Cloud Computing Glossary


Lately Cloud computing has been one of the hottest topics in the IT industry and most of the big vendors are staring to offer a variation of Cloud computing services. This new technology brings new terminology and that could be confusing for some people and even IT professionals. Below you will find a list of Cloud related terms and a brief description for each.

Cloud: A metaphor for a global network, currently used in reference to the internet.

Cloud broker: A unit that creates and maintains relationships with multiple cloud service providers. It also acts as a link between cloud services customers and cloud service providers.

Cloud operating system: A computer operating system that is specially designed to run in the Cloud and be delivered to the user over the Internet. Windows Azure and Google Chrome OS are good examples.

Cloud Oriented Architecture: A term coined by Jeff Barr at Amazon Web Services to describe an architecture where applications act as services in the Cloud and serve other applications in the Cloud environment.

Cloud portability: The ability to move applications and data across Cloud environments from one Cloud provider to another.

Cloud provider: A company that provides Cloud based platform, infrastructure, application, or storage services to other organizations and/or individuals. Usually there is a fee associated with the service.

Cloud storage: A service that allows for saving data by transferring it over the Internet or another network to an offsite storage system maintained by a third party.

Cloudsourcing: Replacing traditional IT services with Cloud services.

Cloudstorming: Connecting multiple Cloud computing environments via the Internet or another network..

Cloudware: Software that enables creating, deploying, running, or managing applications in the Cloud.

Customer self-service: A feature that allows customers to provision, manage, and terminate services themselves, without involving the service provider, usually done via a Web (GUI) interface.

Disruptive technology: A term used in the business world to describe innovations that improve products or services in unexpected ways and change both the way things are done and the market.

Elastic computing: The ability to dynamically provision and de-provision processing, memory, and storage resources to meet demands of peak usage without worrying about capacity planning and engineering for peak usage.

External cloud: A Cloud computing environment that is external to the boundaries of the organization. Although it often is, an external Cloud is not necessarily a public Cloud.

Hybrid cloud: A computing environment that includes multiple integrated internal and/or external providers.

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service): Cloud infrastructure services, whereby a virtualized environment is delivered as a service over the Internet by the provider. The infrastructure can include servers, network equipment, and software.

Internal cloud: A Cloud computing environment within an organization itself.

Middleware: Software that sits between applications and operating systems, consisting of a set of services that enable interoperability in support of distributed architectures by passing data between applications.

On-demand service: A model by which customers can purchase Cloud services as needed

PaaS (Platform as a service): Cloud platform services, whereby the computing platform (operating system and associated services) is delivered as a service over the Internet by the provider.

Pay as you go: A model for Cloud services that encompasses both subscription-based and consumption-based models, in contrast to traditional IT cost model that requires up-front capital expenditures for hardware and software.

Private cloud: Software or services offered over the Internet or over a LAN to only select users.

Public cloud: Software or Services offered over the Internet and are available to anyone who wants to purchase the service.

SaaS (Software as a Service): Cloud application services, whereby applications are delivered over the Internet. SaaS does not require an upfront cost or preparation for software or hardware. In the past SaaS providers were known as ASP (Application Service Providers).

Service provider: A company that provides a public or private cloud services.

SLA (Service Level Agreement): NOTE: Not a new term for the IT industry, but one that will be used more often than ever. “A service level agreement (SLA) is a negotiated agreement between two parties where one is the customer and the other is the service provider. This can be a legally binding formal or informal “contract” (see internal department relationships)” – Source: Wikipedia

Subscription-based pricing model: A pricing model that lets customers pay a fee to use the service for a particular period of time.

Vertical cloud: A Cloud computing environment that is optimized for use in a particular industry.

VPC (Virtual Private Cloud): A private Cloud existing within a shared or public Cloud. “Amazon Web Services launched Amazon Virtual Private Cloud on 2009-08-26, which allows the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud service to be connected to legacy infrastructure over an IPsec virtual private network connection.” – Source: Wikipedia