IaaS is the Offensive Line of Cloud Computing – Part 1 of 3

IaaS is the Offensive Line of Cloud Computing – Part 1 of 3

I grew up a Dallas Cowboys fan. I’ve now lost 75% of the audience. For those of you remaining, I’m sure you know that it’s not easy being a Cowboys fan these days. The Cowboys are in last place in the NFL’s weakest division. How is this connected to cloud computing? My intention is to equate the “men in the trenches” on the offensive line to the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) component of cloud computing.

The offensive line is made up of relatively “obscure” bearded men that may or may not wear flannel on occasion. You would definitely notice them in the mall or at Starbucks. They are much larger in height and weight than the typical man. Based on the 2014 NFL combine measurements, the average offensive lineman’s height was 6’4½” and the average weight was 313lbs. Travis Frederick, current Dallas Cowboys center, epitomizes an NFL O-lineman. He’s listed at 6’4” and 315lbs, making him larger than the average man of 5’9” and 175lbs.

Offensive linemen are not your average men! They are asked to carry the heavy load for all of the team’s offensive production; similar to the requirements placed on the cloud’s infrastructure.

RAM, CPU, storage, networking, and Hypervisors are the integral building blocks found on each public and private cloud. The majority of cloud providers offer a bundle of these in configurations ranging up to 240Gb RAM, 62 virtual CPUs, and multi-Tbs of block storage. In comparison, laptopbuyingadvice.com recommends the following “best laptop configuration” for personal or business use: 4Gb of RAM, 1CPU, and 250Gb of hard drive storage.

The cloud’s infrastructure is not your average computer! IaaS requires a sizable investment in real estate, technology, and personnel to ensure instantaneous service to hundreds, thousands, and potentially millions of end users.

In reflection, the “men in the trenches” have more in common with IaaS than you thought. The next time you’re using a popular website or mobile app such as DuckDuckGo or Unbounce, remember the “offensive linemen” of the network that are meshed together working in unison enabling a productive and enjoyable experience.

Return soon for the next installment in the series: PaaS is the Tight End of Cloud Computing.


Randall Smith – StratoSTACK Product Manager

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