Cloud Glossary


Application Modernization

describes the process of updating legacy software with new capabilities and features to create incremental business value. Organizations typically modernize outdated applications through re-platforming, refactoring, or rehosting efforts, which may involve significant changes to core architecture.

Application Programming Interface

is a software agent that provides decoupling between two software and a server. For example, it happens that every time an application is used or the weather on the phone is checked, it uses an API. An API endpoint is an interface that allows a user to access information from another service and integrate that service into their application. The API endpoint is basically a word that refers to the URL of a server or service.


is a method used in cloud computing that dynamically adjusts the amount of computing resources in a server farm. This method is measured by the number of active servers depending on the load in the group.

Availability Zones

are highly available data centers in each AWS zone. Each region represents a separate geographical area, and each region has independent cooling, network communication and power.


Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS)

or mobile backend as a service (mBaaS) is a model of cloud computing in which the vendor provides web and mobile application developers with tools and services to create a cloud backend for their applications. BaaS vendors typically use custom SDKs and APIs to give developers the ability to connect their applications to backend cloud storage and features such as user management, push notifications, and social network integration.

Bare-metal Server

is a physical computer server that is used by one consumer, or tenant, only. Each server offered for rental is a distinct physical piece of hardware that is a functional server on its own. They are not virtual servers running in multiple pieces of shared hardware.

Bastion Host

is a special-purpose computer on a network specifically designed and configured to withstand attacks, so named by analogy to the military fortification.

Big Data

describes unconventional data sets which are either too large or too complex to be dealt with using traditional data-processing techniques.


Cloud Automation

describes the practice of automating cloud infrastructure management processes in line with IT resource demand. 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.

Cloud Backup

is the process of backing up data to a remote, cloud-based server.

Cloud Computing

is a term that includes the provision of computing services such as storage, databases, networking, software, analytics over the Internet. Cloud computing is a service, not a product. By using this service, users can reduce their operating costs, run their infrastructure more efficiently, and scale their business needs.

Cloud Engineering

is the application of engineering disciplines of cloud computing. It brings a systematic approach to the high-level concerns of commercialization, standardization, and governance in conceiving, developing, operating, and maintaining cloud computing systems. It is a multidisciplinary method encompassing contributions from diverse areas such as systems, software, web, performance, information technology engineering, security, platform, risk, and quality engineering.

Cloud Management Platform (CMP)

is a product that gives the user integrated management of public, private, and hybrid cloud environments.

Cloud Marketplace

is an online marketplace, operated by a cloud service provider (CSP), where customers can browse and subscribe to software applications and developer services that are built on, integrate with, or supplement the CSP’s main offering.

Cloud Migration

is the process of transferring all or a piece of a company’s data, applications, and services from on-premises to the cloud.

Cloud Native (Applications)

are software applications developed specifically for cloud platforms which use the benefits of scalability, reliability, and high availability of cloud environments.

Cloud Provisioning

is what cloud service providers do to deliver cloud resources and services to customers on an as-needed basis. Cloud provisioning is central to the on-demand nature of the cloud computing model, and represents a key advantage over traditional, more limited approaches to compute resource management.

Cloud Sandbox

is a live, isolated computer environment in which a program, code or file can run without affecting the application in which it runs.

Cloud Scalability

in cloud computing refers to the idea of creating a system to such an extent that it can handle the increasing and decreasing loads of infrastructure parts if necessary to meet changing demand.

Cloud Security and Privacy

refers to a broad set of policies, technologies, applications, and controls utilized to protect virtualized IP, data, applications, services, and the associated infrastructure of cloud computing. It is a sub-domain of computer security, network security, and, more broadly, information security.

Cloud Service Provider (CSP)

is a company that offers cloud computing services, such as PaaS, IaaS, or SaaS, to individuals or other businesses.

Cloud Sourcing

is the act of replacing traditional on-premises IT operations with low-cost cloud-based services.

Cloud Storage

is a model of computer storage in which data is stored in facilities (often multiple facilities) managed by a hosting company (cloud service provider) and is accessed remotely by the user via a network.

Cloud Washing

is a deceptive marketing technique used to rebrand old products by connecting them to the cloud, or at least to the term cloud.

Compute Instance

is a cloud-based workstation optimized for the machine learning development environment of data scientists. It provides efficiency, security, and fully customizable benefits.


is a virtualization instance in which the kernel of an operating system allows for multiple isolated user-space instances. Unlike virtual machines (VMs), containers do not need to run a full-blown operating system (OS) image for each instance. Instead, containers can run separate instances of an application within a single shared OS.

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

A content delivery network (CDN) is a network of distributed services that deliver content to a user based on the user’s geographic proximity to servers. CDNs allow speedy content delivery for websites with high traffic volume or large geographic reach.

Continuous Integration and Continuous Development (CI/CD)

is a set of practices used by DevOps teams to automate activities related to application building, testing, and deployment. Through CI/CD, DevOps teams can constantly innovate, deliver new features to market, and deploy updates in an iterative fashion. CI/CD is considered the best practice in modern cloud computing.


Data Lake

is a centralized, digital repository capable of storing both structured and unstructured data. Data lakes are highly scalable, making them valuable for Big Data analytics and applications. They can also ingest information from on-premises sources or real-time streams.

Data Migration

is the process of moving data between two or more storage systems, data formats, warehouses, or servers (see Cloud Migration).

Data Stream

is a sequence of digital signals that carries information to or from a data provider. Data streams typically contain raw data that can be processed, analyzed, stored, and applied to support modern applications, advanced analytics, and other use cases common to technology companies, researchers, and enterprises that collect high volumes of data.

Data Warehouse

is a centralized repository of data from one or more different sources. Data warehouses store current and historical data and are used for reporting and analysis of data. In this way, companies can use their data more optimally and make data-based decisions.


is an amalgamation of “development” and “operations,” DevOps is the combination of tasks performed by an organization’s applications development and systems operations teams. The DevOps software development method emphasizes collaboration, communication and integration between developers and other IT personnel with the goal of streamlining software development and quality assurance.


is the name given to a period when the service is unavailable or not working due to unexpected circumstances, such as maintenance activities or update times.

Domain Name System (DNS)

provides the connection between the IP addresses and domain names of Internet sites. For example, in a contact list on your phone, contacts are sorted by name, but then contain specific phone numbers or addresses. There is also a queue in the DNS system in this way.


Edge Computing

is a distributed computing paradigm that brings computation and data storage closer to the sources of data.


is a term used in cloud computing to reference the ability of a system to adapt to changing workload demand by provisioning and deprovisioning pooled resources so that provisioned resources match current demand as well as possible.


is a remote computing device or node that communicates and receives information across a network. Endpoints can be data terminals, host computers, modems, bridges, and other commonly used computing infrastructure. Endpoints are particularly valuable in IoT and smart applications that depend on “edge” devices to gather information from the surrounding environment which can then be used to support new applications, offerings, or business models.

Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL)

describes the process of ingesting and integrating data from diverse sources into a single, consolidated data store. ETL is particularly important today for organizations that gather information from remote endpoints and edge devices that may not share the same data management protocols. For organizations that aim to leverage big data analytics and AI/ML, ETL is a crucial step in the early stages of the data pipeline.


is the ability of a cloud solution to add new runtime and framework support via community build packs.


Federated Database

is a system in which multiple databases appear to function as a single entity. However, the databases typically involved in this kind of system exist independently of the others. Once the different databases are “combined”, one federated database is formed.

Finance-as-a-service (FaaS)

eis a future-focused service delivery model. It combines best-in-class finance operations management practices with advanced technologies – such as cloud-based ERPs, artificial intelligence, and intelligent automation – to make finance more agile and forward-looking.

Functions as a Service (FaaS)

or serverless computing is a cloud computing model. The model is based on serverless computing technologies and architectures that allow software developers to easily deploy them in the cloud without having to manage applications.


Green Computing

green IT, or ICT sustainability, is the study and practice of environmentally sustainable computing or IT.


Host Machine

is a piece of physical hardware that hosts virtual machines.

Hosted Application

is software that runs on third-party infrastructure rather than on-premises. Hosted applications can be accessed from anywhere in the world through the Internet. In the age of cloud computing, more organizations are using hosted applications to minimize the complexities and costs of maintaining on-premises infrastructure.

Hybrid Cloud

is a cloud computing environment that is comprised of a mix of private cloud, public cloud, and on-premises solutions. In a hybrid cloud, private and public cloud infrastructures remain distinct from one another but are bound together by technology that allows data and services portability between them.


or virtual machine monitor (VMM) is a piece of software that allows physical devices to share their resources among virtual machines (VMs) running on top of that physical hardware. The hypervisor creates, runs, and manages VMs.



is a combined set of hardware and virtual resources that support an overall IT environment.

Infrastructure as Code (IaC)

is the process of managing and provisioning computer data centers through machine-readable definition files, rather than physical hardware configuration or interactive configuration tools.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

is a model of cloud computing in which the vendor hosts virtualized computing resources, as well as network and storage resources, and provides them to the user as a service via the internet.

Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

is an application that provides a programming environment for developers. An IDE typically includes a code editor, automation tools, and a debugger.

Internet of Things (IoT)

refers to the collective mass of physical devices that can connect to the Internet and communicate with one another. Through the IoT, organizations can automate the information-gathering process and use the intelligence to improve their products, create new sources of value, and deploy tailored pricing.


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



is an open-source operating system, built on Unix that is used for most cloud services. Linux operating system kernel was first released on September 17, 1991, by Linus Torvalds.

Load Balancing

is the process of distributing computing workloads across multiple resources, such as servers. In cloud computing, a load balancer acts as a reverse proxy and distributes application traffic to multiple servers to prevent any single application server from becoming a point of failure.


Managed Service Provider (MSP)

is an IT services provider that provides fully outsourced network, application, and system services across a network to clients.

Management and Governance

In the cloud computing world, Management and Governance refers to implementing adequate protections and oversight for IT infrastructure. Through management and governance, organizations monitor the integrity of their applications, perform audits, analyze resource consumption, manage costs, and more.


or microservice architecture is a way of designing applications in which complex applications are built out of a suite of small, independently deployable services. These ‘microservices’ run their own processes and communicate with one another using lightweight mechanisms such as language-agnostic APIs. Microservices are independently deployable and scalable and can even be written in different languages.


is the concurrent use of separate cloud service providers for different infrastructure, platform, or software needs. A multi-cloud approach can help prevent vendor lock-in and may help an enterprise deal with diverse workloads and partners. However, a multi-cloud approach can complicate many processes, such as security and governance, and a Cloud management platform is recommended for this approach.


is a mode of operation for software in which multiple instances of one or many applications run in a shared environment. In a cloud computing model, pooled physical and virtual resources are dynamically assigned and reassigned to tenants according to consumer demand.


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On-Demand Self Service

is a cloud computing service model by which a customer can provision additional cloud resources on-demand, without involving the service provider. Resources are typically provisioned through an online control panel.


technology is software or infrastructure that is run on computers on the premises (in the building) of the person or organization using the software or infrastructure.

Open Source

is a development model in which a product’s source code is made openly available to the public. Open-source products promote collaborative community development and rapid prototyping.

Open Stack

is a free, open-source cloud platform that is primarily deployed as an infrastructure as a service offering.


Personal Cloud

is a marketing term often used to describe network attached storage (NAS) devices. A NAS device is a computer connected to a network that provides data storage services to other devices on the network.


is defined as a computer system that applications run on, or as a base of technologies on which other technologies (such as applications) are built.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

is a model of cloud computing in which a vendor provides the hardware and software tools necessary to create, deploy and manage applications at scale to the user via the internet, as a service.

Private Cloud

is a cloud infrastructure that is provisioned for use by a single organization comprised of multiple users. A private cloud cab managed and operated by the organization, a third party, or some combination of them, and it can exist on or off premises.

Public Cloud

is a cloud infrastructure that is hosted by cloud services provider and is made available to the public via the internet.


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is the process of migrating applications to cloud infrastructure while redesigning them to better fit the cloud environment. This strategy involves modifying existing software or a large part of the codebase to take advantage of cloud-based features and the flexibility that comes with these features.

7 Rs

(Repurchase, Relocate, Rehost, Re-Platform, Refactor/Re-Architect, Retain, Retire) are different cloud migration strategies which are preferred according to the specific requirements of cloud migration projects.



refers to the idea of a system in which each application or piece of infrastructure can be expanded to handle the increased load.

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

is a contractual agreement between a customer and a cloud service provider (CSP) which defines the level of service, availability and performance guaranteed by the CSP.

Serverless Computing

is a type of cloud computing that facilitates the execution and management of microservices applications and allows the configuration of servers.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

is a model of cloud computing in which applications (software) are hosted by a vendor and provided to the user as a service. SaaS applications are licensed on a subscription basis and are made available to users over a network, typically the internet.

Software Development Kit (SDK)

also known as a developer’s toolkit or devkit, is a set of development tools that aids or allows the creation of applications for a certain platform. SDKs typically include APIs, sample code, documentation, debuggers, and other utilities.


refers to digital space that organizations lease from third-party cloud vendors. With cloud storage, organizations don’t have to purchase or maintain storage infrastructure themselves. Instead, they can rely on vendors to manage capacity, security, and more, paying only for what they use.


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VM Vendor Lock-in

is when a customer finds themselves “locked-in” or stuck with a certain cloud service provider (CSP). Vendor lock-in is characterized by extreme difficulty in moving from one cloud vendor to another, usually due to lack of standardized protocols, APIs, data structures, and service models.

Vertical Cloud

is a cloud computing solution that is built or optimized for a specific business vertical such as manufacturing, financial services, or healthcare.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

is a desktop operating system hosted within a virtual machine.

Virtual Machine (VM)

is a software computer that runs an operating system or application environment, just as physical hardware would. The end user has the same experience on a VM as they would on dedicated hardware. Essentially, a VM is a machine within a machine. By running VMs, a hardware computer can run multiple instances of the same operating system. Applications running on separate instances cannot interfere with each other, so if one app crashes, it will not affect apps on other VMs.

Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM)

-See hypervisor.

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 scalability and other advantages of using public cloud platforms.


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