Cloud Computing & Cloud Technology Jargon-Buster

The computing and IT industry uses many terms that can be baffling and sometimes even intimidating. Here is a list of some of the more common cloud computing terms, so you can understand what your provider is saying without the embarrassment of having to ask!



Even better,  you won't have to worry about having to deal with these terms in the first place. We are experts in cloud computing and can implement and manage your cloud solution without you having to break a sweat.


And, when we discuss your requirements and report back, we'll do it in Plain English. This means you know exactly what's going on at all times without crossing your fingers and hoping for the best.



Enterprise cloud computing

This refers to a cloud computing network which uses the web to provide infrastructure, software and platform services. This gives enterprises (companies and organisations) greater control of their network's versatility and security.

SaaS (Software as a Service)

This is where a vendor hosts and provides software applications to users, typically on a subscription basis. These software services are made available to the client through a network such as the internet.

PaaS (Platform as a Service)

Similar to SaaS, Platform as a service is another variant of cloud computing, in which a vendor outsources the necessary hardware and software to clients, which enables them to execute their own specific solutions. This service allows users to benefit from resources without needing to pay for the upkeep and purchase of the infrastructure.

DaaS (Desktop as a Service)

Desktop as a Service is a cloud computing service that enables business to provide access to cloud-hosted virtual desktops and privately hosted corporate data through any device at any time, via a secure web connection.

DaaS (Device as a Service)

Device as a Service is a subscription based model of purchasing and managing your IT hardware such as desktops and laptops. Rather than buying these devices up front, you pay per month per seat for each device, which can then be monitored, managed and optimised.

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

This is another model of cloud computing, where a vendor hosts virtualised infrastructure to deliver computing capacity to a client. This service can also help clients who need resources in areas such as network connectivity and storage systems.


Cloud instance (single and multi)

This is a term for a virtual server instance originating from a public or private cloud network. The difference between a single-instance and multi-instance cloud is that a multi-instance cloud can run different instances parallel to each other between a network of machines.

Cloud federation

This refers to the 'unionising' of various computing services provided by different networks to create a combined - more convenient - service for a client. This may include combining infrastructure, software, and platform services into a package, which is made accessible to clients through the internet.

Server virtualisation

This is a technique which partitions a physical server into a series of smaller fragmented virtual servers. Each of these virtual servers are capable of running their own operating systems and applications, which helps to increase the utilisation of each physical server.


This is a mode of operating software that enables various, separate clients to use computing resources simultaneously through a public or private cloud. Tenants are able to keep their data private and invisible to other clients.

Application lifecycle management

This term refers to the continued process of managing an application throughout its lifetime; not only its development but also its maintenance. This process covers three main aspects: governance, development and operations.


A hybrid cloud is a cloud computing operation which involves a combination of public clouds, private clouds and on-premises solutions. These infrastructures are kept separate from one another but maintain connectivity through technology that allows data and services portability.

Cloud computing

This is the practice of utilising a number of remote servers to provide information technology through a network, typically the internet. This computing model requires infrastructure, data and software services, which are usually hosted by a vendor who provides these to clients as a packaged service.

Cloud middleware

This is a term in cloud computing which refers to the software which connects devices and applications with other applications, networks and databases. This is the connecting point between the client and the service provider.

Service-oriented architecture (SOA)

This is a service-based approach to designing custom technology solutions for businesses. This combines existing frameworks with newer technology to increase a company's flexibility in a changing business environment when they may not be able to completely replace their current systems.

Amazon Web Service (AWS)

This is a cloud platform provided by Amazon that offers a range of packaged infrastructure, platform and software services. Offering over 165 services from data centres around the world, AWS is the most popular and comprehensive cloud platform in the world.


This refers to the protective packaging which allows software to be transported between operating environments. Containers create a virtual space in which an application is separated from others so that its software code does not interact with other systems. This technology improves and speeds up the development of cloud computing.


This is a combination of the terms 'Development' and 'Operations' which refers to the consolidated efforts of both a business's development and systems operations teams. This approach to software development encourages greater communication and collaboration between teams to streamline and ease application lifecycle management.


Linux is a family of open-source operating systems which was built on Unix. This operating system is used in a large majority of cloud services.

Open source

This term refers to something that people can alter and share freely because it has been made publicly accessible. In the context of cloud computing, open source refers to software source code which is offered free to use, change and share by its developers.

Private cloud

A private cloud is a cloud computing framework created for a single organisation, for use by multiple users within that organisation.

Public cloud

This term refers to a cloud computing framework hosted by a cloud services provider who makes the cloud accessible to the public via the internet.



Scalability is the ability of an IT solution to quickly and seamlessly increase or decrease its power or size. The scalability of cloud networks is the reason why you can quickly and easily sign up to most cloud services. The ability to rescale at will is one of the greatest advantages of cloud computing.

Software stack

A software stack is a group of programs or applications that work together in a specific order to reach a common goal or result.

Virtual machine

A virtual machine is a software computer that replicates the actions of a physical computer by running in an operating system or application environment. When using virtual machines, a physical computer is able to run multiple instances of an operating system at once.