resources are shared internally among gated clients for the high level of control and security for sensitive data.

The private method is often better executed when a company is big enough to operate its cloud data center effectively and has the budget to finance it.

The private cloud makes sense, for example, if a company’s business revolves around an application and its data.

Public Cloud: 

Public cloud architecture is the service provided, managed, and maintained off-site via the internet. This cloud method can help streamline workflows and collaboration on applications with many users (email, for example), making sharing resources more efficient.

However, there is a higher risk of vulnerability with a public offering. Public cloud makes sense, for example, if the company is working on an ad-hoc software development project with a PaaS offering.

Hybrid Cloud: 

A hybrid cloud architecture includes the combination of private and public cloud offerings. This type of offering provides efficiency with a public cloud and security with a private cloud, but the company must manage numerous platforms at once while ensuring seamless integration.

A hybrid cloud makes the most sense, for example, if the company wants to enable a SaaS app while prioritizing security. Therefore, the SaaS provider would create a private cloud within its firewall.

Cloud Infrastructure vs. SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS

SaaS

Software as a Service is the most widely used type of cloud service. 

In SaaS, the cloud vendor fully manages the entire offering: applications, data, runtime, middleware, operating systems, services, storage, networking, and virtualization.

PaaS

Platform as a Service is somewhat comparable to SaaS but instead offers the platform to create software.

In PaaS, the cloud vendor shoulders the majority of the service, including runtime, middleware, operating systems, servers, storage, networking, and virtualization. The company, therefore, only needs to worry about managing its applications and data.

IaaS

Infrastructure as a Service(IaaS) offers the most in-house control, allowing access and direct maintenance to most cloud resources.

In IaaS, cloud services are mostly managed by a company, including applications, data, runtime, middleware, and operating systems.

Conclusion

Cloud infrastructure relates to a virtual infrastructure that is delivered or accessed via a network or the internet. Cloud infra usually refers to the on-demand services or products being offered through the model known as infrastructure as a service (IaaS), a primary delivery model of cloud computing.

This is a highly automated offering where computing resources complemented with storage and networking services are provided to the client. In essence, clients have an IT infrastructure that they can use for themselves without ever having to pay for the development of physical infrastructure.

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