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Almost everyone who has a basic knowledge of computers and what they do, have also heard about the cloud. However, a lot of the terminologies used in cloud computing may appear strange to many.

Cloud computing goes just beyond the science of storing data in the cloud; it is also a means of storing data on a secure virtual off-site facility that can be accessed over the Internet.

Here are some of the major terminologies used in cloud computing along with their definitions:

  • Private cloud: Private clouds are private facilities that are offered by service providers. As opposed to public clouds where multiplied users share a facility, public clouds are restricted to a single user. The features of a private could are thus highly specific to the user.
  • Hybrid cloud: Hybrid clouds combine the features of public and private clouds offering users a higher level of flexibility. With hybrid clouds, users can thus switch between storing data on private and public clouds when necessary.
  • Public clouds: A public cloud is a virtual storage facility that is shared by multiple users. Public clouds provide users with unique access to their data even though the users share one virtual storage facility. Security and scalability of public clouds are thus ensured. Public clouds are the commonest cloud computing option.
  • Multi-cloud: Multi-cloud is a strategy that incorporates the use of multiple cloud computing platforms which could include public clouds, private clouds, and hybrid clouds. Although multi-cloud could be mistaken for hybrid cloud, the difference is in the fact that multi-cloud is a strategy, while the hybrid cloud is a cloud computing option.
  • PaaS, SaaS, BDaaS: These terms differ by the product or service offered by the provider. PaaS means a platform as a service. SaaS means software as a service. BDaaS means big data as service. These terms refer to the categories of cloud computing services offered by cloud providers. PaaS providers offer users platforms where they can develop tools and services. These platforms include operating systems and web servers. SaaS providers offer users software which they require for their operations. SaaS providers also offer databases. BDaaS providers offer users cloud-hosted services such as statistical tools.
  • Cloud providers: Cloud providers are organizations that offer cloud computing services. The cloud computing services are offered in different categories as mentioned above. Could providers offer on-demand services as well as long-term subscription-based services according to a user's need?
  • Cloud bursting: Cloud bursting means utilizing on-demand cloud computing service to cater to extra requirements that may arise. For example, if a user exhausts their private cloud while they still have extra requirements, they could use an on-demand external cloud such as a public could service. In such situations, the user is said to be cloud bursting.
  • Elastic computing: This is a flexible form of cloud computing that varies the computing resources as necessary. Elastic computing allows the scalability of cloud computing as necessary.

Finally, it is very important for every organization that makes use of the cloud to be familiar with cloud computing terminologies such as those listed above and so many others that can be found on the Internet. Having a good knowledge of these terms will help the organization make effective use of the cloud and harness all its benefits.

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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for PMG360. He is a technology writer and editor with 20+ years experience delivering high value content to readers and publishers. 

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