Wondering what cloud infrastructure is all about? If you are interested in becoming a cloud engineer, you would be using these infrastructures after passing your AWS cloud practitioner exam.

Cloud infrastructure deals with all hardware and software components required for a cloud computing model to be effective. Alongside with these software/hardware components of a computing model, the cloud infrastructure also has an abstraction layer which inputs resources on a virtual surface and presents them in a logical manner to users via application program interfaces as well as API-enabled graphic interfaces.

In the world of cloud computing, these virtual resources would be hosted by either a service provider or an IT department, after which they would be sent to users over the network or the internet. Some examples of these resources are memory, servers, network switches, firewalls, storage equipment, and load balancers.

Components of the Cloud Infrastructure

Cloud infrastructure often has to do with back-end components i.e. the hardware portions of many enterprise data centers. Such components include multicore servers, persistent storage and local area network equipment e.g. routers and switches.

There are a couple of major public cloud providers e.g. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform; which offer their services on multi-tenant servers. Utilizing this model of cloud service delivery requires that one has great computing capacity by which unpredictable changes are made, in user demand as well as to truly balance the demand across fewer servers. The implication of this is that often, cloud infrastructure would make use of high-density systems which have shared power; the typical infrastructure comprising of servers, applications, and clients.

It is important to note that while traditional data center infrastructures use storage area networks or disk arrays, cloud infrastructure mostly utilizes locally attached storage- in the form of solid-state drives (SSDs) as well as hard disk drives (HDDs).

In each system, disks are accumulated by means of a distributed file system, which is designed for different storage scenarios- big data, block, etc. When the storage system and management are decoupled from the physical implementation by means of a distributed file system, scaling is made simpler. Also, cloud providers are better able to match capacity to users’ workloads, by adding the compute nodes little by little, based on the number and types of local disks needed; as opposed to loading them at once through a storage frame.

What You Need to Know about Public/Private/Hybrid Cloud Architectures

There are three major models of cloud computing deployment: the public cloud, the private cloud, and hybrid cloud.

The public cloud model has third-party public cloud providers as the owners of the cloud infrastructure components, in the private cloud, the cloud infrastructure is owned by an organization while the hybrid cloud comprises of a mixture of both models.

Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Cloud Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) refers to an interesting cloud model which gives organizations a pass to rent IT infrastructure components owned by a particular cloud computing platform. Hence, it is a business! Some of the infrastructural components that can be rented include computing, storage, and networking components; which can be rented from a public cloud provider over the internet.

Why IaaS?

What IaaS does is that it completely takes away the upfront capital costs that are otherwise needed for the proper functioning of on-premises infrastructure. Instead, you are then free to make use of a usage-based consumption model which is a pay-per-usage model wherein users only have to pay for infrastructural services been consumed- on hourly, weekly or monthly basis.

IaaS is often priced on a metered basis by vendors such as Google, AWS, IBM; and rates correspond to usage at specific levels of performance e.g. based on availability, server sizes or storage services. Need to pass your AWS practice tests? No worries, we got you covered!