What is cloud infrastructure?
In the last few decades, the cloud computing model has greatly changed the way businesses manage their IT resources and systems. Before then, businesses that were looking to develop their IT capabilities had to put up their on-premise infrastructure. This meant injecting lots of money and internal resources into establishing the systems as well as their maintenance. For many enterprises, especially the small and medium entities (SMEs), the massive resources that were needed were a great barrier to entry.
The cost and technical requirements in infrastructure were prohibitive. Then came cloud computing, the panacea of all the IT problems that small and medium businesses were facing.
Cloud computing is hailed for its creation of opportunities where organisations now have limitless access to computing resources. This has gone a long way in reduction of the cost that is needed for improvement of the IT capabilities. Instead of building their own IT infrastructure business can rent it out from third-party service providers. With this comes the cloud infrastructure, the components that are needed to support the delivery of services. In this article, we will be discussing cloud infrastructure.
Components of cloud infrastructure
Cloud infrastructure is made up of several software and hardware components that help in the delivery of services to customers. These components include servers, virtualisation, networking services as well as management tools. These components are useful in the creation of applications that are then made available to the customer through the cloud.
The applications are retrieved remotely over the internet as well as other network means. Cloud infrastructure also has a hardware abstraction layer that allows virtualisation of resources as well as helping in driving down the costs courtesy of economies of scale. In general cloud infrastructure can be classified into four parts that form the cloud service.
- Hardware – that is IT servers, switches, routers, firewalls, load balancers, and other devices.
- Networking – that is switches, routers, cabling and other equipment, Networking layer allows you to create VLANs and assigns static and dynamic addresses.
- Storage – you can have either SSD (flash drive), SATA hard disk storage or a combination of them. Cloud allows you to add or remove drives without manually provisioning separate storage servers.
- Virtualisation – that is software layer (commonly known as a hypervisor) sits on top of the hardware and is responsible for allocating virtual resources like RAM (memory), CPU (computing power), and storage.
What are the roles of each component in the cloud infrastructure?
When a business acquires cloud computing services, they are leasing access to the components of the infrastructure. Each of the components has a role in the deployment and delivery of applications and other operational services.
The network helps in availing of the cloud resources with the service providers building and maintaining an infrastructure that enables its delivery. The infrastructure includes load balances, cables, routers, and switches. These components assist in availing the network to the customer whenever it is needed.
As part of the components in the delivery of cloud computing resources servers denotes a device that is programmed to provide a service to the users. In private cloud deployment dedicated servers are used in the storage of information, while the multitenant model is used for the same purpose.
With cloud storage services, businesses can store and manage data remotely without building and maintaining their physical facilities. Data that is stored in these facilities can be accessed through the internet. Data that is not in use at a given time can also be stored in the cloud infrastructure, allowing the business to cut on costs of hosting big loads of data on-premises.
Perhaps the most important component of cloud infrastructure is virtualisation. This aspect of the system allows users to interact with cloud infrastructure making it easy to leverage the resources simply and efficiently.
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