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Cloud computing terms – what do they even mean?

Cloud computing has become the mantra in businesses worldwide. It has revolutionised data storage and access. It has also improved the ability of organisations to work remotely, network and collaborate. However, many organisations don’t know some of the terms. If you want to brush up on cloud computing jargon read on!

Cloud computing is here to stay so it’s time to get to grips with a few buzzwords. Whilst lots of us can use it, we might not know the professional terms or what they mean. So to talk the talk about the cloud here’s a guide!


This is probably the most used aspect of the cloud – storing data and files remotely. It’s the foundation of what cloud computing can do for us to make remote working commonplace. Storage as a service gives a flexible way to increase storage and scale your business upwards when you need to. It’s also offers foolproof backup and recovery should disaster happen so you can have a full mirror image of your files restored. Great for businesses of all sizes as it takes care of your core working and lets staff collaborate remotely and easily.


With Database-as-a-service you can tap and use a remotely hosted database even if you neither own nor host it. DbaaS saves on hardware, installation time and software configuration as well as maintenance costs. The database will function as though it is locally stored, allowing you to do everything from setting up tables, adding, extracting and deleting data. It has higher performance than a locally stored database and is easy to scale, removing worries about backups and recovery.


Commonly known as SaaS, Application-as-a-service is an application which is delivered via the internet direct to end users, primarily through a browser. These are often the most common cloud-computing services used by enterprise today, and include services such as Google Docs and Salesforce CRM.


Platform-as-a-service or PaaS is a category of cloud computing services that provides a full-service platform for users to develop, run and manage applications. The advantage of PaaS is that users can develop and test apps remotely without having to build and maintain the infrastructure associated with app and software development. It’s a virtual go-to shop for users who build and deploy apps and is great for remote collaboration.


Security-as-a-service (SECaaS) refers to systems that enable delivery of core security services via the internet. This can be anything from business continuity disaster recovery right through to email security, encryption, identity and access management and data loss prevention. As a service, it has the potential to prevent a lot of headaches and downtime for business and will cut costs of a multitude of other security solutions.


Testing-as-a-service (TaaS) gives users the power to test local or cloud-delivered systems using remotely hosted software and services. It allows for applications to be tested without having to purchase test servers or testing software. A great way to cut costs and solve your testing problems efficiently. There are also a range of testing services under this umbrella including mobile testing as a service, and security testing as a service to name a couple.


Infrastructure-as-a-service model means that a third party hosts all your infrastructure for your organisation. This means that hardware, software, servers, storage and other infrastructure constituents are hosted on behalf of the organisation. Using the IaaS model enables  businesses to be more scalable as demands grow or reduce. There is a big advantage in terms of saving on time for maintenance, backup, security monitoring, and reduced capital costs.

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