Guide to Cloud Computing Lingo: From the Windstream IT and Telecom Lingo Series


Windstream’s Guide to Cloud Computing, a glossary of cloud computing terms, is another installment in our series of “Guides to IT and Telecom Lingo”. It’s not designed to be a comprehensive list – just a non-technical guide to common cloud terms. We’ll update the Cloud Computing Guide and other guides with additional terms as the industry grows and changes.

Cloud (“The Cloud”)
The computing expanse known as the Internet, essentially derived from the “cloud” icon commonly used in illustrations, diagrams, flowcharts, etc. to depict the Internet.
Cloud App (Cloud Application)
Software Applications housed and accessed via the Internet rather than installed on a local computer.
Cloud Backup
Data (files, video, music, emails, etc) backed up to a remote, cloud-based server for storage and retrieval rather than storing data locally on hard drives or tape backup.
Cloud Backup Service Provider
A third-party service provider offering tools, processes and capacity to remotely, backup data to cloud-based, off-premises data center and managing data storage and access for customers.
Cloud Bursting
A feature capability of the cloud that allows applications running in a private cloud or data center to access a public cloud in order to add computing capacity on an as-needed basis, freeing up local resources for business-critical applications when private cloud computing demands reach peak capacity.
Cloud Computing
A style of computing that shares computing resources on-demand and delivers scalable and elastic hosted computing capabilities and services such as networks, servers, applications, storage and various managed services, to an organization using Internet technologies.
Cloud Database
A database accessible over the Internet delivered from the cloud on demand from a database provider's servers, offering high availability, multi-tenancy and scalability for greater efficiency.
Cloud Federation
Interconnecting cloud computing environments of two or more cloud service providers to enhance load balancing and manage spikes in demand. When federating cloud services, reputable cloud service providers provide collaboration and transparency to customers and extend their customer-facing service-level-agreement (SLA) into partnering cloud service provider’s data centers.
Cloud Management
Monitoring and management of operating systems applications, data and services that reside in the cloud, using cloud management software and technologies to ensure cloud computing-based resources are functioning and performing optimally.
Cloud Migration
The process of moving data, applications and services from physical and/or virtual computing environments that are on-premise behind an internal network firewall to an off-premise, cloud-based environment such as a host data center, where data is stored in the cloud and accessed via the Internet on-demand.
Cloud Provider
A service provider offering computing, application, data, storage and managed services available on a public or private network via the Internet.
Cloud Provisioning
The provisioning of cloud computing resources/virtual machines configured with specific CPU, memory and storage for applications and services, determining which reside on public cloud and which reside behind firewalls or in a private cloud, and the provisioning, monitoring and auditing of access and utilization.
Cloud Server Hosting
Server hosting provided to users on demand via the Internet from a cloud hosting service provider, offering increased accessibility, reliability, scalability and cost savings—as customers only pay for resources used and avoid investments in on-premise servers and hardware.
Similar to outsourcing, it is sourcing various IT operations to third-party cloud services providers who offer specialized IT products, services, deployment and maintenance delivered and billed in the cloud.
Cloud Storage
A networked, online storage model in which data is stored on virtual servers in the cloud and accessible from multiple distributed and connected resources. Typically hosted by a third-party cloud services provider, cloud storage solutions allow users to save data, transferring it over the Internet for offsite storage. Cloud storage offers greater accessibility, reliability, rapid deployment, secure data backup, archiving and disaster recovery at lower costs vs. ownership of data storage infrastructure.
Cloud Testing
Testing applied to applications and services hosted in the cloud, to evaluate load, performance and accessibility to ensure optimal performance and scalability under various conditions.                     
 The release of cloud services that are no longer needed.
Disaster Recovery
The process, policies, procedures and preparations implemented to protect IT technology, infrastructure and data and ensure recovery of data and continuation of mission-critical network services vital to an organization’s business continuity in the event of a natural or human-made disaster.
DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service)
Abstraction of Services designed to align with and copy the operational characteristics of production network, compute & storage capabilities and capacity. Combines the best of data replication, cloud and server virtualization technologies. Delivers a fully-managed recovery to a cloud-based disaster recovery infrastructure. Ensures data and applications are safe and secure, and will be there when needed in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.
Enterprise Application
Software applications designed to interface or integrate with other enterprise applications deployed across large and distributed enterprise networks including Internet, Intranet and corporate networks, typically too large, complex and robust for small business use.
Enterprise Cloud Backup – Sophisticated
enterprise-grade & scale cloud backup technology and solutions providing high-level features and performance to meet the complexity of big data backup, management, storage, archival, retention and disaster recovery demands of large businesses and enterprise organizations.
Hybrid Cloud
 A hybrid combination of private cloud and public cloud services where critical data resides in a highly secure private cloud environment with hosted infrastructure and software provisioned for dedicated use by a single organization—while other data or compute resides and performs in a secure public cloud environment as part of a shared cloud infrastructure and software provisioned for your use. It combines the scalability, reliability, rapid deployment and cost savings of public cloud storage with the security and full control of private cloud storage for businesses with regulatory, fiduciary or other compliance requirements.
A host operating systems program, also called a virtual machine monitor (VMM), that controls and manages compute tasks on the host hardware in the cloud, allocating resources to multiple operating systems that share the host hardware to ensure uninterrupted service for all each operating systems residing on the host hardware.
IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)
Infrastructure provided as a service in the cloud where servers, network equipment, storage and software in a virtualized environment are delivered as a service over the Internet by a third-party cloud services provider, typically billed on a pay-per-use basis. The service provider owns, houses, operates and maintains the equipment, providing scalability, reliability, rapid deployment and cost savings to IaaS customers.
In the Cloud
Any abstraction IT technology, application and services offered via a cloud-based network, accessed and delivered via the Internet.
Measured Service
The measurement or metering of cloud services to control, monitor, optimize and report cloud services utilization such as storage, processing, bandwidth and account user activity, providing transparency for both the provider and the customer to ensure accurate billing, access control, resource optimization, capacity planning and other metrics.
Multiple customers using and sharing the same IT resources typically found in a public cloud.
A software architecture where software runs on a server, serving multiple organizations (tenants), with applications designed to partition data and configurations, providing each tenant with customized, virtual application solutions.
NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) 
A non-regulatory federal agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce advancing measurement science, standards and technology, including their Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) providing measurement and infrastructure standards for information technology.
On-Demand Self-Service
On-demand, self-service cloud computing capabilities allowing users to provision cloud services like server time and network storage as needed automatically.
Online Backup
A data backup and storage solution leveraging the Internet and cloud computing to automatically copy data from your hard drive and transfer it via a network connection to an off site server for secure storage, typically at a third-party provider data center.
Open Source Software
Software with source code published and made available to the public, enabling any user to copy, modify and make improvements to the software for their own applications.
PaaS (Platform as a Service)
 Cloud-based computing platforms provided to users as a service from a third party cloud services provider, offering hardware, operating systems, storage and network capacity delivered over the Internet.
Private Cloud
Cloud infrastructure and software provisioned for exclusive use by a single organization with hosted infrastructure and software provisioned by a third-party data center, offering the advantages of cloud-based Internet access and the security of dedicated, single-tenant assets.
Public Cloud
Virtual server cloud computing services offered by a cloud services provider, provisioned for open use to the general public via the Internet, providing resources, applications, data storage and other services via the Internet on a secure, shared (multi-tenant) platform to offer scalable, reliable, cost-efficient computing, usually billed on a pay per use basis.
Rapid Elasticity
Elastic provisioning and release of cloud computing resources to scale capabilities outward or inward to rapidly expand or contract capabilities and capacity as dictated by demand.
SaaS (Software as a Service)
 Software and applications that are provided as a service and hosted by a cloud services provider, delivering cloud-based services on an as needed basis to users via the Internet and typically billed on monthly or use basis.
SLA Service Level Agreement (SLA)
 A contractual agreement between a provider and a customer that specifies service level requirements for various processes and metrics such as uptime, availability, privacy, security and backup, measured by the activity.
Utility Computing
 Online computing or storage services sold, metered, measured and billed on a usage basis, similar to public utilities.
Vertical Cloud Computing
Optimized cloud computing and cloud services for a particular industry market vertical or specific use application designed with functionality, resources and other applications to meet the specific needs and requirements of a marketplace such as Finance, HealthCare and/or Education.

Interested in Windstream’s Cloud Solutions? Take a look at our Cloud Computing and Cloud Storage options, then contact us and let a trusted Windstream advisor help you decide which options are right for your business!