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Cloud infrastructure refers to the underlying hardware and software components that support cloud platforms. Cloud infrastructure can also refer solely to the virtual systems that are available through Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), but this definition is less common. Components of cloud infrastructure include servers, networking equipment, storage devices, and virtual computers. Cloud infrastructure acts as the backbone of cloud services, which allows everything else to operate. In other words, cloud infrastructure is what makes any kind of cloud service possible.
Cloud architecture is the ways that infrastructure is put together to create cloud environments, such as a public, private, community, or hybrid cloud. Cloud infrastructure services also support multi-cloud solutions, which means using multiple cloud computing services within a single architecture, such as utilizing public clouds for non-sensitive data and private clouds for sensitive data. Cloud architectures also allow for services such as security networks, which act as a central repository for data. Security networks allow for shared access across many users, while maintaining high speed connections. Well-maintained infrastructure is critical as part of cloud computing.
Cloud infrastructure is generally the responsibility of cloud service providers. They are responsible for maintaining the equipment, as well as ensuring that everything is running correctly. Reputable cloud-based platform providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure rely on strong cloud architecture as part of their offerings. As such, they focus their cloud resources in such a way as to minimize downtime and interruptions for their clients. This means that they maintain not only the physical hardware, but also the operating systems and programs. This can mean updating software automatically or communicating about advancements that can be incorporated at the convenience of an organization. This also entails keeping the physical hardware secure and stable, meaning they limit access into their facilities and maintain appropriate climates for the hardware.
Cloud infrastructure benefits businesses and organizations in the following ways: