Cloud Terminology – A Business Glossary
Acronyms, abbreviations and just plain confusing terminology are very common in IT and cloud computing. Even when terms are explained it often includes other buzzwords that make it no more clear as to why you should care and what it actually means to a business.
The purpose of this list is to lay out meanings in a business friendly format. New terms will be added constantly, so if something is missing or would like the BlueSilverShift take on a new term, please contact us.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Intelligence demonstrated by machines which mimics human cognitive functions, such as understanding human speech, playing strategic games like chess, and driving cars. AI is a system’s ability to correctly interpret and learn from external data, and to apply that learning to achieve specific goals. For instance, consolidating data in the cloud allows AI concepts like machine learning to be applied, readily analyzing that data and providing insights on volumes of information.
Chat bots – That chat window that pops up on a consumer goods or services website, asking if it can help you. Often, it is a bot, and not a person, servicing the questions you enter. The bot uses artificial intelligence to determine the answer to your question.
The cloud – A non-physical data repository that loosely includes anything that is stored, processed, or running in the Internet. Inspired by the representation of the Internet as a cloud in old architecture diagrams, today the cloud includes services like OneDrive, Google Drive, iTunes, Dropbox, and myriad others.
Types of clouds
Private – Computing services offered through the Internet or a private network to select users only. At one time, a private server would be hosted in an off-site data centre, and they would either manage it, or you would manage it remotely. The private cloud includes the scalability and elasticity of the public cloud, but with a higher level of security and privacy. However, the cost and accountability of managing the private cloud falls on the company’s IT department.
Public – Where data is stored in the provider’s data centre, and the provider is responsible for its management and maintenance. Azure, Google, and Amazon are the three such environments. Public cloud environments are open to all, and have essentially infinite scalability, many geographic locations around the world, and provide many more services than a private cloud can.
Hybrid – A combined style of public and private cloud, which allows data and applications to be shared between them. The public cloud access allows users to scale in response to demand, while keeping sensitive or critical information on private servers behind a firewall. This combination allows for greater security and cost efficiency.
Multi – More a strategy than a technology, a company chooses to store identical data in multiple cloud environments, out of concern that committing to one provider could cause damage in future. Maintaining multiple cloud environments is costly, solutions may have to be customized for each, and synchronization is difficult to ensure. Additional costs such as egress network charges and management costs mean that this strategy is one of diminishing returns.
Cloud governance – A strategy for managing your cloud, and the policies and procedures that to achieve it. Includes considerations such as nomenclature, security, workload optimization, and spend, among others.
Cloud Custodian – A person who monitors, maintains, and enforces the governance of the cloud. The cloud custodian also tracks costs, and looks for workload optimization opportunities and so on.