AWS or Amazon Web Services – Amazon’s suite of Public cloud services (includes EC2, RDS, S3, SQS and VPC) that together make up their cloud computing platform. Amazon EC2 – Short for Amazon Elastic Computer Cloud, Amazon EC2 is a commercial Web service that lets customers “rent” computing resources from the EC2 public cloud. Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud Web service, which provides resizable computing capacity in the cloud so developers can enjoy great scalability for building applications. Amazon S3 – Amazon Simple Storage Services — Amazon’s public cloud storage service.
Apache CloudStack – An open source cloud computing and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform developed to help make creating, deploying and managing cloud services easier by providing a complete “stack” of features and components for cloud environments.

API or Application Program Interface – An API is how one computer process (software) communicates with another. APIs may be standardized by industry agreement or government fiat, or proprietary to a specific application or vendor. The scope of the term API can vary based on its usage. It may refer to a single “call” by which one application can request information for another, the set of such calls for an application such as Google Maps, or the collection of all such application APIs used by an organization. In Cloud environments this is sometimes referred to as “Web API.”

BPaaS or Business Process as a Service – A complete business process is provided as a service – such as billing, HR, payroll, technology, etc.

Business Continuity – Business continuity is the activity performed by an organization to ensure that critical business functions will be available to customers, suppliers, regulators, and other entities that must have access to those functions. These activities include many daily chores such as project management, system backups, change control, and help desk. Business continuity is not something implemented at the time of a disaster; Business Continuity refers to those activities performed daily to maintain service, consistency, and recoverability.
BYOD or Bring Your Own Device – Some VoIP and Virtual Desktop providers allow a person to supply their own equipment. It refers to the policy of companies permitting employees to bring personally owned mobile devices (laptops, tablets, and smart phones) to their workplace, and use those devices to access privileged company information and applications.
CDN or Content Delivery Network – A system consisting of multiple computers that contain copies of data, which are located in different places on the network so clients can access the copy closest to them.

Cloud Application Management for Platforms or CAMP – CAMP, short for Cloud Application Management for Platforms, is a specification designed to ease management of applications — including packaging and deployment — across public and private cloud computing platforms.

Cloud Application –  A software application that is never installed on a local machine — it’s always accessed over the Internet. It is the top layer of the Cloud Computing Stack (aka Pyramid) where applications interact with client web browsers. Cloud Applications are tightly controlled, leaving little room for modification. Examples include: Gmail or SalesForce.com.
Cloud Backup Cloud – backup, or cloud computer backup, refers to backing up data to a remote, cloud-based server. As a form of cloud storage, cloud backup data is stored in and accessible from multiple distributed and connected resources that comprise a cloud.
Cloud Backup Service Provider – A half-party entity that manages and distributes remote, cloud-based data backup services and solutions to customers from a central data center.
Cloud Backup Solutions – Cloud backup solutions enable enterprises or individuals to store their data and computer files in the cloud using a storage service provider, rather than storing the data locally on a physical disk, such as a hard drive or tape backup.
Cloud Bridge – Running an application in such a way that its components are integrated within multiple cloud environments (which could be any combination of internal/private and external/public clouds).
Cloudburst – Cloud bursting is a technique used by hybrid clouds to provide additional resources to private clouds on an as-needed basis. If the private cloud has the processing power to handle its workloads, the hybrid cloud is not used. It is what happens when your cloud has an outage or security breach and your data is unavailable.
Cloudcenter – A datacenter in the “cloud” utilizing standards-based virtualized components as a datacenter-like infrastructure that rents its infrastructure.

Cloud Computing – The term “cloud” refers to the way that networks, specifically the Internet, have been represented in engineering and network drawings for some time. In reality, the cloud is just the latest iteration of a concept that has been called many things in the past including ASP (application service provider), on-demand, utility computing and as a service (Software as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service). Cloud technologies are simply a pool of computing resources (servers, storage, applications, and voice services) that is provided as-needed to businesses from a provider’s network, eliminating the need for on-site equipment, maintenance, and management. Cloud technologies enable IT departments to increase or add capabilities as needed without purchasing equipment and software, training employees to support it, and using office space, power, and cooling to house it. They provide end users immediate access to new, always-on features from nearly any device in any location. They also provide the business a predictable, subscription-based, pay-per-use way to fund IT.
Cloud Computing Reseller – A company that purchases hosting services from a cloud server hosting or cloud computing provider and then re-sells them to its own customers.

Cloud Communications – Cloud Communications uses the Internet as a way to have users connect to host equipment at a remote location which then connect to other users allowing phone calls. Synonymous with hosted VoIP or Internet Phone Service.

Cloud Database – A database accessible to clients from the cloud and delivered to users on demand via the Internet from a cloud database provider’s servers. Also referred to as Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS), cloud databases can use cloud computing to achieve optimized scaling, high availability, multi-tenancy and effective resource allocation.

Cloud Elasticity or Cloud Scalability – The cloud is elastic, meaning that resource allocation can get bigger or smaller depending on demand. Elasticity enables scalability, which means that the cloud can scale upward for peak demand and downward for lighter demand. Scalability also means that an application can scale when adding users and when application requirements change.
Cloud Enablement – Cloud enablement is the process of creating, deploying and operating some or most of an organization’s IT infrastructure, software and resources through the cloud. Cloud enablement shifts in-house IT to a public, private or hybrid cloud environment. Cloud enablement service is delivered by cloud enablers or cloud service providers.
Cloud Enabler – A general term that refers to organizations (typically vendors) who are not cloud providers per se, but make available technology, such as cloudware, that enables cloud computing. Vendor that provides technology or service that enables a client or other vendor to take advantage of cloud computing.
Cloud Governance and Compliance – Governance defines who’s responsible for what and the policies and procedures that your people or groups need to follow. Cloud governance requires governing your own infrastructure as well as infrastructure that you don’t totally control. Cloud governance has two key components: understanding compliance and risk and business performance goals. There are organizations, such as the Cloud Security Alliance, that promote the use of best practices for providing security assurance within Cloud Computing.
Cloud Hosting – A type of hosting where the client leases virtualized, dynamically scalable infrastructure on an as-needed basis. Users frequently have the choice of operating system and other infrastructure components. Typically cloud hosting is self-service, billed hourly or monthly, and controlled via a web interface or API.
Cloud Infrastructure – The “bottom” layer–or foundation–of the Cloud Pyramid is the delivery of computer infrastructure through paravirtualization. This includes servers, networks and other hardware appliances delivered as either Infrastructure Web Services or “cloudcenters”. Full control of the infrastructure is provided at this level.
Cloud Manageability – You need a consistent view across both on-premises and cloud-based environments. This includes managing the assets provisioning as well as the quality of service (QOS) you’re receiving from your service provider.
Cloud Management –  Software and technologies designed for operating and monitoring the applications, data and services residing in the cloud. Cloud management tools help ensure a company’s cloud computing-based resources are working optimally and properly interacting with users and other services.
Cloud Migration – The process of transitioning all or part of a company’s data, applications and services from on-site premises behind the firewall to the cloud, where the information can be provided over the Internet on an on-demand basis.
Cloud Operating System or Cloud OS – A computer operating system that is specially designed to run in a provider’s datacenter and be delivered to the user over the Internet or another network also known as platform-as-a-service (PaaS). Windows Azure is an example of a cloud operating system or “cloud layer” that runs on Windows Server 2008. The term is also sometimes used to refer to cloud-based client operating systems such as Google’s Chrome OS.
Cloud-Oriented Architecture or COA – A term coined by Jeff Barr at Amazon Web Services to describe an architecture where applications act as services in the cloud and serve other applications in the cloud environment. An architecture for IT infrastructure and software applications that is optimized for use in cloud computing environments. The term is not yet in wide use, and as is the case for the term “cloud computing” itself, there is no common or generally accepted definition or specific description of a cloud-oriented architecture.
Cloud Platform – The “middle” layer of the Cloud Pyramid which provides a computing platform or framework (e.g., .NET, Ruby on Rails, or Python) as a service or stack. Control is limited to that of the platform or framework, but not at a lower level (server infrastructure). Examples include: Google AppEngine or Microsoft Azure.
Cloud Portability – In cloud (cloud computing) terminology, the phrase “cloud portability” means the ability to move applications and its associated data between one cloud provider and another — or between public and private cloud environments.

Cloud Security – The security principles that apply to on-site computing apply to cloud computing security.

Cloud Provisioning – The deployment of a company’s cloud computing strategy, which typically first involves selecting which applications and services will reside in the cloud and which will remain on site behind the firewall or in a private cloud. Cloud provisioning also entails developing the processes for interfacing with the cloud’s applications and services as well as auditing and monitoring who accesses and utilizes the resources.
Cloud Servers – Virtualized servers running Windows or Linux operating systems that are instantiated via a web interface or API. Cloud Servers behave in the same manner as physical ones and can be controlled at an administrator or root level, depending on the server type and Cloud Hosting provider.
Cloud Server Hosting – Cloud server hosting is a type of hosting in which hosting services are made available to customers on demand via the Internet. Rather than being provided by a single server or virtual server, cloud server hosting services are provided by multiple connected servers that comprise a cloud.
Cloud Service Architecture or CSA – A term coined by Jeff Barr, chief evangelist at Amazon Web Services. The term describes an architecture in which applications and application components act as services on the cloud, which serve other applications within the same cloud environment.
Cloud Sourcing – Outsourcing storage or taking advantage of some other type of cloud service. The outsourcing of some IT operations to lower cost cloud services. Example: data backup
Cloud Storage – A service that allows customers to save data by transferring it over the Internet or another network to an offsite storage system maintained by a half party. Cloud storage means “the storage of data online in the cloud,” wherein a company’s data is stored in and accessible from multiple distributed and connected resources that comprise a cloud.
Cloud Testing – Load and performance testing conducted on the applications and services provided via cloud computing — particularly the capability to access these services — in order to ensure optimal performance and scalability under a wide variety of conditions.
Disaster Recovery or DR – DR is the ability to restore access to records, data, hardware and software necessary to resume critical business operations after a disaster. There are facility disasters (e.g., fire in the building, bomb threats), local disasters (e.g., power outages, floods, earthquakes), and regional disasters (e.g., hurricanes [Hurricane Katrina was 500 miles wide], electrical grid failures). The cost to guarantee that you can resume operations usually increases as the distance and number of disaster recovery centers increases. This is often grouped with Business Continuity.
Disruptive Technology – A term used in the business world to describe innovations that improve products or services in unexpected ways and change both the way things are done and the market. Cloud computing is often referred to as a disruptive technology because it has the potential to completely change the way IT services are procured, deployed, and maintained.
DNIS or Dialed Number Identification Service – DNIS is a feature of 800 and 900 lines that provides the number the caller dialed to the receiving switch. Using DNIS capabilities, one trunk group can be used to serve multiple applications. Generally, a DNIS number will be used to identify to the answering telephone system the “application” the caller dialed.
DNS – A computer program running on a web server, translating domain names into IP addresses. In the last years special types of domain names records were added to the DNS world-wide system, which provide support to SIP/VoIP (SRV/NAPTR, ENUM).
Elastic Computing – The ability to dynamically provision and de-provision processing, memory, and storage resources to meet demands of peak usage without worrying about capacity planning and engineering for peak usage.
Encryption – The process of transforming information (plaintext) in such a way as to make it unreadable (ciphertext) to anyone except those possessing a key to protect your information assets.
Enterprise Application – The term used to describe applications — or software — that a business would use to assist the organization in solving enterprise problems. When the word “enterprise” is combined with “application,” it usually refers to a software platform that is too large and too complex for individual or small business use.
Enterprise Cloud Backup – Enterprise-grade cloud backup solutions typically add essential features such as archiving and disaster recovery to cloud backup solutions.
External Cloud – Public or private cloud services that are provided by a half party outside the organization. A cloud computing environment that is external to the boundaries of the organization.
Hosted Applications – An Internet-based or Web-based application software program that runs on a remote server and can be accessed via an Internet-connected PC or thin client. See also SaaS.
Hybrid Cloud / Hybrid Cloud Storage – A combination of two or more clouds (private, community, or public) that remain unique entities but are bound together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and application portability. A networking environment that includes multiple integrated internal and/or external providers. Hybrid clouds combine aspects of both public and private clouds. A combination of public cloud storage and private cloud storage where some critical data resides in the enterprise’s private cloud while other data is stored and accessible from a public cloud storage provider.
Identity Management – Managing personal identity information so that access to computer resources, applications, data, and services is controlled properly.

IM or Instant Messaging or Chat – Instant Messaging is a software that allows users to exchange messages in real time. However, to do so both the users must be logged on to the instant messaging service at the same time. Some of the popular IM services are: Microsoft Lync, MSN Messenger, and Yahoo! Messenger.

Infrastructure as a Service or IaaS – Cloud infrastructure services or “Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)” delivers computer infrastructure, typically a platform virtualization environment, as a service. Rather than purchasing servers, software, data center space or network equipment, clients instead buy those resources as a fully outsourced service. The service is typically billed on a utility computing basis and amount of resources consumed (and therefore the cost) will typically reflect the level of activity. It is an evolution of web hosting and virtual private server offerings.
IP Address – An IP address, also known as Internet Protocol address, is the machine number used to identify all devices that are connected to the net. Each device has its own unique number which it uses to communicate. This number is fixed in the case of those computing devices that have a fixed IP address. The rest are allotted a dynamic IP address, which is valid for the period they are connected to the net. The numbers range from 0.0.0.0 to 255.255.255.255.
IP Phone or Internet Phone or SIP Phone or VoIP Phone – An IP phone is one that converts voice into digital packets and vice versa to make phone calls over Internet possible. It has built-in IP signaling protocols such as SIP or H.323 that ensure that the voice is routed to the right destination over the net. On the media side the IP Phone uses audio or/and video codecs such as G.711 or/and H.261 respectively over RTP. The IP phones come with several value added services like voicemail, e-mail, call number blocking etc.

LAN – A group of computers and associated devices that share a common communications line or wireless link and typically share the resources of a single processor or server within a small geographic area (for example, within an office building).

ISP or Internet Service Provider – A business that provides subscriber-based access to the Internet. Subscribers can be individuals or businesses. According to Jack Rickard, publisher of Boardwatch Magazine, ISPs operate at the fourth or lowest level of the Internet. At the half level, regional providers aggregate traffic from lower-order ISPs to the second, backbone level. The highest level in North America is the NAP (Network Access Point), which act as peer-to-peer interconnection points for the largest backbones. There are three “official” NAPs located in San Francisco, Chicago and Pennsauken, New Jersey. ISPs use both Internet Routers, Servers and Rack-Mounted modems to provide a variety of services including Web Site hosting, FTP service, e-mail accounts, unified messaging, audio and video broadcasting and in some cases – Internet Telephony and Fax Gateway service.
Linux – An open source operating system based on Unix. It is the dominate operating system for cloud computing.

Middleware – Software that sits between applications and operating systems, consisting of a set of services that enable interoperability in support of distributed architectures by passing data between applications. So, for example, the data in one database can be accessed through another database.

Mobile Cloud Storage – A form of cloud storage that applies to storing an individual’s mobile device data in the cloud and providing the individual with access to the data from anywhere.
On-Demand Service – A model by which a customer can purchase cloud services as needed; for instance, if customers need to utilize additional servers for the duration of a project, they can do so and then drop back to the previous level after the project is completed.
Online Backup – In storage technology, online backup means to back up data from your hard drive to a remote server or computer using a network connection. Online backup technology leverages the Internet and cloud computing to create an attractive off-site storage solution with little hardware requirements for any business of any size.
PBX or Private Branch Exchange – A private telephone switching system that allows outside phone lines from a telecommunications provider to connect to extensions within the office or building. They usually have multiple features including call forwarding, rollover, paging and voice mail.
Platform as a Service or PaaS – Cloud platform services, whereby the computing platform (operating system and associated services) is delivered as a service over the Internet by the provider. The PaaS layer offers black-box services with which developers can build applications on top of the compute infrastructure. This might include developer tools that are offered as a service to build services, or data access and database services, or billing services.
Private Cloud – Private Clouds provide a dedicated instance of these services for your exclusive use and, as a result, can be secured and accessed privately. While they are housed in provider’s data center, they do not leverage the pool of shared resources, so they cannot grow and shrink and do not include failover and redundancy. Private Clouds most times utilize the same technology (hardware, virtualization, security) as an on-premise deployment, but they are outsourced to a service provider for hosting and care and feeding of the environment.
Private Cloud Security – A private cloud implementation aims to avoid many of the objections regarding cloud computing security. Because a private cloud setup is implemented safely within the corporate firewall, it remains under the control of the IT department.

Private Cloud Storage – A form of cloud storage where the enterprise data and cloud storage resources both reside within the enterprise’s data center and behind the firewall.

Rapid Elasticity – Elasticity is defined as the ability to scale resources both up and down as needed. To the consumer, the cloud appears to be infinite, and the consumer can purchase as much or as little computing power as they need. Defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as one of the five essential characteristics of cloud computing.

Self-Service Provisioning – Cloud customers can provision cloud services without going through a lengthy process. You request an amount of computing, storage, software, process, or more from the service provider. After you use these resources, they can be automatically deprovisioned.

SaaS or Software as a Service – Cloud application services, whereby applications are delivered over the Internet by the provider, so that the applications don’t have to be purchased, installed, and run on the customer’s computers. SaaS providers were previously referred to as ASP (application service providers). In the SaaS layer, the service provider hosts the software so you don’t need to install it, manage it, or buy hardware for it. All you have to do is connect and use it. SaaS Examples include customer relationship management as a service.
TCO or Total Cost of Ownership – TCO is an estimate of the total cost of a solution over time, usually a few years. It should include all costs, direct and indirect, associated with the solution. It helps determine the financial value of a change in operations. Because the cloud is a pay-as-you-go model, much of your financial future is predicted for you with a cloud-based solution. This means your method of comparing future costs has to reflect the factors the monthly cost of your cloud computing solution inherently provides, like RAM, Disk, licensing, support by qualified personnel, redundancy, scale for future needs, and disaster recovery to name a few. A lot of these factors are surprises that await you when buying, managing, and administering IT on your own with a premise-based solution.
Unified Messaging – Unified Messaging is the integration of different electronic messaging and communications media (e-mail, SMS, Fax, voicemail, video messaging, etc.) technologies into a single interface, accessible from a variety of different devices. While traditional communications systems delivered messages into several different types of stores such as voicemail systems, e-mail servers, and stand-alone fax machines, with Unified Messaging all types of messages are stored in one system. Voicemail messages, for example, can be delivered directly into the user’s inbox and played either through a headset or the computer’s speaker. This simplifies the user’s experience (only one place to check for messages) and can offer new options for workflow such as appending notes or documents to forwarded voicemails.
Unified Communications or UC – The integration of real-time communication services such as instant messaging (chat), presence information, telephony (including IP telephony), video conferencing, data sharing (including web connected electronic whiteboards aka IWB’s or Interactive White Boards), call control and speech recognition with non-real-time communication services such as unified messaging (integrated voicemail, e-mail, SMS and fax). UC is not necessarily a single product, but a set of products that provides a consistent unified user interface and user experience across multiple devices and media types.
Vertical Cloud – A cloud computing environment that is optimized for use in a particular industry, such as health care or financial services.

Vertical Cloud Computing – A vertical cloud, or vertical cloud computing, is the phrase used to describe the optimization of cloud computing and cloud services for a particular vertical (e.g., a specific industry) or specific use application.

VoIP or Voice over IP or Voice over Internet Protocol – The transmission of voice over the Internet as digital packets rather than the traditional circuit-committed protocols of the PSTN. VoIP uses real-time protocol (RTP) to help ensure that the packets get delivered in a timely way.