Sometimes, a revolution takes hold of a situation with such commanding force and resolve that its witnesses are barely able to catch their breath in the maelstrom—let alone get a handle on the terminology. So it has been with the all-consuming and increasingly endowed miracle that is the cloud.
Let us breathe, then, and draw in some of the new language this upheaval has brought into our revised realities.
Cloud Computing: Here, computer users share resources, business processes, applications and information as a utility service over a network. This shift takes an organization’s management of its own data from traditional software models to the Internet. Its existence traces back to large companies’ realization that their computing infrastructures weren’t exploiting their capacity consistently—in spite of a consistent cost.
Cloud Provider: An organization that makes a cloud-based infrastructure available to others to use and pay for.
Cloud Application: A software application that’s never installed on a local desktop computer, but is always available exclusively via the Internet.
Cloudware: The various bits of software that enable the provisioning, deployment, operation and management of applications in a cloud-computing environment.
Cloudburst: In its most negative sense, this term refers to a cloud-computing environment’s breakdown due to its inability to cope with a spike in demand, rendering the data it keeps inaccessible to their users. On a more positive note, the same word denotes the dynamic operation of whatever internally deployed software application works against just such a potential failure.
Vertical Cloud: A public cloud-computing infrastructure that’s designed to service the particular requirements of a single industry.
Hybrid Cloud: A combo of both private and public clouds, where users dip into one or the other, as needed.
External Cloud: A cloud-computing environment that’s outside the boundaries of a particular organization. It’s set up for use by select external parties, though not the general public.
Public Cloud: A cloud-computing infrastructure that’s open for use by anyone in the general public, including individuals and professional organizations.
Private Cloud: A cloud infrastructure that’s dedicated to the needs of a single organization for its exclusive usage.
Community Cloud: A cloud infrastructure that’s shared by multiple users (though not as many as share a public cloud) who possess common approaches to such issues as security, business continuity, privacy, availability and security.
Cloudstorming: Those instances in which multiple cloud environments are connected in a single, unified, virtual cloud. This is also referred to as a “cloud network.”
Cloud Portability :The ability to easily move applications (and, often, their attendant parcels of data) across cloud-computing environments from discreet cloud providers, whether they be private or public clouds.
Cloud Enabler: This term describes vendors who are not bona-fide cloud providers, but who facilitate users with the cloud-computing technology—along with its associated advantages—through such tools as cloudware.
Cloudwashing: The arguably deceptive act of attaching the magical word “cloud” on existing products and services in order to capitalize on the spilloff effects of its power.
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