What is a cloud infrastructure?

Reliability and scalability are at the core of this award. Applicants must operate a significant portion of their business with their own, custom-built infrastructure to be eligible.

Cloud infrastructure refers to the hardware and software components that collectively form the foundation for cloud computing services. It provides the necessary resources, including computing power, storage capacity, networking capabilities, and virtualization technologies, to support cloud-based applications and services.

A cloud infrastructure typically consists of the following key components:

  • Servers: Physical servers or virtual machines (VMs) form the backbone of the cloud infrastructure. These servers host the software applications, databases, and other resources required to deliver cloud services.
  • Storage: Cloud infrastructure incorporates various storage solutions to store and manage data. It may include different types of storage, such as object storage, block storage, or file storage, which can be accessed by cloud applications and services.
  • Networking: Networking infrastructure enables communication and data transfer within the cloud environment. It includes routers, switches, load balancers, and firewalls that connect different components of the infrastructure and facilitate network traffic management and security.
  • Virtualization: Virtualization technologies play a crucial role in cloud infrastructure. They enable the creation and management of virtual instances of servers, storage, and networking resources. Virtualization allows for resource allocation, scalability, and isolation, ensuring efficient utilization of hardware resources.
  • Management and Orchestration Tools: Cloud infrastructure relies on management and orchestration tools to streamline provisioning, monitoring, and management of the underlying resources. These tools automate tasks, optimize resource allocation, and provide centralized control over the cloud infrastructure.
  • Data Centers: Cloud infrastructure is often housed in data centers, which are large facilities that host the physical infrastructure components. Data centers provide a controlled environment with power supply, cooling systems, physical security measures, and redundant connectivity to ensure reliability and availability of the cloud services.
  • Service Level Agreements (SLAs): SLAs define the performance, availability, and reliability commitments made by the cloud infrastructure provider to its users. These agreements outline the guaranteed levels of service and support that customers can expect when using the cloud infrastructure.

Cloud infrastructure enables organizations and individuals to leverage cloud computing services by abstracting away the complexities of managing hardware and infrastructure components. It offers on-demand access to computing resources, elasticity to scale resources up or down as needed, and the flexibility to deploy and manage applications and services in a distributed and virtualized environment.

Previous recognition for Best Cloud Infrastructure

For a broader understanding of this Cloud Awards category, we have gathered examples from previous winners, finalists, and shortlistees which impressed the judging team with their innovative cloud infrastructures.

Winner of The Cloud Awards 2022-2023 for the Best Cloud Infrastructure

Lead Judge Annabelle Whittall, said:

We were impressed to see something different in Bare Metal Servers for VPC. We liked to see how, unlike with traditional SaaS offerings, Bare Metal Servers for VPC is tightly bound to the underlying hardware it is delivered on, and IBM has strong, established processes that offer the latest solutions from all hardware partners. Over 8 months since the initial release Bare Metal Servers for VPC have introduced 8 new hardware configurations, support for 5 major operating systems, and have operationalized 1000 servers across the 8 global data centers! Remarkable and a well-deserved win. Congratulations from everyone at The Cloud Awards.

Winner of The Cloud Awards 2021-2022 for the Best Cloud Infrastructure

Lead Judge Richard Geary, said:

“At the Cloud Awards, we were particularly impressed with Ricoh USA’s many layers of protection, security and monitoring for their cloud infrastructure. It is also telling that Ricoh not only offer cloud
services to their customers but use them extensively themselves to enhance their own operational efficiency. Well done, Ricoh!
 

Finalist of The Cloud Awards 2022-2023 for the Best Cloud Infrastructure
The AMD – Pensando cloud infrastructure leverages AMD’s advanced processors and Pensando’s innovative technology to deliver high-performance computing capabilities. It showcases superior processing power, optimized workloads, and accelerated performance for demanding applications and workloads.

The cloud infrastructure prioritizes robust security features and data protection mechanism, offering advanced encryption, secure network protocols, access controls, and threat detection and mitigation measures to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of user data and applications.

Shortlistee of The Cloud Awards 2021-2022 for the Best Cloud Infrastructure

Otava’s entry highlights the management and automation tools for efficient cloud infrastructure operations. It showcases features such as centralized management consoles, resource monitoring and optimization, self-service portals, and automation frameworks to streamline provisioning, configuration, and management tasks.

Sustainability initiatives are undertaken by Otava’s cloud infrastructure. This include energy-efficient infrastructure designs, the use of renewable energy sources, or environmentally conscious practices that reduce the carbon footprint associated with running the infrastructure.

A strong entry for the Best Cloud Infrastructure category should have:

  1. Scalability and Elasticity: The cloud infrastructure should demonstrate the ability to scale resources seamlessly to meet varying demands. It should provide elastic provisioning of computing power, storage, and networking capabilities, allowing users to scale up or down based on their needs without interruptions or performance degradation.
  2. High Availability and Reliability: The entry should emphasize the robustness of the cloud infrastructure in terms of availability and reliability. It should showcase redundant hardware, data replication mechanisms, fault-tolerant designs, and disaster recovery measures to ensure minimal downtime and data loss.
  3. Security and Compliance: The cloud infrastructure should prioritize strong security measures and compliance with industry standards and regulations. It should offer features such as data encryption, access controls, identity and access management, and regular security audits to protect customer data and maintain confidentiality.
  4. Performance and Network Connectivity: The entry should highlight the high-performance capabilities of the cloud infrastructure. It should provide low-latency network connectivity, efficient data transfer rates, and optimized routing to ensure fast and reliable access to resources. The infrastructure should be designed to deliver consistently high performance for applications and services hosted on it.
  5. Infrastructure as Code (IaC): The entry should showcase support for Infrastructure as Code practices, enabling users to define and provision infrastructure resources programmatically. This allows for the automation of infrastructure deployment, configuration, and management, ensuring consistency, reproducibility, and agility in infrastructure operations.
  6. Integration and Interoperability: The cloud infrastructure should offer seamless integration capabilities with other cloud services, platforms, and tools. It should support open standards, APIs, and interoperability with popular software systems, enabling users to leverage existing tools and workflows within the cloud environment.
  7. Cost-Effectiveness and Pricing Model: The entry should demonstrate cost-effectiveness and transparency in pricing. The cloud infrastructure should offer competitive pricing structures, flexible billing options, and clear visibility into resource usage. It should provide cost optimization features, such as resource monitoring and allocation tracking, to help users optimize their infrastructure costs.
  8. Management and Monitoring Tools: The entry should showcase comprehensive management and monitoring tools that simplify the administration and maintenance of the cloud infrastructure. These tools should enable users to monitor resource utilization, track performance metrics, set up alerts, and automate management tasks for efficient operation and troubleshooting.
  9. Green Initiatives and Sustainability: The entry could highlight any environmentally friendly initiatives or practices undertaken by the cloud infrastructure provider. This includes using energy-efficient hardware, optimizing resource utilization, or employing renewable energy sources to reduce the carbon footprint associated with running the infrastructure.
  10. Customer Satisfaction and Testimonials: The entry should include customer testimonials, case studies, and success stories that demonstrate the satisfaction and positive experiences of users with the cloud infrastructure. This provides evidence of the infrastructure’s reliability, performance, and value delivered to businesses.

By showcasing these attributes, a strong entry for the “Best Cloud Infrastructure” category demonstrates the infrastructure’s ability to deliver scalability, high availability, security, performance, and cost-effectiveness. It should emphasize user satisfaction, innovative features, and adherence to industry best practices to stand out among competitors.

Next Steps to Enter The Cloud Awards

To enter this Cloud Awards category, or any other category in The Cloud Awards, please follow these three simple steps:

  • Download the entry form. Open up the ‘Cloud Awards Simple Form’ document.
  • Complete your form. You only need to complete the form once, even if entering multiple Cloud Awards categories.
  • Submit your entry. Head to the ‘Submit Now’ section on our website, select ‘The Cloud Awards’ and the category/categories you are entering from the list, upload your form and any other materials you would like the judges to review, and process your fees.

Since 2011, The Cloud Awards been helping organizations across the globe gain the recognition they deserve for market-leading innovation in the cloud computing and software sectors.

For a detailed breakdown of all the benefits you receive as an awards entrant as either a shortlistee, finalist or ultimate winner, please see our “Why Enter?” page. The many benefits are replicated across all international awards programs. If you have any questions about this category, please contact us.