Some Key Terms Explained
Cloud Computing may appear confusing with a list of terminology that is as new as the Cloud Computing. Below are some definitions for the terms that you are likely to come across should you delve into Cloud Computing.
- Utility Computing: Imagine at home you have to pay for the amount of Electricity you use. You don't usually buy in your own electricity instead only paying for what you use. The same idea is behind Utility Computing. Essentially you rent Computer Resources as and when you require them and therefore only pay for what you need.
- On-demand: The same as Utility Computing but the actual model of renting/buying resources as they become necessary for you to use.
- Software as a service; SaaS: In order for you to use software on demand a software vendor licenses it for your use for the on demand period. The software itself doesn't have to be purely web based; it can also be downloaded to a computer. After you're done the software is disabled.
- A Cloud Computing Provider, Cloud Server Provider or Cloud Hosting Provider:
In order to access Cloud Computing services you will need to have a Cloud Computing provider. The Cloud Computing Provider is the company you rent your resources from. In some sense they are similar to Electricity Providers as explained under On Demand. The Cloud Hosting Provider will host all the software that you wish to use on the Cloud Computing Platform (outlined below).
- A Cloud Computing Platform, also known as Platform as a service or PaaS:
Along with a provider you need a Platform to run all your software off. Essentially, it is the same as an Operating System in many ways. Without a PaaS you can't run any software.
- Cloud infrastructure, also known as Infrastructure as a Service or short IaaS:
The Cloud Infrastructure is the virtual hardware allowing the Platform to run along with your software. As part of the Cloud Computing Utility idea you only pay for what you use. The infrastructure allows you to use as little or as much of the resources available you want and only pay for what you use. This is useful for businesses who may not have all staff in on one day and the cost of IT is therefore changed.