Confused by cloud jargon and acronyms? We explain the common cloud terms and models and take a dip into some popular cloud services.
The origins of cloud computing date back to at least the 1950s, when multiple users in academic or corporate settings shared physical access to a single, large-scale mainframe computer with multiple terminals. Today, a far more advanced type of cloud computing is transforming the digital landscape.
Modern cloud platforms enable scalable, on-demand access to shared computing resources including networks, software, storage, applications and services. The cloud is replacing many traditional instances of physical software and hardware by allowing users to download or connect to pre-existing (and physically distant) digital systems, which are maintained, updated and upgraded by the provider rather than the end -user.
As cloud computing revolutionises all sectors, a tremendous amount of confusing acronyms have popped up. So that we’re on the same page, let’s begin with the classic cloud models:
Understanding The Common Cloud Models
What is Cloud as a Service (Caas)?
CAAS, or cloud service, refers to any resource that’s made available to an end-user over a network, typically the internet. Cloud services are delivered via a public, private or hybrid cloud.
What is Public Cloud?
As public cloud is defined as computing services offered by third-party providers over the public Internet, making them available to anyone who wants to use or purchase them. Commonly, they’re sold on demand, allowing customers to only pay for the resources they consume.
What is Private Cloud?
Private cloud is a model of cloud computing where IT services are provisioned over private IT infrastructure for the dedicated use of a single organisation. A private cloud is usually managed via the private cloud provider or internal IT resources.
What is Hybrid Cloud?
Hybrid cloud is a cloud computing environment that uses a mix of on-premise, private cloud and public cloud services with orchestration between the platforms for the delivery of core services. For example, the combination of a public cloud provider (such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services – AWS) with a private cloud platform.
The public and private cloud infrastructures operate independently of each other, and integrate using software and processes that allow for the portability of data and applications.
Common Cloud Acronyms Explained
The most common cloud service resources include Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as- a-Service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
What is Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)?
IaaS is a form of cloud computing that provides virtualized computing resources (servers, network equipment and software) over the Internet. IaaS is one of the three main categories of cloud computing services, alongside Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).
What is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)?
SaaS is a software distribution model in which a third-party provider hosts applications and makes them available to customers over the Internet. Exchange Online and SharePoint Online, part of the Office 365 suite, are examples of SaaS products.
What is Platform-as-a Service (PaaS)?
PaaS is a complete development and deployment environment in the cloud, with resources that enable application developers to deliver everything from simple cloud-based apps to cloud-enabled enterprise applications.
What is Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS)?
DaaS is called remote desktop or virtual desktop. DaaS is a cloud service that allows users to remotely access their desktops from a number of different devices. DaaS provides continuity between devices, and is often used by companies with employees who work remotely and/or have a ‘BYOD’ (bring your own device) strategy in place.
What is MDM (Mobile Device Management)?MDM is a type of security software used by an IT department to monitor, manage and secure employees’ mobile devices that are deployed across multiple mobile service providers and across multiple mobile operating systems being used in the organisation.
What is MaaS (Monitoring-as-a-Service)?MaaS is a framework of tools and applications that monitor specific aspects of services, servers, systems or applications in the cloud. The primary use is data collection in relation to the performance and real-time functioning of IT components, such as applications or infrastructure.
Some Core Cloud Products Explained
What is Microsoft Azure?
Azure is Microsoft’s cloud platform that provides a myriad of Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offerings, including Microsoft-specific and third-party standards, for developers to deploy cloud applications and services.
What is Microsoft Office 365?
Office 365 is Microsoft’s software and services model that offers Microsoft Office on a subscription-based pricing model, with cloud storage abilities. For business and enterprise use, Office 365 includes email and SNS (Simple Notification Service), with cloud-hosted instances of Exchange Server and Skype for Business, Teams, Yammer and Power BI, among others.
What is Microsoft 365?
Microsoft 365 combines Microsoft Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS).
What is Amazon Web Services (AWS)?
AWS is the organisational unit of Amazon that provides a variety of cloud services. AWS operates from 11 physical locations across North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
What is Content Delivery Network (CDN)?
CDN is a distributed system consisting of servers in discrete physical locations, configured in a way that clients can access the server closest to them on the network, thereby improving speeds.