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Cloud Computing Glossary

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AUTHORIZATION
Ensures that authenticated individuals can access only the data you specify. Authorization affects many areas of SaaS applications, such as employees’ abilities to view or edit files, add or delete users, or change the application in other ways.

CAPITAL EXPENDITURE
Traditionally, businesses have treated (and have been required by tax authorities to treat) technology acquisitions as capital expenditures: buying them outright and depreciating them over time. As a result, businesses can deduct only a portion of that expense from their taxes at the end of the year.

CDN – 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 COMPUTING
A metaphor for a global network, first used in reference to the telephone network and now commonly used to represent the Internet. The delivery over the Internet of computing resources, such as processing power, storage capacity, or software functionality. Cloud computing frees up businesses from having to install technology on their premises. Cloud computing is also known as on-demand computing, or utility computing. One version of the cloud is SaaS, or software-as-a-service (see definition, below).

CLOUD SOURCING
The growing trend of replacing traditional IT services with cloud services.

CLOUDSTORMING
Connecting multiple cloud computing environments.

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 third party. See Citynet’s CItyVault service – our remote data backup service.

CLOUDWARE
Software that enables creating, deploying, running, or managing applications in the cloud.

CLUSTER
A group of linked computers that work together as if they were a single computer, for high availability and/or load balancing.

COLLABORATION
Collaboration tools, such as SharePoint,  allow users to share knowledge with others—whether between one individual and another, within workgroups, or even among separate businesses.

CONFIGURABLE
The ability to choose how to align software to your business needs, culture, and processes. Most cloud-based programs are easily configurable. You simply choose from a
menu of options the ones that suit your business best.

CONTENT & DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT
Tools for securely creating, editing, sharing, and managing files—both within and across firewalls, as well as online and offline. Citynet offers Microsoft’s SharePoint; an excellent example of this.

CONTENT MANAGEMENT
 The management, backup, storage, and protection of data—documents, video, images, and other files—that ensures users always have the most up-to-date versions.

CUSTOMIZABLE
Tailor-made applications that are developed for a particular company’s unique needs. Typically, these types kinds applications require expert help to develop and maintain them.

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.

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.

EXTERNAL CLOUD
Public or private cloud services that are provided by a third party outside the organization.

HaaS - HARWARE AS A SERVICE
See IaaS.

HOSTED APPLICATION
An Internet-based or Web-based application software program that runs on a remote server and can be accessed via an Internet-connected PC.

IaaS – INFRASTRUCTURE AS A SERVICE
Cloud infrastructure services, whereby a virtualized environment is delivered as a service over the Internet by the provider. The infrastructure can include servers, network equipment, and software.

INTERNAL CLOUD
A type of private cloud whose services are provided by an IT department to those in its own organization.

MICROSOFT EXHANGE – HOSTED
Microsoft Exchange is the world's leading corporate email platform. When it is hosted by a provider, such as Citynet, that provider manages the complexities and IT management issue associated with Microsoft Exchange for you.

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.

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.

ON-PREMISE SOFTWARE

The traditional way that businesses have acquired and used software: by purchasing the program—either delivered on a disc or downloaded from the Internet—and installing it on their own hardware (desktop PCs, laptops, and servers) at their physical premises. This requires upfront capital investments in both hardware and software, as well as in-house expertise to install, operate, maintain, and update the technology.

PaaS – PLATFROM AS A SERVICE

Cloud platform services, whereby the computing platform (operating system and associated services) is delivered as a service over the Internet by the provider.
   
PAY AS YOU GO
A cost model for cloud services that encompasses both subscription-based and consumption-based models, in contrast to traditional IT cost model that requires up-front capital expenditures for hardware and software.

PUBLIC CLOUD vs. PRIVATE CLOUD

You may hear a particular cloud described as “public” or “private.” Here are the differences:

PUBLIC CLOUD: When you hear the term “cloud” it generally refers to the public cloud, where applications or other services are delivered to a broad range of people or businesses over the Internet.

PRIVATE CLOUD: A private cloud is a cloud that is used by a single organization. Sometimes large businesses build their own private clouds for security or cost reasons.

REAL-TIME DATA
Updates to the data that occur instantaneously. For example, when a salesperson closes a sale and enters it into a CRM, the information - contact name, order number, delivery information, and so forth - appears immediately in sales reports that others with access to the CRM can then use.

SERVICE MIGRATION
The act of moving from one cloud service or vendor to another.

SCALABILITY
The ability to add computing resources quickly, whether during peak times or in response to business growth. These resources can support an increase in the number of employees using an application, in the amount of data stored, or in the number of modules in an application that are turned on. Scalability enables companies to pay for what they use as needed and quickly add capabilities when necessary.

SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENTS (SLA)
A contractual agreement by which a service provider defines the level of service, responsibilities, priorities, and guarantees regarding availability, performance, and other aspects of the service. SLA s are common in business and used in a broad range of industries.

SHAREPOINT
Microsoft SharePoint 2010 makes it easier for people to work together; such as setting up web sites to share information with others, manage documents from start to finish, and publish reports to help everyone make better decisions. Citynet offers hosted SharePoint services.

SOFTWARE AS A SERVICE (SaaS)

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). Hosted Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Exchange, WebEx and CityVault are good examples of this – and all are offered by Citynet.

SUBSCRITION BASED PRICING MODEL
A pricing model that lets customers pay a fee to use the service for a particular time period, often used for SaaS services.

VIRTUALIZATION
Virtualization is to make a “virtual” copy of something that acts like the real thing. It usually refers to hardware. You can virtualize hardware in two different ways. First, you can divide up a single physical machine into multiple “virtual” machines, each of which can run a separate operating system as well as other applications and software. In effect, you are turning one PC or server into two, or five, or 10 unique PCs or servers. Why would you do this? To get the most out of the hardware you’ve purchased. You can also use virtualization to do the opposite: to combine many different machines so that they operate as a single machine.

UPTIME
Typically expressed as a percentage, uptime is the amount of time the cloud-based service is available for use. The gold standard for uptime is 99.999 percent.

WEB-BASED EMAIL

Email that is hosted and stored by an email provider rather than stored and managed on a company’s own servers. Web-based email is generally accessible from any device, anywhere, that has an Internet connection.

WEBEX
WebEx Communications Inc. is a Cisco-owned company that provides cross-platform, on-demand collaboration, online meeting, web conferencing and videoconferencing applications. Citynet is a provider of WebEx solutions.

SOFTWARE LICENSE
Regulates the use of on-premise software, to prevent the pirating of software. Software is installed on individual machines and either licensed to specific users or controlled over the office network via a “license server.”

VOICE OVER INTERNET PROTOCOL (VoIP)
Sends voice signals over the Internet using the same network your data flows over. VoIP makes it possible to place phone calls, send faxes, record conversations, hold multiparty conference calls, and more, over the Internet. Related Citynet products include: Digital Phone, iTone and vIP .

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