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IaaS is an abbreviation for Infrastructure as a Service, which refers to the ability to manage (typically virtualized) hardware by making calls to an API or by using a command-line client.
Elements of IaaS
Implementations vary, but typical IaaS providers cover the following aspects of infrastructure:
- Creation, sizing, control, and destruction of machines / compute nodes
- Configuration of persistent storage
- Network configuration, including some basic aspects of Software-Defined Networking
- DNS entries for machines
- Some kind of inventory management system to enumerate existing resources
- Integration with a disk imaging system, to provide basic OS installation
- Integration with a Configuration Management System to configure the operating system and application stack