Infrastructure as a service, or IaaS, is a cloud computing model that provides users with hosted computing infrastructure. With IaaS, third-party vendors provide users with virtual resources, such as server space, network connections, and ip addresses, to host, build, test, and scale websites and applications. Companies often use IaaS clouds as scalable platforms for new applications or expanding existing applications to larger audiences. This avoids long-term investments in hardware and provides location independence. The service tends to function through a pay-as-you-go pricing model, allowing for growth and flexibility. It is used by development teams and systems administrators as an alternative to in-house servers prior to scaling. Instead, hardware is housed across multiple data centers and managed by the provider.