IaaS providers deploy and manage pre-configured and virtualized hardware and enable users to spin up virtual machines or computing power without the labor-intensive server management or hardware investments.

Amazon Web Services, for example, offers IaaS through the Elastic Compute Cloud, or EC2. Most IaaS packages cover the storage, networking, servers, and virtualization components, while IaaS customers are usually responsible for installing and maintaining the operating system, databases, security components, and applications.

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