Glossary of Cloud Computing Terms | ClearScale (2023)


Access Control List (ACL)
An access control list (ACL) contains the rules used to regulate access to digital environments. Organizations use two types of ACLs, file system ACLs and network ACLs, to control traffic flow, grant or deny permissions, and monitor activity in and out of specific systems.

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a third-party public cloud computing service provider. The platform offers over 175 cloud-native services including big data tools, database solutions, Internet of Things (IoT) applications and more.

Application Modernization
Application modernization describes the process of updating legacy software with new capabilities and features to create incremental business value. Organizations typically modernize legacy applications through replatforming, refactoring, or rehosting, which can involve significant changes to the core architecture.

Application Programming Interface (API)
An application programming interface (API) allows different applications to communicate directly with each other according to predefined rules. There are many types of APIs including web APIs, composite APIs, internal APIs, open APIs, and partner APIs. The two most commonly referenced APIs are REST and SOAP APIs, both of which are web APIs. Organizations use APIs to extend functionality to other systems and gain access to features that address unmet business needs.

Application refactoring
Application refactoring involves making significant changes to the configuration and source code of an existing application to adapt it to business needs. Refactoring allows companies to add new features, improve performance, reduce costs, and more. Although refactoring does not change an application's external behavior, it is a more complex process than replatforming or rehosting.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a discipline within computer science that focuses on the development of intelligent machines that can perform tasks normally performed by humans. Recently, advances in cloud computing technology have made AI capabilities more accessible. Organizations of all sizes can now create and deploy powerful AI programs that automate manual activities, reduce costs, and create new value.

Automatic scaling
Auto-Scaling is a cloud computing feature that automatically allocates resources to applications based on real-time demand. The advent of cloud computing has allowed more organizations to take advantage of auto-scaling and optimize resource consumption across multiple cloud services.

Availability Zones (AZs)
Availability Zones (AZs) are isolated, logical data centers available to Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers. AZs are equipped with independent cooling, networking, and power supply, allowing users to achieve redundancy for critical applications. By hosting applications across multiple AZs, organizations protect their customers from performance issues and eliminate any single points of failure that would otherwise remain.


big data
Big Data describes the huge amount of information that is being generated worldwide at ever increasing speed. Organizations collect, store and process big data using advanced data management techniques, many of which are available through the cloud. With big data analytics, organizations can gain valuable insights from structured, semi-structured, and unstructured datasets.

A blockchain is an open, immutable, and distributed digital record of information that promotes accountability and transparency between all parties. Although originally developed to support digital currencies, companies today use blockchain technology for numerous applications.

Business Intelligence
Business Intelligence (BI) refers to when companies use data and analytics to generate new insights, improve decision-making and create business value. Modern BI practices rely on big data analytics, modern data infrastructure technologies, advanced visualizations, and nuanced reports to gather and process information quickly and at scale in hopes of identifying new growth opportunities.


cloud application
A cloud application is a web-based program that relies on the power of cloud computing and related capabilities for data storage, logic processing, and more. Processing for cloud applications is typically performed by on-premises devices and cloud computing solutions. Users interact with cloud applications through internet browsers.

Cloud Automation
Cloud automation describes the practice of automating cloud infrastructure management processes according to IT resource needs. Cloud automation is commonly used by DevOps, security, and application development teams to free up engineering capacity for more complex aspects of cloud-native operations.

(Video) Cloud Computing: Terminology

Cloud Computing
Cloud computing describes when computing services such as data storage, networking, analytics, server hosting, etc. are provided over the Internet. Cloud computing offers many advantages over on-premises computing, including lower operational costs, flexible resource allocation, and improved scalability.

Cloud migration is the process of moving on-premises IT infrastructure, including databases, applications, and other components, to the cloud. Migrations enable organizations to meet ever-evolving business needs and take advantage of cloud computing capabilities. Cloud migrations can be highly complex endeavors that require extensive planning and expertise to execute successfully.

Cloud-native software services, business applications, and IT systems are explicitly designed to run in dynamic cloud environments. While on-premises applications may need to be modernized for the cloud, cloud-native applications work out of the box in cloud environments. They are also generally more agile and scalable than legacy technologies.

Cloud Deployment
Cloud provisioning is what cloud providers like AWS and Microsoft Azure do to provide customers with cloud resources and services on demand. Cloud delivery is central to the on-demand nature of the cloud computing model and represents a key advantage over traditional, more constrained approaches to managing computing resources.

Cloud Service Providers
Cloud service providers offer cloud computing services, networks and infrastructure over the Internet. Businesses use third-party cloud service providers to offload much of the effort involved in maintaining on-premises IT. Today's leading cloud service providers offer cost-effective and scalable data storage, analytics tools and more over the Internet.

Cloud storage
Cloud storage refers to the data storage model where an organization's data is managed by a cloud provider that is responsible for storing, maintaining, and serving information from a remote repository. Cloud storage frees IT teams from having to set up or manage data infrastructure on-premises. It also paves the way for organizations to leverage modern data architectures (e.g. data lakes) and advanced analytics.

A cluster describes a group of computers or hosts that work together to support a specific application or middleware software. In a cluster, individual computing devices are called "nodes," and all nodes work on the same tasks. Clusters are commonly seen in HPC (High Performance Computing) applications that require significant computing power.

To calculate
In modern computing, compute refers to computing activities that require processing resources beyond what is available through internal storage. Businesses need to be aware of their existing computing capacity and the computing power they need to support critical business activities.

Containers are software units that enable companies to run their applications quickly and reliably in different computing environments. Containers group all runtime elements, including code, system libraries, and settings, into lightweight and secure packages. Organizations use containers to decouple applications from their native environments so they can be easily and consistently deployed anywhere.

Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a group of geographically distributed servers that work together to deliver content over the Internet. CDNs enable companies to quickly transfer assets such as HTML pages, style sheets, images and videos to end users. Today, CDNs deliver much of the world's web content.

Continuous Integration/Continuous Development (CI/CD)
Continuous integration and continuous development (CI/CD) refers to a set of practices used by DevOps teams to automate activities related to building, testing, and deploying applications. CI/CD enables DevOps teams to constantly innovate, bringing new features to market and deploying updates iteratively. CI/CD is considered best practice in modern cloud computing.


A database is a collection of data stored digitally in a computer system. Traditionally, databases were used to store structured information, although modern cloud-based databases allow businesses to store semi-structured and unstructured data. Organizations typically use database management systems to retrieve, manipulate, and manage their data.

database instance
A database instance refers to a complete database environment and its components, which can include database management software, specific procedures, predefined table structures, and other functions. It's not uncommon for administrators to create multiple database instances, each with a unique purpose for the organization.

A data lake is a centralized, digital repository that can store both structured and unstructured data. Data lakes are highly scalable, making them valuable for big data analytics and applications. You can also record information from local sources or real-time streams.

data migration
Data migration describes the process of moving data permanently from one type of computer storage to another. Although seemingly straightforward, data migrations often require organizations to transform their data to prepare for the new storage system. The purpose of a data migration is usually to increase data management efficiency, performance, flexibility, or security. It is now common practice for companies to migrate their data from on-premises to a cloud provider like AWS.

data pipeline
Data pipelines are used to streamline the processes involved in moving information from one place to another. For example, data pipelines can automatically extract, transform, load, combine, and validate data for further processing. At a time when organizations are collecting more information than ever, data pipelines help eliminate errors and bottlenecks.

(Video) Cloud Computing In 6 Minutes | What Is Cloud Computing? | Cloud Computing Explained | Simplilearn

data stream
A data stream is a sequence of digital signals that carry information to or from a data provider. Data streams typically contain raw data that can be processed, analyzed, stored, and applied to power modern applications, advanced analytics, and other use cases common to technology companies, researchers, and companies that collect big data.

DevOps encompasses the practices, tools, and philosophies for quickly delivering software applications and services to customers. The DevOps model enables organizations to rapidly innovate and bring tailored offerings to market by empowering development and operations teams to collaborate across the application lifecycle.

Docker is a widely used technology for building and deploying containers. Docker containers simplify the complexities associated with packaging, shipping, and running applications in any computing environment.

Docker images are software packages that contain all the components needed to run an application. Images contain important information about how various software components run and how containers are instantiated.


Elastic Computing
Elastic computing refers to a system's ability to scale processing, memory, and storage capacity with changes in demand. Organizations that implement elastic computing don't have to worry about capacity planning or peak usage scenarios. Instead, they can trust their IT infrastructure to acquire compute resources dynamically.

end point
An endpoint is a remote computing device or node that communicates and receives information over a network. Endpoints can be data terminals, host computers, modems, bridges, and other commonly used computing infrastructure. Endpoints are particularly valuable in IoT and intelligent applications that depend on "edge" devices to gather information from the environment that can then be used to support new applications, offerings, or business models.

Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL)
Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) describes the process of ingesting and integrating data from disparate sources into a single, consolidated data store. ETL is especially important today for organizations that collect information from remote endpoints and edge devices that may not use the same data management protocols. For companies looking to leverage big data analytics and AI/ML, ETL is a critical step in the early stages of the data pipeline.


Google Cloud is a third party provider of public cloud computing services. Introduced by Google in 2008, the Google Cloud Platform offers a variety of cloud solutions for data management, infrastructure modernization, intelligent analytics, and more.


Apache Hadoop is an open-source framework that enables organizations to efficiently store massive amounts of data. The framework also facilitates clustering, allowing engineering teams to quickly analyze large datasets in parallel. Hadoop consists of four modules: Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), Yet Another Resource Negotiator (YARN), MapReduce, and Hadoop Common.

High availability
In the computing world, high availability refers to the quality of an application or infrastructure that continues to function despite disruptions. High-availability systems use redundant hardware and software to minimize service disruptions and mitigate single points of failure. When failures occur, a highly available infrastructure relies on failover processes and backups to keep operations running.

Hosted Application
A hosted application is software that runs on third-party infrastructure rather than locally. Hosted applications can be accessed from anywhere in the world over the Internet. In the age of cloud computing, more and more companies are using hosted applications to minimize the complexity and cost of maintaining on-premises infrastructure.

Hybrid cloud refers to a computing environment that uses a combination of private and public cloud services or on-premises infrastructure. Organizations use the hybrid cloud approach to optimize the IT architecture with regard to digital transformation goals. For example, a company may use a public cloud provider for its on-demand cloud resources, a private cloud for security, and on-premises infrastructure for compliance.


Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is one of the major types of cloud services that provide users with instant compute, storage, and other IT infrastructure delivered over the Internet. IaaS solutions typically scale with demand, so organizations only pay for what they use. This minimizes the complexity of purchasing and managing an on-premises infrastructure.

(Video) Cloud Computing Tutorial for Beginners | Cloud Computing Explained | Cloud Computing | Simplilearn

Internet of Things (IoT)
Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the collective mass of physical devices that can connect to the internet and communicate with each other. Through the IoT, companies can automate the information gathering process and use the information to improve their products, create new sources of value and provide tailored prices.


JavaScript-Objektnotation (JSON)
JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) is a data exchange format that makes it easy for organizations to store and transport data across the web in a way that both humans and machines can understand. JSON represents data in two ways: as key-value pairs and as arrays that represent ordered collections of values. Because of JSON's popularity, the format is a common output for APIs and data sent from a server to a webpage.


Kubernetes is an open source platform from Google that organizations use to manage containerized workloads and services. In addition to being portable and extensible, Kubernetes offers support, tools, and services to help developers run their production workloads at scale.


load balancing
Load balancing distributes network traffic across multiple servers to ensure that no server is solely responsible for supporting an application. Load balancing allows organizations to distribute processing resources as needed to improve performance and responsiveness of modern applications. Load balancing techniques include Round-Robin, Least Connection, Resource Based, Weighted Response Time and more.


machine learning
Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence that deals with the development of intelligent computer algorithms that improve over time. Businesses use machine learning to identify patterns in huge data sets and use those insights to improve performance. Machine learning powers many software services today, including recommendation engines, social media feeds, and voice assistants.

Managed Service Provider (MSP)
A managed service provider (MSP) is a third-party company that provides ongoing services to help businesses maintain their IT infrastructure. MSPs generally provide network, security, and application support services through an existing data center or other third-party IaaS provider.

Management und Governance
In the cloud computing world, management and governance refer to the implementation of adequate protection measures and the monitoring of the IT infrastructure. Through management and governance, organizations monitor the health of their applications, conduct audits, analyze resource consumption, manage costs, and more.

Microservices describe a software development method that aims to partition application functions so that they can be deployed, run, and scaled independently. Unlike monolithic applications, microservices are loosely coupled and flexible when it comes to implementing updates or fixing bugs.

Microsoft Azure
Microsoft Azure is a public cloud computing platform released in 2010. Commonly referred to as Azure, the service enables organizations to build, test, launch, and manage modern applications hosted in Microsoft-managed data centers.

Multicloud describes the fact that an organization uses more than one cloud provider for the same type of cloud delivery. For example, a company may use one public cloud service for its on-demand computing needs, but a different public cloud provider for a unique application that meets a specific business need. Many companies implement multicloud deployments to achieve redundancy and avoid vendor lock-in.

Multi-tenant architecture or multitenancy refers to a type of software architecture commonly used in cloud computing to provide multiple individual instances of software from a physical server. With multi-client capability, companies can serve multiple customers securely and dynamically on one server via independent instances.


In data processing, orchestration describes the process of planning and integrating automated tasks across disparate systems. Enterprises can orchestrate workflows between on-premises and cloud infrastructure and streamline the execution of complex, interconnected workloads.


(Video) Cloud Computing in Healthcare - Overview of Common Terminology

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) refers to a cloud-based service model where providers like AWS offer all the hardware and software that businesses need to develop and deploy modern applications. PaaS frees companies from having to manage their own servers and infrastructure and frees up additional capacity to focus on delivering modern applications.

private cloud
A private cloud describes a cloud environment and resources used exclusively by a single organization. Private clouds can be provided by an on-premises data center or hosted by a third-party managed services provider. The benefit of using a private cloud is that organizations can customize management, governance, and other operational elements to suit their unique needs.

Public cloud
A public cloud describes a cloud environment that is owned and operated by a third party. Public cloud resources are delivered over the Internet to "tenants" who share all hardware, storage, and networking equipment. The advantage of using a public cloud provider is that companies do not have to buy or maintain any critical IT infrastructure.


Representation State Transmission (REST)
REpresentational State Transfer (REST) ​​is an architectural model that sets standards for how stateless computing systems should communicate with each other over the web. In RESTful systems, client and server implementations work independently, allowing them to seamlessly evolve and scale, which is a defining feature of the World Wide Web. Also in the context of RESTful systems, REST APIs or RESTful APIs are rule-based interfaces that allow applications and devices to communicate with each other according to RESTful design principles. REST APIs are particularly useful for facilitating connections within microservices architectures.


In computing, scalability refers to the ability of an application, network, organization, or process to quickly adapt to demand. For example, scalable applications can support rapid increases in utilization, providing users with high-quality experiences regardless of network traffic or resource demands.

In computing, schemas typically describe how data is structured in databases or XML files. Database schemas refer to the tables and fields that help organize data. These schemes are often presented as visual diagrams. XML schemas highlight what data is contained in XML files and provide a structure for that information.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a software delivery model where vendors license access to their data and applications over the internet. In general, SaaS providers host and maintain their own code, databases, and services. Customers then pay for on-demand access, which allows them to meet specific business needs without having to build anything in-house or commit to long-term contracts.

Security, identity and compliance
In cloud computing, security, identity and compliance are all about properly securing workloads and applications in the cloud. Typical priorities in these areas are protecting data, managing permissions, protecting infrastructure, monitoring cyber threats, and complying with privacy regulations.

Serverloses Computing
Serverless computing is a cloud computing approach in which users rely on third-party providers to dynamically allocate machine resources from their own services. Organizations pay only for the compute resources they use, without having to manage, deploy, or maintain servers themselves.

In the cloud computing world, storage refers to digital space that companies rent from third-party cloud providers. With cloud storage, companies don't have to buy or maintain their own storage infrastructure. Instead, they can rely on providers to manage capacity, security and more, and only pay for what they use.


Virtualization refers to a technology that companies use to provide virtual instances of something abstracted from physical hardware. Virtualization enables organizations to use their IT infrastructure more efficiently by distributing capacity that would otherwise go unused across different tenants or environments.

Virtual machine
A virtual machine is a digital computing environment that behaves like a physical computer. Virtual machines use software instead of hardware to run apps and programs, allowing developers to test applications in isolated environments.

Virtual Private Cloud
A virtual private cloud is an isolated environment with access to on-demand computing resources within a broader public cloud environment. Organizations use virtual private clouds to gain privacy and control over their data, applications and code without sacrificing the scalability and other benefits of using public cloud platforms.


What are the key terms of cloud computing? ›

There are three main cloud computing types, with additional ones evolving—software-as-a-service (SaaS) for web-based applications, infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) for Internet-based access to storage and computing power, and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) that gives developers the tools to build and host Web ...

What is cloud terminology? ›

Cloud: The ability to access and consume IT resources. Cloud resources are available over a network, and those resources can be consumed on demand and scale up or down as needed. Public cloud: Clouds that are offered by a third party and are available to the general public over the internet.

What are the 4 types of cloud computing? ›

There are four main types of cloud computing: private clouds, public clouds, hybrid clouds, and multiclouds. There are also three main types of cloud computing services: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platforms-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

What are the 5 main types of clouds computing? ›

Here are the five main types of cloud computing deployment systems:
  • Public clouds. Public clouds are a type of cloud computing run by a third-party cloud provider. ...
  • Private clouds. ...
  • Hybrid clouds. ...
  • Multi-clouds. ...
  • High-performance computing (HPC) cloud.
Sep 29, 2021

What are the 6 R's of cloud? ›

This originates from the “5 R's” model published by Gartner in 2010, which defined all the basic options to migrate a specific application to the cloud. Amazon Web Services (AWS) adopted this model and extended it to the 6 R's: Re-host, Re-platform, Re-factor/Re-architect, Re-purchase, Retire and Retain.

What are the four C's of cloud security? ›

The 4C's of Cloud Native security are Cloud, Clusters, Containers, and Code.

What is the basic terminology? ›

Terminology is a discipline that systematically studies the "labelling or designating of concepts" particular to one or more subject fields or domains of human activity. It does this through the research and analysis of terms in context for the purpose of documenting and promoting consistent usage.

What is EC2 in Azure called? ›

Amazon EC2 instance store. Azure temporary storage. Azure temporary storage provides VMs with similar low-latency temporary read-write storage to EC2 instance storage, also called ephemeral storage.

What are the 3 models of cloud computing? ›

IaaS, PaaS and SaaS are the three most popular types of cloud service offerings. They are sometimes referred to as cloud service models or cloud computing service models.

What are the 10 10 key characteristics of cloud computing? ›

Here's a list of the top 10 major characteristics of Cloud Computing:
  • Resources Pooling.
  • On-Demand Self-Service.
  • Easy Maintenance.
  • Scalability And Rapid Elasticity.
  • Economical.
  • Measured And Reporting Service.
  • Security.
  • Automation.
Jun 16, 2022

What are the 3 basic components of cloud computing? ›

Cloud computing is a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the internet. These services are divided into three main categories or types of cloud computing: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS).

What are the 8 main types of clouds? ›

Summary: What Are the Types of Clouds?
  • Altocumulus.
  • Altostratus.
  • Cirrocumulus.
  • Cirrostratus.
  • Cirrus.
  • Cumulonimbus.
  • Cumulus.
  • Nimbostratus.
Jun 22, 2018

What are the 10 basic cloud types and what are their characteristics? ›

Learn About the 10 Different Types of Clouds
  • Level : High. Cirrus (Ci) High, wispy streaks. Cirrocumulus (Cc) High-altitude cloudlets. ...
  • Level : Middle. Altocumulus (Ac) Mid-altitude cloud heaps. Altostratus (As) Mid-altitude gray layer. ...
  • Level: Low. Cumulonimbus (Cb) Thunderstorms. Cumulus (Cu) Low, puffy, fair-weather.

Who is the father of cloud computing? ›

Who is the father of cloud computing technology? The answer to this trivia night question is American computer scientist J.C.R. Licklider. In the late 1960s, he envisioned a world where everyone would be connected with the ability to access specific programs and data regardless of where the access point was located.

What are the 7 R's in cloud? ›

This data must be evaluated against the seven common migration strategies (7 Rs) for moving applications to the AWS Cloud. These strategies are refactor, replatform, repurchase, rehost, relocate, retain, and retire.

What are the 5 layers of security? ›

The 5 Layers Of Cyber Security
  • Firewalls.
  • Secure Configuration.
  • User Access Control.
  • Malware Protection.
  • Patch Management.
Jun 29, 2019

What are the 5 pillars of security? ›

About us. The five pillars of security for evaluating a corporation's security are Physical, People, Data, and Infrastructure Security, and Crisis Management.

What are the 7 principles of security? ›

Security by Design: 7 Application Security Principles You Need to Know
  • Principle of Least Privilege. ...
  • Principle of Separation of Duties. ...
  • Principle of Defense in Depth. ...
  • Principle of Failing Securely. ...
  • Principle of Open Design. ...
  • Principle of Avoiding Security by Obscurity. ...
  • Principle of Minimizing Attack Surface Area.

What is the cloud and three key terms? ›

Cloud computing is a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the internet. These services are divided into three main categories or types of cloud computing: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS).

What are the key properties of cloud computing? ›

Cloud computing is composed of 5 essential characteristics, viz: On-demand Self Service. Broad Network Access. Resource Pooling.

What are key terms defined? ›

Key Terms means the portion of a Cover Page that includes the key legal details and definitions for this Agreement that are not defined in the Standard Terms. The Key Terms may include details about Covered Claims, set the Governing Law, or contain other details about this Agreement.

What are the key features of a cloud system? ›

Top 10 features of Cloud Computers:
  • Self-service On-Demand.
  • Resources Pooling.
  • Easy Maintenance.
  • Economical.
  • Rapid Elasticity and Scalability.
  • Efficient Reporting services.
  • Automation.
  • Security.
Sep 18, 2022


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