Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform and infrastructure for building, deploying, and managing applications and services through a global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters.
Best Infrastructure-as-a-Service Solutions
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Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Overview
What is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Solutions?
Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) software is a complete development and deployment environment in the cloud. It provides a platform on which software can be developed and deployed. The platform handles the complexity around operating systems and servers and leaves application developers free to concentrate on the business requirements of the software.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Features & Capabilities
Uptime percentage offered in SLA
Ease of scaling up or down in response to consumer needs
Administration automation for deploying and managing virtual desktops and servers
Elastic load balancing whereby resources are balanced and distributed automatically across multiple virtual computers
Preconfigured templates for virtual machines
Monitoring tools providing alerts when problems are detected
Customized machine images
Range of operating systems available as preconfigured images
Compliance with security protocols like SSL and AES
Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is similar to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), in that it provides services to consumers over the Internet. However, out of the three offerings, IaaS is the most rudimentary--taking care of the basics, the infrastructure, and allowing users to manage the rest.
IaaS operates at a very fundamental level, providing the basic building blocks for cloud services. IaaS can be thought of as the provisioning of basic cloud infrastructures like virtualized servers, storage, and networking in an on-demand model. This on-demand model can easily scale up and down to meet demand. Instead of having to spend capital resources on hardware and infrastructure, rapidly scalable and secure infrastructure components are accessible over the Internet. These resources and paid for based on consumption, as in a utility model like electricity or water.
Some providers also offer other components above the virtualization layer like databases and messaging queues, but these are not standard components.
Pricing models vary quite a bit, but the basic structure is usually price per user per month, with different tiers based on differing factors such as the number of custom app objects, or number of servers. Some vendors provide a free tier, but per user pricing can from as little as $50 per month per user to $750 per user per month or more, depending on platform capabilities. If your organization is currently managing their own on-premise infrastructure, it's a good idea to calculate the current costs associated with doing so when comparing switching to IaaS. Typically, IaaS platforms will be a lower cost alternative.
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Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud. Users can launch instances with a variety of OSs, load them with custom application environments, manage network access permissions, and run images on multiple systems.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a subsidiary of Amazon that provides on-demand cloud computing services. With over 165 services offered, AWS services can provide users with a comprehensive suite of infrastructure and computing building blocks and tools.
Amazon S3 is a cloud-based object storage service from Amazon Web Services. It's key features are storage management and monitoring, access management and security, data querying, and data transfer.
DigitalOcean is an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platform from the company of the same name headquartered in New York. It is known for its support of managed Kubernetes clusters and “droplets” feature.
Google Compute Engine is an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) product from Google Cloud. It provides virtual machines with carbon-neutral infrastructure which run on the same data centers that Google itself uses.
Rackspace Managed Hosting is cloud computing company Rackspace's managed IT services and IaaS offering. Its infrastructure options include bare metal servers, virtual single-shared servers, and cloud multi-tenant environments.
IBM Cloud bare metal servers are cloud servers configurable in hourly/monthly options, on-demand, from any location—with a selection of standard features and services for small businesses and enterprise demands. Users can customize RAM and SSDs with 11M+ configurations from which to choose.
IBM Cloud Virtual Servers are customizable, public or private, cloud-based servers available from IBM. User can launch applications and software across blended, hybrid environments as the servers integrate with all cloud models.
Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) is Oracles's infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platform which combines the utility of public cloud with the granular control, security, and predictability of on-premises infrastructure.
IBM Cloud Object Storage is an IBM Cloud product in the endpoint backup and IaaS categories. It is commonly used for data archiving and backup, for web and mobile applications, and as scalable, persistent storage for analytics.
IBM Cloud IaaS refers to the IaaS tools previously offered by Softlayer before being acquired by IBM and becoming IBM Bluemix.
IBM Cloud Internet Services is a set of edge network services for securing internet-facing applications from DDoS attacks, data theft, and bot attacks, as well as optimizing their web apps or ensuring global responsiveness and the ongoing availability of their internet-facing applications.
Sungard Availability Services Managed Hosting provides IaaS with a variety of managed hosting options such as mainframe services, monitoring services, managed servers, and storage.
Media Temple in Culver City, California offers managed hosting services. Users can choose from managed services for AWS, self-managed VPS, managed VPS, grid-shared hosting, and managed hosting optimized for WordPress.
CenturyLink Cloud is a set of IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, DBaaS and cloud management tools from CenturyLink; the service is partially based on technology acquired from the tech company Tier 3 in 2013.
NaviCloud, from Navisite, offers a variety of managed, cloud-based, infrastructure-as-a-service solutions. It's main offerings are Azure Cloud Management, VMWare Cloud Management, and a professional service offering that offers IT assistance and support.
LightEdge Services, headquartered in Des Moines, offers a suite of colocation and infrastructural services with support including security consulting, compliance consulting (e.g. HIPAA), and disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) for users of its colocation services.
Jelastic is a cloud services platform that offers PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS tools alongside additional features such as monitoring, networking, DevOps, containers, billing, and storage. The platform is available as public, private, hybrid, or multi-cloud.
Cloud Enterprise from HOSTING in Denver, Colorado provides infrastructure-as-a-service. Users can choose from hybrid cloud, public cloud, or private cloud hosting and add on support for cloud backup.
ClearDATA is a HIPAA-compliant, cloud computing platform designed for healthcare organizations wishing to move their computing resources online. The platform is somewhat different to major PaaS/IaaS vendors in that its data centers don’t use commodity hardware and it isn’t multi-tenant.
Hitachi Vantara offers the Hitachi Enterprise Cloud, an infrastructure-as-a-service platform. Hitachi provides a full portfolio of integrated hardware, software and enablement services designed to bring a pre-engineered level of efficiency and predictability to creating a cloud platform.
Bit Refinery is a platform-as-a-service or infrastructure-as-a-service (PaaS, IaaS) platform from the company of the same name in Colorado. It supports both static and legacy workloads and provides users with the option of utilizing bare-metal servers.
InstaCompute from Indian company Tata Communications is a cloud computing platform which offers colocation facilities, managed hosting solutions, and its "InstaCompute" offering, which is Tata Communication's infrastructure-as-a-service solution.
HIPAA Vault (formerly VMRacks) offers HIPAA-compliant cloud solutions for the healthcare industry. Its main services are web hosting and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) for a virtual lab environment, but HIPAA Vault also provides services for file management and database protection, for example.