Cloud buster – Glossary of cloud-computing jargon

23 Mar 2011

Slightly baffled by the terminology surrounding the cloud? We demystify cloud computing terms.

You’ll need this to access the cloud in the first place. As cloud applications get more complex, broadband quality will need to be increased.

Cloud app:
A software application that sits on the internet, not on a local PC.

Cloud broker:
An entity that creates and maintains relationships with multiple cloud service providers.

A metaphor for a global network, first used in reference to the telephone network and now commonly used to represent the internet.

Cloud centre:
A large internet company, such as or Google, that provides firms with infrastructure via the web.

Cloud computing:
A networking solution in which everything from computing power to infrastructure, applications, business processes and collaboration are delivered as a service anytime, anywhere.

Cloud service:
The delivery of software, infrastructure or storage that has been packaged, automated and delivered online.

Cloud sourcing:
Replacing traditional IT services with cloud services.

Connecting multiple cloud computing environments.

Private cloud:
An internal cloud that sits behind an organisation’s firewall. The cloud can then be managed by that company’s IT department, which can then offer cloud services to workers.

Public cloud:
A cloud-computing environment that is open for use by the general public. For example, Gmail, Hotmail, even Facebook.

Software-as-a-service (SaaS): Software services that are available over the internet to organisations’ workers such as CRM databases via Salesforce. com

The ability to host and retrieve private data securely online, for example’s S3.

Software plus services:
Combining hosted services with capabilities best achieved with locally running software, for example Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Standard Suite (BPOS).

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years