A computing technology that uses the central remote servers and internet to maintain applications and data is called Cloud computing. It allows businesses and consumers to use applications without installation and also allows them to access their personal files at any computer with internet access.

Cloud computing is divided into three segments:

  • Applications
  • Platforms
  • Infrastructure

Infrastructure, the final segment in cloud computing is the backbone of the entire concept. It provides the physical storage space and processing capabilities. The products in this segment are more varied than other areas of cloud computing. But they include development environments (like Google gears) and managed hosting that allows users to build applications. Cloud storage like Amazon’s S3 is also a part of the infrastructure segment.

There are some companies those who are Major Infrastructure Vendors means they that provide infrastructure services:

  • International Business Machines (IBM) – Managed hosting
  • Google (GOOG) – Managed hosting, development environment
  • SAVVIS (SVVS) – Managed hosting
  • Amazon.com (AMZN) – Cloud storage
  • Terre mark Worldwide (TMRK) – Managed hosting

There are two methodologies for constructing Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) AKA “Cloud Infrastructure Services”. The first is “cloud centers” that are data centers in the sky. The second is “Infrastructure Web Service”. These two approaches directly affect your selection of a Cloud Infrastructure provider. These two models highlight a difference in target markets and in core infrastructure. Cloud centers provide a direct equivalent to traditional datacenters and hence are usually more desirable for IT staff, systems operators, and other datacenter savvy folks.

On the other hand, Infrastructure Web Services are more analogous to Service-Oriented-Architectures (SOA) which require significant programming skills and much more comfortable for software developers. Infrastructure Web Services provides different Web Services that can consumed individually or put together to support different kinds of applications, a batch processing or web application of some kind.

These services include:

  • Servers on demand via Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)
  • Object-based file storage via Simple Storage Service (S3)
  • Block storage on demand via Elastic Block Storage (a part of EC2)
  • Content distribution and edge-caching via Cloud Front
  • Distributed database functionality via Simple DB (SDB)
  • Messaging & queuing via Simple Queuing Service (SQS)
  • Billing & re-packaging of the above services via Amazon Dev Pay
  • Payment processing via Flexible Payment Services (FPS)
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