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    Cloud Dictionary: 50 Cloud Computing Terms To Know

    Webopedia’s Cloud Computing dictionary will help you understand the new language that has surfaced around the topic of cloud computing. Each cloud computing-related phrase listed below offers a short introduction to the topic. Simply click the “Learn More” link to read the full Webopedia definition.

    Recommended Reading: Cloud Computing Explained.


    An open source cloud computing platform targeted at organizations in the thinking stage of adopting a private cloud services model or evaluating options and alternatives for private cloud solutions. (Learn More)

    Amazon EC2

    Short for Amazon Elastic Computer Cloud, Amazon EC2 is a commercial Web service that lets customers “rent” computing resources from the EC2 cloud. (Learn More)


    Anything-as-a-service, or XaaS, refers to the growing diversity of services available over the Internet via cloud computing as opposed to being provided locally, or on premises. (Learn More)

    Apache CloudStack

    An open source cloud computing and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform developed to help make creating, deploying and managing cloud services easier by providing a complete stack of features and components for cloud environments. (Learn More)

    Cloud App

    Short for cloud application, cloud app is the phrase used to describe a software application that is never installed on a local computer. Instead, it is accessed via the Internet. (Learn More)

    Cloud Application Management for Platforms (CAMP)

    CAMP, short for Cloud Application Management for Platforms, is a specification designed to ease management of applications — including packaging and deployment — across public and private cloud computing platforms. (Learn More)

    Cloud Backup

    Cloud backup, or cloud computer backup, refers to backing up data to a remote, cloud-based server. As a form of cloud storage, cloud backup data is stored in and accessible from multiple distributed and connected resources that comprise a cloud. (Learn More)

    Cloud Backup Service Provider

    A third-party entity that manages and distributes remote, cloud-based data backup services and solutions to customers from a central data center. (Learn More)

    Cloud Backup Solutions

    Cloud backup solutions enable enterprises or individuals to store their data and computer files on the Internet using a storage service provider, rather than storing the data locally on a physical disk, such as a hard drive or tape backup. (Learn More)

    Cloud Computing

    A type of computing, comparable to grid computing that relies on sharing computing resources rather than having local servers or personal devices to handle applications. The goal of cloud computing is to apply traditional supercomputing, or high-performance computing power, normally used by military and research facilities, to perform tens of trillions of computations per second, in consumer-oriented applications such as financial portfolios or even to deliver personalized information, or power immersive computer games. (Learn More)

    Cloud Computing Accounting Software

    Cloud computing accounting software is accounting software that is hosted on remote servers. It provides accounting capabilities to businesses in a fashion similar to the SaaS (Software as a Service) business model. Data is sent into “the cloud,” where it is processed and returned to the user. All application functions are performed off-site, not on the user’s desktop. (Learn More)

    Cloud Computing Reseller

    A company that purchases hosting services from a cloud server hosting or cloud computing provider and then re-sells them to its own customers. (Learn More)

    Cloud Database

    A database accessible to clients from the cloud and delivered to users on demand via the Internet from a cloud database provider’s servers. Also referred to as Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS), cloud databases can use cloud computing to achieve optimized scaling, high availability, multi-tenancy and effective resource allocation. (Learn More)

    Cloud Enablement

    The process of making available one or more of the following services and infrastructures to create a public cloud computing environment: cloud provider, client and application. (Learn More)

    Cloud Management

    Software and technologies designed for operating and monitoring the applications, data and services residing in the cloud. Cloud management tools help ensure a company’s cloud computing-based resources are working optimally and properly interacting with users and other services. (Learn More)

    Cloud Migration

    The process of transitioning all or part of a company’s data, applications and services from on-site premises behind the firewall to the cloud, where the information can be provided over the Internet on an on-demand basis. (Learn More)

    Cloud OS

    A phrase frequently used in place of Platform as a Service (PaaS) to denote an association to cloud computing.

    Cloud Portability

    In cloud (cloud computing) terminology, the phrase “cloud portability” means the ability to move applications and its associated data between one cloud provider and another — or between public and private cloud environments. (Learn More)

    Cloud Provider

    A service provider who offers customers storage or software solutions available via a public network, usually the Internet. (Learn More)

    Cloud Provisioning

    The deployment of a company s cloud computing strategy, which typically first involves selecting which applications and services will reside in the public cloud and which will remain on site behind the firewall or in the private cloud. Cloud provisioning also entails developing the processes for interfacing with the cloud s applications and services as well as auditing and monitoring who accesses and utilizes the resources. (Learn More)

    Cloud Server Hosting

    Cloud server hosting is a type of hosting in which hosting services are made available to customers on demand via the Internet. Rather than being provided by a single server or virtual server, cloud server hosting services are provided by multiple connected servers that comprise a cloud. (Learn More)

    Cloud Storage

    Cloud storage means “the storage of data online in the cloud,” wherein a company’s data is stored in and accessible from multiple distributed and connected resources that comprise a cloud. (Learn More)

    Cloud Testing

    Load and performance testing conducted on the applications and services provided via cloud computing — particularly the capability to access these services — in order to ensure optimal performance and scalability under a wide variety of conditions.(Learn More)


    Desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) is a form of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) in which the VDI is outsourced and handled by a third party. Also called hosted desktop services, desktop-as-a-service is frequently delivered as a cloud service along with the apps needed for use on the virtual desktop. (Learn More)

    Enterprise Application

    The term used to describe applications — or software — that a business would use to assist the organization in solving enterprise problems. When the word “enterprise” is combined with “application,” it usually refers to a software platform that is too large and too complex for individual or small business use. (Learn More)

    Enterprise Cloud Backup

    Enterprise-grade cloud backup solutions typically add essential features such as archiving and disaster recovery to cloud backup solutions. (Learn More)


    An open source cloud computing and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform for enabling private clouds. (Learn More)

    Hybrid Cloud Storage

    A combination of public cloud storage and private cloud storage where some critical data resides in the enterprise’s private cloud while other data is stored and accessible from a public cloud storage provider. (Learn More)

    IBM Cloud

    IBM Cloud refers to a collection of enterprise-class technologies and services developed to help customers assess their cloud readiness, develop adoption strategies and identify business entry points for a cloud environment. IBM’s cloud computing strategy is based on a hybrid cloud model that focuses on integrating the private cloud services of a company with the public cloud. (Learn More)

    IBM CloudBurst (CloudBurst)

    CloudBurst is a ready-to-go solution from IBM that s designed to provide resource monitoring, cost management and services availability in a cloud. IBM CloudBurst is a key component in the company s lineup of cloud computing solutions, which also includes IBM Smart Business Storage Cloud, IBM Smart Desktop Cloud and IBMSmartCloud Enterprise. (Learn More)


    IaaS is defined as computer infrastructure, such as virtualization, being delivered as a service. IaaS is popular in the data center where software and servers are purchased as a fully outsourced service and usually billed on usage and how much of the resource is used – compared to the traditional method of buying software and servers outright. May also be called enterprise-level hosting platform. (Learn More)

    Internal Cloud

    Another name for a private cloud.

    Mobile Cloud Storage

    A form of cloud storage that applies to storing an individual’s mobile device data in the cloud and providing the individual with access to the data from anywhere. (Learn More)


    In cloud computing, multi-tenant is the phrase used to describe multiple customers using the same public cloud. (Learn More)

    Online Backup

    In storage technology, online backup means to back up data from your hard drive to a remote server or computer using a network connection. Online backup technology leverages the Internet and cloud computing to create an attractive off-site storage solution with little hardware requirements for any business of any size. (Learn More)

    OpenStack Grizzly

    The follow-up to the Folsom release of the OpenStack open source cloud computing platform, OpenStack Grizzly debuted in April 2013 as the seventh release of OpenStack. With OpenStack Grizzly, the OpenStack Foundation has focused on adding broader support for compute, storage and networking technologies as well as greater scalability and ease of operations. (Learn More)

    Personal Cloud Storage

    A form of cloud storage that applies to storing an individual s data in the cloud and providing the individual with access to the data from anywhere. Personal cloud storage also often enables syncing and sharing stored data across multiple devices such as mobile phones and tablet computers. (Learn More)

    Private Cloud

    The phrase used to describe a cloud computing platform that is implemented within the corporate firewall, under the control of the IT department. A private cloud is designed to offer the same features and benefits of cloud systems, but removes a number of objections to the cloud computing model including control over enterprise and customer data, worries about security, and issues connected to regulatory compliance. (Learn More)

    Private Cloud Project

    Companies initiate private cloud projects to enable their IT infrastructure to become more capable of quickly adapting to continually evolving business needs and requirements. Private cloud projects can also be connected to public clouds to create hybrid clouds. (Learn More)

    Private Cloud Security

    A private cloud implementation aims to avoid many of the objections regarding cloud computing security. Because a private cloud setup is implemented safely within the corporate firewall, it remains under the control of the IT department. (Learn More)

    Private Cloud Storage

    A form of cloud storage where the enterprise data and cloud storage resources both reside within the enterprise’s data center and behind the firewall. (Learn More)

    Public Cloud Storage

    A form of cloud storage where the enterprise and storage service provider are separate and the data is stored outside of the enterprise’s data center. (Learn More)

    Red Hat Cloud Computing

    Red Hat Cloud Computing refers to solutions for private clouds, hybrid clouds, and public clouds offered by Red Hat. (Learn More)

    Red Hat CloudForms

    Red Hat CloudForms is an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering that builds upon a collection of more than 60 open source projects. CloudForms include application lifecycle management capabilities as well as the capability to create hybrid public and private clouds from the broadest range of computing resources with unique portability across physical, virtual and cloud computing resources. (Learn More)

    Red Hat OpenShift

    OpenShift provides developers with a choice in languages, frameworks, and clouds to build, test, run, and manage Java, Ruby, PHP, Perl and Python applications. Developers can also choose the cloud provider the applications will run on. (Learn More)

    Software as a Service

    SaaS is a software delivery method that provides access to software and its functions remotely as a Web-based service. Software as a Service allows organizations to access business functionality at a cost typically less than paying for licensed applications since SaaS pricing is based on a monthly fee. (Learn More)

    Software Plus Services

    Software Plus Services (Software + Services) is Microsoft’s philosophy for complementing the software company’s on-premises software offerings with cloud-based remote computing software options. (Learn More)

    Storage Cloud

    Storage cloud refers to the collection of multiple distributed and connected resources responsible for storing and managing data online in the cloud. (Learn More)

    Vertical Cloud Computing

    A vertical cloud, or vertical cloud computing, is the phrase used to describe the optimization of cloud computing and cloud services for a particular vertical (e.g., a specific industry) or specific use application. (Learn More)

    VMware vCloud Connector

    The VMware vCloud Connector is a tool that facilitates hybrid cloud computing for organizations. The vCloud Connector essentially helps to orchestrate and administer the migration of VMs across different data centers and clouds. (Learn More)

    More Cloud Computing Articles from

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    5. Cloud Computing White Papers and Resources for Small Businesses

    This article was last updated on July 09, 2014