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Bill St. Arnaud is a consultant and research engineer who works with clients around the world on a variety of subjects such as next generation Internet networks and developing practical solutions to reduce CO2 emissions such as free broadband and dynamic charging of eVehicles. He is an author of many papers and articles on these topics and is a frequent guest speaker. For more details on my research interests see

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Infrastructure as a web service - IaaS

[Web services and SOA are a much broader applicability beyond linking software systems together. These architectures are now being used to represent physical devices as web services as well. A good example of infrastructure as a web service is in the telecommunications environment where tools like UCLP expose very telecommunications element and service (including management and control plane elements) and virtualize them as a web service. This allows end users to compose or orchestrate their own network solutions linking together servers, network links, instruments, control plane knobs and storage devices into a sophisticated articulate private network. Some excerpts from SOA systems --BSA]

Agria Network Infrastructure Web Services

The many crucial jobs IT performs for a company are hard enough - provisioning employees and keeping their workstations up and running; protecting data to meet the stringent requirements imposed by Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, PCI, and other regulations; managing data recovery and business continuity; and so on. The risk of operating with inadequate resources or burning unnecessarily through corporate funds are unwelcome addenda to the IT department's burden.

Now imagine a world where you can scale your IT capacity up or down on command without any capital expenditure.

This world exists. It's enabled by a new business concept based on virtualizing the IT environment and is called Infrastructure as a Service. IaaS extends the remote hosting concept of Software as a Service (SaaS) to hardware.

The interest in IaaS can be attributed to significant increases in IT-enabled business models such as e-commerce, Web 2.0 and SaaS, which drive demand, and by advances in technology that enable it, including virtualization, utility computing, and data center automation.

Infrastructure as a Service is generally delivered in addition to a utility computing platform. As long as you have a platform like VMware for virtualization, you look identical to your infrastructure provider. So, if you wanted to push 30 machines or 50 machines out of your data center for 90 days, you could easily bring them back because you're both running the same virtual platform.