Mini-glossary Cloud computing terms you should know

Mini-glossary: Cloud Computing Terms you Should Know

Cloud Computing is an exciting new buzzword that has taken the tech industry by storm. Cloud computing means storing files, databases, email, clients, etc on remote servers. This frees up the hardware resources on your personal computer that you used to dedicate for things like word-processing and email. By moving everything to the cloud (aka remote server farms), you expand your ability to communicate and share data with other users. The mini glossary below explains several popular cloud computing terms so you can get started using this service.

Cloud Computing Terms 

Advertising-Based Pricing Model

The advertising-based pricing model is the act of paying based on the number of impressions (or views) an online banner ad generates. Billing records are collected by tracking companies. This information is then processed using algorithms to estimate the total number of impressions for each advertisement. Advertisers will only be billed after an estimation has been calculated, which can take up to forty-five days after click-through has occurred.

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud

 Amazon EC2 enables you to provision Amazon EC2 runs your computing applications on Amazon’s scalable infrastructure. Amazon EC2 removes the guesswork out of computing capacity planning and Amazon EC2 automatically grows and shrinks Amazon EC2 provides easy-to-use management features so you can spend less time managing your Amazon EC2 resources and more time building your applications.

Apache Hadoop

Apache Hadoop is one of the most influential open-source projects of the past decade. The amount of data in the world is increasing dramatically every year, and Hadoop has become essential in order to make sense of it all.


AWS (Amazon Web Services) has become the leading Cloud computing platform, and it’s not hard to see why. It has an extensive range of services that allow you to run applications virtually on servers that AWS takes care of. This means that your applications will be fully available all the time, no matter whether you’re developing, testing, or managing the application. AWS is made up of S3 (storage), EC2 (Virtual machines), RDS (database), and many other services. I’ve compiled a list of terms you should be familiar with if you want to tell your developer what type of instance you want them to create using EC2 (Amazon’s Virtual Machine).

Content delivery network (CDN)

A CDN is a type of network in which your content from your web servers is stored in a network of distributed servers. You store everything in a distributed network that works to deliver the content in the fastest and most efficient way possible. This means that people will have quick access to your content because it’s coming from a variety of servers. With a CDN, it isn’t just your website or application that is faster; third-party media like images and javascript files will also be faster because multiple servers work together to deliver content quickly.


Cloud Computing is a metaphor for outsourcing computing. The cloud is a way of drawing attention to the fact that a user’s information is hosted in a data center connected to a network. This can be in the form of physical servers in a dedicated data center, or virtual machines operating in a software-defined data center.

Cloud Portability 

Cloud portability is becoming increasingly important in today’s workplace, with employees demanding that their software is accessible from any location. This is especially the case with small business owners, who are looking to work on the move – whether they’re out on a website for an hour meeting with one of their clients, or they’re on holiday. The good news for them is that cloud services are becoming increasingly portable.


Crowdsourcing is an emerging trend that businesses are looking into when they need affordable, high-quality work that can be done promptly. The cloud is a central point on the Internet where companies outsource their projects to remote freelance workers who do the work for them through the Internet.

Crowdsourcing is a way for companies and individuals to get help from the “cloud”—other people. There are many ways to use the cloud online, and sometimes we don’t know how others are using it. 

Cloud storage

Cloud storage is a great option for storing your files in the Cloud. It makes it easier to access your files from whatever device you are using, no matter where you are. There are many solid cloud storage options available to consumers, so finding your perfect match doesn’t have to be overwhelming. We took some of the most popular cloud storage services into consideration and ran them through a series of tests. We broke down the pros and cons of each service based on five key areas: Security & Privacy, Interface & Ease-of-Use, Device Compatibility, Media Streaming & Accessibility, and Comparative Costs.


Cloudware was the term used to describe all of the virtual computer servers that were located somewhere else. The idea behind this rental of servers is that you can scale up your website without taking on the full responsibility of maintaining hardware… It made sense until the hacks began hitting cloud computing sites, and then everyone started having doubts about using these “outsourced” services.


Cluster is an open-source software utility that allows you to easily create Web Application Management (WAM) clusters of Java web applications, on any platform that supports JBoss Application Server or Apache Geronimo. 

Consumer Cloud

Consumer cloud computing is a big topic in the industry and the media. If you’re not in the technology industry, it may be difficult to understand what consumers can and should expect when using consumer cloud applications and services. 

Consumption-based pricing model

A consumption-based pricing model is a pricing method in which the price for a product is determined by the number of units used or consumed during a specific usage period. It is one of the four types of pricing models for cloud services.

Content management interoperability services

Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) is a modular, Web-based application programming interface (API) specification initially developed by the Open Archives Initiative (OAI). CMIS is used to share data across various content management systems, including their relating repositories. CMIS can be used to share content across multiple systems, not just among search engines. CMIS allows any type of metadata to be shared between repositories including relational metadata about objects.

Customer Self-Service

Customer self-service is now table stakes for customer service. Organizations that don’t avail themselves of tools that allow customers to solve their issues, rather than having to engage an expensive, deeply knowledgeable human will find themselves eating dust in the hyper-competitive 21st-century economy.

Disruptive Technology

Disruptive technology is a term used to describe new technologies that eventually break established market patterns, in an attempt to change the ‘game’ for industries and companies. They’re often created to reduce costs, prices, and/or preferences through increased efficiency. If a cloud computing company alternative to your existing vendor doesn’t perform as well, save yourself time and money. It just means that the new product is trying to make things different.


Docker is an application container system. It allows you to create an image with the entire software stack necessary for your applications. This is very useful when you have multiple servers in your environment which need to have the same set of applications installed before they are ready to use. You can just run docker-compose up on all of your servers and the image will be downloaded and then started. This way all of your applications are installed in seconds instead of manually installing each one.”

Elastic Computing

Elastic computing is a term coined by Amazon to refer to a cloud service where your hardware can be allotted automatically according to your usage. Elastic computing may seem like a new idea, but the concept of elastic computing has a long history and it is merely a modernized implementation of the concept.

External Cloud

External cloud storage is the biggest trend in technology. It’s not just for big companies anymore, people are getting more and more fed up with their Internet Service Providers (ISP) charging them too much for data overage charges.

Google App Engine

Google App Engine applications are also very fast. For users, there is no software to install or maintain. There are no servers for you to configure. The computation infrastructure is completely managed by Google, so you can just focus on building great applications that interact with Google services.

Google Apps

Google Apps is a free suite of productivity tools, including Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Docs. While you can access all of these tools from your computer browser, there’s also a great mobile app for iPhone and Android users. But if you’re like me and use different devices for work and personal use, it can be hard to keep Appointment Contacts separate. Let’s take a look at how to integrate Google Apps with Google Contacts to sync your Appointments across all devices.

Hardware as a service

Hardware as a servicethat you access over the Internet. Rather than leasing hardware, HaaS outsources the operations of hardware. Or more specifically, the hardware administration tasks that are required to keep your organization’s equipment up and running.

Hosted Application

Hosted applications are created to make your work easier. Not only are they simple to install, they are user-friendly which means most of the time you’ll not require technical support. However, I advise you to find out more information about any application before installing it on your website because it may contain hidden risks that could jeopardize the security of your website.

Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid cloud refers to the combination of two or more cloud computing services to facilitate workload mobility. If you’re not using a hybrid cloud for your business, then you’re not utilizing your technology infrastructure to its full potential.


The term IaaS refers to a philosophy where you can just pay for what you use, as opposed to having to buy your physical servers. On the surface, it’s an easy way to deploy virtual machines on-demand. Rather than just considering the price of cloud computing, also consider its benefits. IaaS is a great way to access high-powered computing services without having to purchase expensive hardware.

IBM Smart Business

IBM Smart Business is a service that you can use to learn how to take your business smarter. Its services include analysis of social data, competitive analysis, customer insight, and contemporary marketing best practices.

Internal cloud

Internal cloud computing refers to the infrastructure that is created within an organization. It has made it possible for organizations to have computing resources in their own office, without having to rely on IT staff members to set up these resources for them. This type of cloud computing allows for greater employee control over their computing resources. It also requires fewer administrative resources, since organizations no longer have to maintain their own internal data centers.


A mashup is the combination of two pre-existing website features. For example, many bloggers use MailChimp to send out an automated email newsletter to their followers after they’ve published a new article. If you like this idea but don’t like MailChimp, you can create your email newsletter using the IFTTT recipe feature. The only limit is your imagination. Unfortunately, not all mashups are created equal; not all of them work perfectly. However, if you keep at it and test what does and doesn’t work then you’ll find that over time your mashups will get better and better.

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure can be used to build applications or services. With industry-leading features like Machine Learning, HDInsight Spark Cluster, Event Hubs, IoT Hub as well as others, Microsoft Azure provides an increased scale and freedom as well as a pay-as-you-go pricing model.


Middleware is a layer of software that can be applied to reverse proxy and web server platforms to process requests, examine them, and pass them on to the server. Middleware can either stand alone or be integrated into an application stack.

On-demand service

In the digital economy, there is a growing trend towards on-demand services. The ability for customers to demand service at any given time, gives them a lot of power. Power to choose how and when they want to experience a service. If you cater to the demand, you’re going to grab an audience that’s much bigger than you already have.


PaaS is a cloud-based virtual environment that allows users to quickly spawn applications, with little to no specialized knowledge of the configuration or operation details of this platform. It also allows the business to scale up the application by paying for only what they use.

Pay as you go

Pay as you go is a billing model where usage fees are charged on a per-use basis rather than the more common up-front fees. When it comes to cloud computing, pay as you go can be considered as both a service and a financing option.

Private cloud 

A private cloud is “an internal cloud computing network that is owned, managed, and operated entirely by an organization.” Many organizations are adopting private cloud computer networks to leverage their IT infrastructures for more agile services; in addition to the features of the public cloud, the private cloud delivers better security and meets the compliance requirements of many organizations. We got lots of questions about private cloud here at Mailjet, so we thought we’d answer the most popular ones with this blog post.

Public cloud

Public cloud storage is a form of cloud storage, providing distributed file access to a large pool of storage resources that can be broadly utilized by anyone.

The public cloud is everywhere today, but most executives still do not understand what it is or how it can be useful in the enterprise. More importantly, IT leaders need to know how to benefit from the public cloud’s growing selection of services and its potential security issues. 


SaaS is a type of software that allows a customer to access features over the internet instead of a local setup. When you use SaaS, you avoid having to spend large sums of money on the installation, development, and maintenance of the software. Because you don’t have to set up local software and hardware, the price is right and you save time that would otherwise be spent getting it up and running. You also don’t have to worry about updating it since the updates are handled by the company providing the software. is an enterprise-wide customer relationship management (CRM) system that lets you track leads, manage contacts, close business, and analyze important data. No matter your vertical or industry, Salesforce can handle it all. It has a user-friendly interface for all departments to work together more easily, along with the ability to view data in real-time to make sure you are noticing trends at the pace of your business.

Service migration

Service migration in a cloud environment ensures that service performance remains uninterrupted, essential service characteristics are maintained and the service is reliably available to users at all times. This white paper from VMware discusses cloud-based service migration and how you can use it to migrate services in minutes, rather than weeks.


A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is essentially a contract that describes the conditions and penalties of failure. It is especially for the business that scales their business online. The SLA can be seen as a contract or agreement between your client and your company.

Subscription-based pricing model

The subscription-based pricing model is great for making recurring revenue off of your app. A subscription model encourages customers to pay for things they use regularly, which in turn will reduce the likelihood customers regret their purchase. For example, if you provide your users access to over 20 million images, using subscription pricing allows the users to easily check out without choosing to buy specific images.

Utility Computing

Utility computing is the method of using third-party services to implement the cloud computing paradigm. It’s using stuff that someone else has built. As developers, we often want to work at the very metal of the systems we implement, but sometimes this isn’t feasible or practical. Utility computing allows you to adjust your infrastructure costs depending on your needs.

Vendor lock-in

Vendor lock-in is a concept that’s important to understand if you want to be able to switch over to another vendor at some point in the future. The idea of vendor lock-in comes from comparing switching of vendors to switching of phones or internet providers. It describes how difficult it is for you to leave one provider and go with another.

Vertical cloud

 Vertical cloud is an expression meaning “aspects or layers about one another”. It originates from the construction industry and has become a term in finance, economics, and business. Cloud computing means that certain services are delivered over the web. This could be applications, operating systems, or any kind of data storage.  The vertical cloud is related to cloud computing but also gives the user the possibility to use their servers for processing instead of outsourcing it completely to third parties.

Virtual private data center

A virtual private data center (VPN) is a top-tier data center that provides data protection, security, and regulatory compliance for companies that need to keep their digital assets secure. It’s a haven for IT managers who are concerned with cyber attacks. That’s why many organizations are implementing the use of VPN for their businesses.

Window live services

Windows Live Services are a set of services offered by Microsoft for Windows Live-branded products. These terms are all related to online content services like social media and website-building tools. They reduce the cost of getting started and can help you build an audience for your content.

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