IaaS delivers cloud computing infrastructure, including servers, network, operating systems, and storage, through virtualization technology. These cloud servers are typically provided to the organization through a dashboard or an API, giving IaaS clients complete control over the entire infrastructure. IaaS provides the same technologies and capabilities as a traditional data center without having to physically maintain or manage all of it. IaaS clients can still access their servers and storage directly, but it is all outsourced through a “virtual data center” in the cloud.
As opposed to SaaS or PaaS, IaaS clients are responsible for managing aspects such as applications, runtime, OSes, middleware, and data. However, providers of the IaaS manage the servers, hard drives, networking, virtualization, and storage. Some providers even offer more services beyond the virtualization layer, such as databases or message queuing.