July 20, 2015

At Synextra, we know that IT can be difficult to get your head around, especially for small businesses that do not have the resources to devote to employing full-time technical staff.

We try to make IT simple for business leaders – that’s why we’ve put together this quick jargon buster to make our range of cloud computing services simpler to understand.

If you don’t know your caches from your clouds then this guide is for you.

Applications

Pieces of software like email or CRM programmes. Many people will have used desktop applications which reside entirely on a single device at the user’s location. Cloud applications share some of these characteristics but also function over the internet in the cloud.

Archiving

Typically, a ‘long-term’ data storage solution. Instead of saving information ‘live’ or in a backup environment you can place it in an archive location where it will remain secure for years rather than days or months.

Backup

A way of storing and protecting important information which can be done online or offline or both. Cloud backup involves transferring the data to an off-site server where it can be stored securely.

Caching

An area of a computer’s memory used to temporarily store recent information like HTML pages, images or files. This information is usually stored locally to make it quicker and easier for users to access.

Cloud Computing

General term for the delivery of hosted services over the internet.

Data Centre

Large network of servers used for the remote storage, processing and distribution of large amounts of data.

DR – Disaster Recovery

A contingency plan to be carried out in the event of a company disaster. Cloud DR is one component of a recovery plan which secures important data in a cloud environment.

Hybrid Cloud

An integrated cloud service which uses both public and private clouds to perform different functions.

IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service

One of the three basic cloud service models (alongside SaaS and PaaS) where the provider offers virtualised hardware (infrastructure). This includes things like virtual server space, network connections, bandwidth and IP addresses.

Managed Hosting

A form of supported hosting where the general, day-to-day management of servers and systems is handled by the hosting provider.

PaaS – Platform as a Service

A basic cloud service where the provider host the tools or ‘platform’ on which a website and other applications can run. These tools include things like the database and any necessary project management.

Private Cloud

A secure model of cloud computing which can only be accessed and operated by the specified organisation.

Public Cloud

A common cloud computing model in which a service provider makes resources like software or data storage available over the internet.

SaaS – Software as a Service

A more complete service offering in which the cloud service provider is responsible for all technical IT elements including infrastructure, platform and applications.

VDI – Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

A powerful form of desktop virtualisation which enables fully personalised desktop for each user with all the security and simplicity of centralised management.

VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol

A telephone system capable of replacing traditional landlines with phones that connect back to our cloud hosted phone system.