Digital Themes

Cloud Infrastructure

What is cloud infrastructure?

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:

  • Increased data security: Cloud infrastructure is spread throughout multiple geographic locations, which helps prevent data loss due to unforeseen disasters such as fire or theft. Additionally, cloud platforms have multiple security systems in place to protect data from unauthorized access, such as firewalls and multifactor authentication (MFA).

  • Automated software updates: Depending on the type of cloud platform, updates are installed automatically by cloud service providers. For customized service, cloud platform providers can send updates to clients warning them of necessary upgrades, without forcing them to install them immediately.

  • Increased computing powers: Rather than being limited to the processing power of a single piece of hardware, cloud infrastructure can allow computations to be run across multiple servers in multiple locations.

  • Improved availability: Cloud infrastructures allow hosted applications to be accessed from almost anywhere with internet access. Additionally, load balancers can help accommodate high traffic usage, by splitting the network data to appropriate locations as a real-time reaction to increased traffic.

  • Increased collaboration: Different deployment models can allow organizations to increase their collaboration. This can be done through the use of storage networking or through cloud applications specifically designed around collaboration, such as Amazon WorkDocs or Microsoft’s Office 365 suite.


Related content