Cloud computing Definitions

This glossary explains the meaning of key words and phrases that information technology (IT) and business professionals use when discussing cloud computing and related software products. You can find additional definitions by visiting WhatIs.com or using the search box below.

  • N

    noisy neighbor (cloud computing performance)

    Noisy neighbor is a phrase used to describe a cloud computing infrastructure co-tenant that monopolizes bandwidth, disk I/O, CPU and other resources, and can negatively affect other users' cloud performance.

  • O

    OpenStack

    OpenStack is a collection of open source software modules that provides a framework to create and manage both public cloud and private cloud infrastructure.

  • OpenStack Horizon

    OpenStack Horizon is a web-based graphical interface that cloud administrators and users can access to manage OpenStack compute, storage and networking services.

  • OpenStack Innovation Center

    The OpenStack Innovation Center is a research and development facility dedicated to the open source cloud platform OpenStack. Rackspace and Intel opened the center in September 2015.

  • P

    Platform as a Service (PaaS)

    Platform as a service (PaaS) is a cloud computing model in which a third-party provider delivers hardware and software tools -- usually those needed for application development -- to users over the internet.

  • private cloud (internal cloud or corporate cloud)

    Private cloud is a type of cloud computing that delivers similar advantages to public cloud, including scalability and self-service, but through a proprietary architecture.

  • public cloud

    A public cloud is one based on the standard cloud computing model, in which a service provider makes resources, such as virtual machines (VMs), applications or storage, available to the general public over the internet.

  • R

    Rackspace Fanatical Support

    Rackspace Fanatical Support is Rackspace's customer service program, which provides support for customers using its managed hosting services and cloud platforms.

  • RightScale Inc.

    RightScale is a software as a service (SaaS) provider that offers cloud management and analytics tools for public, private and hybrid clouds.

  • S

    Scalr

    Scalr is an information technology (IT) vendor that offers a management platform for cloud computing.

  • shadow IT

    Shadow IT is hardware or software that is not supported by an organization's IT department.  The term often carries a negative connotation because it implies the IT department has not approved the technology or doesn’t even know that employees are using it.

  • sharding

    Sharding is a type of database partitioning that is used to separate very large databases the into smaller, faster, more easily managed pieces called data shards.

  • shared responsibility model

    A shared responsibility model is a cloud security framework that dictates the security obligations of a cloud computing provider and its users to ensure accountability.

  • Software as a Service (SaaS)

    Software as a service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which applications are hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers over a network, typically the Internet.

  • SPI model (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS)

    SPI is an acronym for the most common cloud computing service models, Software as a Service, Platform as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service.

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