Defining exactly what a cloud infrastructure is can be broad and complex. But when it comes down to it, a cloud-based infrastructure has several key components, including, but not limited to a combination of:
- Network devices, and
- Other storage resources
It is these components, all of which are necessary to create applications that are then accessed via the cloud. These apps can be retrieved remotely over the internet, telecom services, WANs (wide area networks), and other network means.
For example an EDI provider might offer their services using a cloud EDI software model, allowing clients to access the platform without having to maintain the required physical infrastructure on premise.
Cloud infrastructure generally is categorized into three parts that all collaborate to create a cloud service:
Computing: The computing portion of the infrastructure is delivered by server racks in order to deliver cloud services for various services and partners.
Networking: To transfer data externally as well as between computer and storage systems, this part of the infrastructure relies on routers and switches.
Storage: A cloud infrastructure will likely need considerable storage often using a combination of hard disks and flash storage.