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.

  • P

    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.

  • 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 a third-party provider hosts applications and makes them available to customers over the Internet.

  • SPI model

    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.

  • subscription-based pricing model

    A subscription-based pricing model is a payment structure that allows a customer or organization to purchase or subscribe to a vendor's IT services for a specific period of time for a set price.

  • T

    TOSCA (Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications)

    The Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications (TOSCA) is an open-source language used to describe the relationships and dependencies between services and applications that reside on a cloud computing platform.

  • V

    vertical cloud

    A vertical cloud is a set of cloud computing services optimized for use in a particular industry, or for a specific business model.

  • virtual private cloud (VPC)

    A virtual private cloud (VPC) is the logical division of a service provider's public cloud multi-tenant architecture to support private cloud computing.

  • W

    Windows Azure Fabric Controller (FC)

    The Azure Fabric Controller (FC) is the part of the Windows Azure platform that monitors and manages virtual and physical servers and coordinates resources for software applications.

  • X

    XaaS (Anything as a Service)

    XaaS is a general, collective term that refers to the delivery of anything as a service.

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