A Cloud Computing Glossary

If you are new to cloud computing or are beginning to move an IT network to a private or public cloud, here is a top list of terms that you should know while researching cloud solutions.

Platform as a Service (PaaS) – PaaS is simply delivering Operating Systems (OS) to desktops as a service via the Internet.

Infrastructure as a Service (IAAS) – IAAS allows you to spin up additional machines in the cloud depending on your local networks bottleneck. For example, if your Active Directory (AD) servers get hit hard at a certain time of day, you can spin up additional domain controllers in the cloud to help alleviate the issue.

Software as a Service (SaaS) – SaaS enables you to connect to services via an Internet browser or application portal for a monthly service fee.

Elasticity – Elastic means that you can expand your storage on demand. For example, you have a web site that uses 5 servers all year long for online purchases. During Christmas, demand increases and you automatically spin-up 2 additional web servers to handle the demand. When demand dies, the servers deprecate. This is elasticity.

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) – This is Amazon’s cloud offering that allows you to purchase computer resources in the cloud to build scaleable web applications.

Windows Azure – Windows Azure is Microsoft’s Cloud solution for building scaleable applications in the cloud.

iCloud – iCloud is Apple’s offering that allows you to story your music, photographs, documents, apps in the cloud for backup purposes; you will never lose a thing. Furthermore, Apple allows you to synchronize or push this information to all of your apple devices such as iPad, iPhone, and iTouch.

Google Apps – Google has an entire office suite available in the cloud. Examples include, Gmail, Google docs, Google drive, calendaring and spreadsheets.

Dropbox – Dropbox is a SaaS solution that backs up and synchronizes your data to all computers that have the software installed. 2 GB is a free account and you can purchase additional space up to 100 GB.

Hybrid Cloud – A hybrid cloud is how many companies begin their move to the cloud. You have a local network and a private/public cloud. For example, your company may have a Storage Area Network (SAN) but also leases space from Amazon at peak periods.

Amazon S3 – This is simply an Amazon cloud storage service. If you need storage, you can purchase space from Amazon for a monthly fee.

Cloud OS – A cloud OS is an operating system that is only available when connected to the Internet. A cloud OS may also have an offline mode. A good example of a cloud OS is the following: Google Chrome OS and Jolicloud.

Cloud Provider – Microsoft, Skytap and Vmware are all cloud providers. They all hope to get your business in the cloud.

If you have any questions about cloud computing, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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