Infrastructure as a service

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) are online services that provide high-level APIs used to dereference various low-level details of underlying network infrastructure like physical computing resources, location, data partitioning, scaling, security, backup etc. A hypervisor, such as Xen, Oracle VirtualBox, Oracle VM, KVM, VMware ESX/ESXi, or Hyper-V runs the virtual machines as guests. Pools of hypervisors within the cloud operational system can support large numbers of virtual machines and the ability to scale services up and down according to customers' varying requirements.


Typically IaaS involves the use of a cloud orchestration technology like OpenStack, Apache CloudStack or OpenNebula. This manages the creation of a virtual machine and decides on which hypervisor (i.e. physical host) to start it, enables VM migration features between hosts, allocates storage volumes and attaches them to VMs, tracks usage information for billing and more.

An alternative to hypervisors are Linux containers, which run in isolated partitions of a single Linux kernel running directly on the physical hardware. Linux cgroups and namespaces are the underlying Linux kernel technologies used to isolate, secure and manage the containers. Containerisation offers higher performance than virtualization, because there is no hypervisor overhead.

IaaS clouds often offer additional resources such as a virtual-machine disk-image library, raw block storage, file or object storage, firewalls, load balancers, IP addresses, virtual local area networks (VLANs), and software bundles.[1]

The NIST's definition of cloud computing defines infrastructure as a service as:[2]

The capability provided to the consumer is to provision processing, storage, networks, and other fundamental computing resources where the consumer is able to deploy and run arbitrary software, which can include operating systems and applications. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure but has control over operating systems, storage, and deployed applications; and possibly limited control of select networking components (e.g., host firewalls).

According to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the most basic cloud-service model is that of providers offering IT infrastructurevirtual machines and other resources – as a service to subscribers.

IaaS-cloud providers supply these resources on-demand from their large pools of equipment installed in data centers. For wide-area connectivity, customers can use either the Internet or carrier clouds (dedicated virtual private networks). To deploy their applications, cloud users install operating-system images and their application software on the cloud infrastructure.[3][unreliable source?] In this model, the cloud user patches and maintains the operating systems and the application software. Cloud providers typically bill IaaS services on a utility computing basis: cost reflects the amount of resources allocated and consumed.

See also[edit]

  • CISPE, an IaaS trade association in Europe.


  1. ^ Alex Amies; Harm Sluiman; Qiang Guo Tong; Guo Ning Liu (2 July 2012). Developing and Hosting Applications on the Cloud: Develop Hosting Applica Cloud. Pearson Education. ISBN 978-0-13-306685-2.
  2. ^ Peter Mell and Timothy Grance (September 2011). The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing (Technical report). National Institute of Standards and Technology: U.S. Department of Commerce. doi:10.6028/NIST.SP.800-145. Special publication 800-145.{{cite techreport}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  3. ^ Ananich, Anthony (February 20, 2016). "What is IaaS?". Archived from the original on March 2, 2016. Retrieved 2016-02-20.