The last couple of decades brought about an important shift in infrastructure management. This shift was cloud-based infrastructure. Cloud-based infrastructure refers to infrastructure and computing resources that are available to users over the internet. Usually, a third-party company owns, houses, and manages the physical infrastructure, allowing application developers to focus on defining their desired configurations.

This shift was largely brought about by virtualization technology. While cloud providers create physical pools of resources, virtualization allows many instances of an application to run on these resources.

Cloud-based infrastructure has several benefits:

  • It allows specific companies to specialize in physical infrastructure management while others focus on business logic.
  • It allows a company to scale quickly since cloud providers have physical resources readily available.
  • It allows for efficient scaling by taking full advantage of virtualization.

However, there are still valid reasons to use on-premises infrastructure. These include:

  • It provides the ultimate in flexibility and control.
  • It decreases reliance on third-party vendors.
  • Sensitive data can be kept inside the company.

DevOps emphasizes cloud-based infrastructure because of its benefits in specialization and scalability. However, many companies still maintain on-premises infrastructure, especially for internal applications. Some companies use a hybrid approach, with servers both in the cloud and on-premises.


In your own words, describe the difference between on-premises and cloud-based infrastructure. Name at least two advantages provided by each.

Example Answer

With on-premises infrastructure, companies purchase, install, and maintain their own physical servers. They do this using company staff and house them on the premises of the company. With cloud-based infrastructure, companies use servers which are physically managed by a third party company. These servers are made available over an internet connection.

One of the main advantages of on-premises infrastructure is that it is flexible. There are no limitations imposed by a third party. Another advantage is that sensitive data can stay within company premises. A big advantage of cloud-based infrastructure is that it allows cloud providers to specialize in physical infrastructure while businesses can specialize in application logic. Another advantage is that it offers immediate scalability since physical resources are always available.

In this lesson, we covered a lot about both traditional and DevOps approaches to infrastructure management - let’s wrap up what we’ve learned!

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