Term Explanation

Cloud Computing

A computing capability that provides an abstraction between the computing resource and its underlying technical architecture (e.g., servers, storage, networks), enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

Cloud Infrastructure

The “bottom” layer, or foundation, of the Cloud pyramid is the delivery of computer infrastructure through paravirtualisation. This includes servers, networks and other hardware appliances delivered as either Infrastructure Web Services or “cloud centers”. Full control of the infrastructure is provided at this level.

Cloud Migration

The act of moving from one cloud service provider or vendor to another.

Cloud Platform

The “middle” layer of the Cloud pyramid which provides a computing platform or framework (e.g., .NET, Ruby on Rails, or Python) as a service or stack. Control is limited to that of the platform or framework, but not at a lower level (server infrastructure).

Cloud Portability

The ability to move applications and data from one cloud service provider to another.  See also Vendor lock-in.

Cloud Service Broker

An entity that creates and maintains relationships with multiple cloud service providers. It acts as a liaison between cloud services customers and cloud service providers, selecting the best provider for each customer and monitoring the services.

Cloud Service Provider

A company that provides cloud-based platform, infrastructure, application, or storage services to other organisations and/or individuals, usually for a fee.

Cloud Storage

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

Cluster

A group of linked computers that work together as if they were a single computer, for high availability and/or load balancing.

Community Cloud

The cloud infrastructure is provisioned for exclusive use by a specific community of consumers from organisations that have shared concerns (e.g., mission, security requirements, policy, and compliance considerations). It may be owned, managed, and operated by one or more of the organisations in the community, a third party, or some combination of them, and it may exist on or off premises.

Hybrid Cloud

The cloud infrastructure is a composition of two or more distinct cloud infrastructures (private, community, or public) that remain unique entities, but are bound together by standardised or proprietary technology that enables data and application portability (e.g., cloud bursting for load balancing between clouds).

Independent Software Vendor (ISV)

An independent software vendor (ISV) is a company specialising in making or selling software, designed for mass or niche markets. Such markets may be diverse, including software for real estate brokers, scheduling for healthcare personnel, barcode scanning, stock maintenance and even child care management software.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

The capability provided to the consumer is to provision processing, storage, networks, and other fundamental computing resources where the consumer is able to deploy and run arbitrary software, which can include operating systems and applications. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure but has control over operating systems, storage, and deployed applications; and possibly limited control of select networking components (e.g., host firewalls).

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. So, for example, the data in one database can be accessed through another database.

On-demand Service

A model by which a customer can purchase cloud services as needed; for instance, if customers need to utilise additional servers for the duration of a project, they can do so and then drop back to the previous level after the project is completed.

“Pay-per-use” pricing model

Also called consumption-based pricing model, is a pricing model whereby the service provider charges its customers based on the amount of the service the customer consumes, rather than a time-based fee. For example, a cloud storage provider might charge per gigabyte of information stored. See also Subscription-based pricing model.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

The capability provided to the consumer is to deploy onto the cloud infrastructure consumer-created or acquired applications created using programming languages, libraries, services, and tools supported by the provider. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, or storage, but has control over the deployed applications and possibly configuration settings for the application-hosting environment.

Private Cloud

The cloud infrastructure is provisioned for exclusive use by a single organisation comprising multiple consumers (e.g., business units). It may be owned, managed, and operated by the organisation, a third party, or some combination of them, and it may exist on or off premises.

Public Cloud

The cloud infrastructure is provisioned for open use by the general public. It may be owned, managed, and operated by a business, academic, or government organisation, or some combination of them. It exists on the premises of the cloud service provider.

Service Provider

The company or organisation that provides a public or private cloud service.

SLA

Service level agreement — A contractual agreement by which a service provider defines the level of service, responsibilities, priorities, and guarantees regarding availability, performance, and other aspects of the service.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

The capability provided to the consumer is to use the provider's applications running on a cloud infrastructure. The applications are accessible from various client devices through either a thin client interface, such as a web browser (e.g., web-based email), or a program interface. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, storage, or even individual application capabilities, with the possible exception of limited user-specific application configuration settings.

Subscription-based Pricing Model

A pricing model that lets customers pay a fee to use the service for a particular time period. See also “Pay-per-use” pricing model.

Vendor Lock-in

Dependency on the particular cloud service provider and difficulty moving from one cloud service provider to another due to lack of standardised protocols, APIs, data structures (schema), and service models.

 

 

 

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