The cloud and infrastructure as a service
Clouds, whether they are private within the manufacturing organization or public over the internet, will provide some of the following three cloud service models.
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
- Platform as a service (PaaS)
- Software as a service (SaaS).
There are many other types of cloud service models available on the market, but these are the most common that manufacturing organizations should be familiar with in order to make the right decision about a cloud computing solution that will meet their business and operational needs and objectives. Each cloud service delivery model delivers distinct computing services to the manufacturing organizations that use them.
Infrastructure as a service
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) represents the most mature and widespread cloud service model used by manufacturing organizations. It allows them to store business and production data, or deploy and run software applications just like they would do on their own traditional, on-premises infrastructures. IaaS represents a leased hardware infrastructure provided by cloud service providers (CSP) that manufacturing organizations can scale up or scale down depending on their specific operational needs.
One of the biggest benefits of the IaaS cloud service model is that the manufacturing organizations don’t need to make capital investments in hardware infrastructure. In other words, they don’t have to purchase hardware computing resources and manage them. Furthermore, manufacturing organizations don’t have to provide facilities and rooms allocated to store equipment nor pay for the hydro and any alternative power supplies to keep these computing resources running. Physical security, building automation and air-conditioning systems, as well as many other features that are characteristic of traditional, on-premises infrastructures are all in the cost.
Another benefit of the IaaS cloud service model is that there is no single point of failure. Cloud Service Providers make sure that there is duplication in place even at the level of data centers where they might replicate data between data centers.
IaaS cloud service model provides manufacturing organizations with capabilities to quickly provision or de-provision hardware computing resources they require. This is the characteristic of elastic provisioning. Cloud service customers (CSC) can use self-service web interface to manage the computing resources. Or, it can be even automated as auto-scaling option of IaaS that would allow computing resources to be provisioned or de-provisioned when certain thresholds are met.
These computing resources are made available over the network, because they are running on the equipment of cloud service providers. Computing resources include things like processing power, virtual server instances, storage capacities and other fundamental computing resources allowing the organization to pay for infrastructure only as much as they need and to bring more when needed.
Keep in mind that with the IaaS cloud service model, manufacturing organizations don’t manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure, but they have full control over selected network components, operating systems, data storage and deployed software applications. This is a good choice if you only need reliable computing infrastructure with rapid scalability features to store your manufacturing and business data, or to run production and business software applications.
Goran Novkovic, MESA International. This article originally appeared on MESA International’s blog. MESA International is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media, firstname.lastname@example.org.