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Cloud Glossary

Simple definitions of key terms related to the cloud.

Migrating data or applications to cloud services successfully can mean changing the way you work with technology. Our cloud services glossary is designed to help you understand the different aspects of the platform you choose:


Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI simulates the reasoning of human intelligence.  AI is developed to learn from new information and make decisions using a set of pre-programmed algorithms.  AI may be used for automating some business workflows based on defined rules.


Business Analytics Tools

Business analytics tools are used to extract data from multiple systems and then provide a repository or data warehouse where the information can be analysed.  These types of tool can be highly complex and mine data from different sources before functions are applied to help decision making.

Building a plan for how Business Analytics Tools can help your organisation manage data and processes better is a key part of our AWS and Azure consultancy services.

Business Intelligence Tools (BI)

BI tools process unstructured data from different sources to help you find meaningful trends or identify new opportunities.


The Cloud

The cloud is a metaphor for the global network, of computers connected to the internet and used for hosting data and applications remotely.

Cloud Bursting

Cloud bursting is a system by which capacity in one cloud is overflowed into another.  An example of this might be a private cloud which “bursts” into a public cloud such as Azure when all the resource capacity is being used.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is the resource delivery model by which applications, data and computing resource are virtualised into a remote data centre and delivered as a service.

There are three main types of cloud computing.

  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) refers to web-based applications
  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) refers to the computing resource and storage hosted in a cloud environment.
  • Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) is a set of tools that are virtualised and used to build and host applications.

Cloud Service Provider (CSP)

A CSP is the company that provides cloud-based infrastructure including storage, compute and applications.

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage is offsite storage which is remote from your local network.  Cloud storage may be used for day to day data or for back-ups of key information.



DevOps is the grouping of processes, technology and people brings operations and development teams together to increase the speed of software delivery making products more reliable and secure.

ISVs and other organisations who produce software for specific purposes view DevOps faciliation as a key aspect of their AWS or Azure migration plans.


Elastic Computing

The cloud brings flexibility.  Elastic computing is the dynamic provision and de-provision of processing and storage resource to meet demands without the need to engineer for a particular level of usage.


Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud solution is one that combines the public cloud platform (such as Azure or AWS) with a local private cloud.  This gives options when it comes to the security and governance of data if specific compliance requirements around storage are required, or if some aspects of application performance require a particular type of hosting.


Microsoft Azure

Azure is the Microsoft public cloud platform, which offers a growing collection of integrated services, including IaaS and PaaS with a range of configurable Virtual Machines to facilitate different solutions.


Private Cloud

Private cloud services are offered over either the internet or a private network to select users and not accessible to the general public.

Public Cloud

Public Cloud services are delivered over the public internet and can be connected to from anywhere in the world.


Serverless Computing

Serverless computing is one in which the CSP provisions and manages servers for applications and development.  It means that developers and system managers can focus on building their applications rather than managing their infrastructure


Virtual Machines

A virtual machine is a system that behaves like an actual computer.  There are a wide range of AWS and Azure Virtual Machines which are specialised for different tasks such as hosting or processing data.


Virtualisation is the process of creating a computing environment on cloud servers.  Virtualised infrastructure includes hardware in the form of virtual machines, operating systems and storage.

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