Friday, October 27, 2017

MANUFACTURING IN THE CLOUD: PART VII: Infrastructure as a Service

By Goran Novkovic, MESA Member, CQA, CSQE, ITIL, APM, PMP, PEng

This blog is part of a series called Manufacturing in the Cloud. This series aims to assist manufacturing organizations to evaluate how they can overcome challenges and maximize cloud computing benefits. As cloud computing services mature both commercially and technologically, this is likely to become relatively easier to achieve.

Clouds, whether they are private within the manufacturing organization or public over the Internet, will provide some of the following three cloud service models.

·         IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service
·         PaaS – Platform as a Service
·         SaaS – Software as a Service

There are many other flavors 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. So, let's learn more about characteristics and benefits.  

IaaS – 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 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 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 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, CQA, CSQE, ITIL, APM, PMP, PEng

Goran Novkovic has over 15 years of experience in various regulated industry sectors. His expertise is in industrial control systems (ICS) cybersecurity, control systems engineering, computer systems validation, software security and test management, cloud security and regulatory compliance. Goran has a formal education in Electrical Engineering and Project Management and possesses a master's degree in Information Technology. He has number of professional licenses and designations. He is holder of CQA (Certified Quality Auditor) and CSQE (Certified Software Quality Engineer) certifications with ASQ (American Society for Quality). Goran is certified ITIL, certified Agile Project Manager and Project Management Professional with PMI (Project Management Institute). He is licensed Professional Engineer with PEO (Professional Engineers Ontario). Goran is focused on ICS cybersecurity and he is helping organizations to establish ICS cybersecurity governance and develop effective ICS cybersecurity programs from scratch. E-mail contact:

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