What’s in a name?

Explaining jargon with more jargon isn’t always useful. So here, we’re building out a glossary of terms and phrases to help describe what it is we’re doing—and how it’s different.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is “Cloud Computing” or “The Cloud”?

    Also referred to quite simply as ‘the cloud,’ cloud computing is the term most commonly used to describe the on-demand delivery of a range of IT services, such as applications, media and data, via the internet, in an intuitive, convenient and flexible (i.e. the ability to increase and/or decrease the amount of resource used or paid for) way. The intention is to simplify IT delivery for organizations and reduce operational costs by preventing the need for costly infrastructure and freeing in-house IT resources for higher-value use elsewhere in the company.

  2. What is the difference between Public and Private Cloud?

    Public Cloud is cloud computing resources such as virtual machines, applications, storage, etc., that are delivered via the internet and shared across organizations, concurrently, to a number of different customers (or tenants). It may be free of cost or with minimal pay-per-usage. For example, Google uses the cloud to run some of its applications like Google Docs, Google Drive, YouTube, etc. It is the most common way of implementing cloud computing. The external cloud service provider owns, operates, and delivers it over the public network. It is best for companies that need an infrastructure to accommodate a large number of customers and work on projects that have diverse organizations.

    Private Cloud is cloud computing that is dedicated solely to your organization, where connectivity is supported over the private network. It has only authentic users and single-occupant architecture. The infrastructure and services are maintained and deployed over a private network; hardware and software are dedicated only to a private company, i.e. members of the special entity. It is best for the companies that need an infrastructure with high performance, high security, and privacy due to its best adaptability and flexibility.

  3. What is Hybrid, and Multi-Cloud?

    Multi-Cloud computing describes the use of multiple cloud services from more than one provider for a range of different tasks or workloads. It may seem excessive for small companies or independent contractors, but as cloud adoption grows, many companies are beginning to appreciate the different types of cloud available, along with their varied benefits.

    For instance, while one team may require a cloud provider capable of safely sharing sensitive data, another may need a cloud service more suited to sharing and collaboration involving large data, such as media files. This can occur within the company, department, or branch office. A multi-cloud approach can often provide the best option when the requirements are mutually exclusive. For example, a company’s payroll, customer relationship management, human resources and inventory management may all be run on different cloud platforms. The most widely accepted benefit of this approach is that companies can mix and match best-in-class technologies.

    Hybrid cloud means something formed or composed of two or more elements and in the cloud computing world, that’s no less true. Although often confused with multi-cloud computing, hybrid cloud computing has one significant difference: where multi-cloud uses different cloud providers for different tasks, hybrid computing uses different cloud services for the same task or process. In other words, hybrid cloud solutions can make use of any combination of multiple public or private infrastructures to access or perform certain tasks, with the orchestration of data between them. A hybrid solution will often combine the flexibility and scalability of public clouds with the security and accessibility of private clouds.

  4. What is “Edge Computing”?

    The early goal of edge computing was to reduce the bandwidth costs associated with moving raw data from where it was created to either an enterprise data center or the cloud. More recently, the rise of real-time applications that require minimal latency, such as autonomous vehicles and multi-camera video analytics, are driving the concept forward. Gartner defines edge computing as “a part of a distributed computing topology in which information processing is located close to the edge—where things and people produce or consume that information.” More generally, however, edge computing is an ill-defined term. We like to describe it as “placing data infrastructure where data infrastructure didn’t used to be." There can be many “edges” at different scales in an organization, but generally they will have the common characteristics of being constrained by one or more parameters including physical space, environmental challenges, lack of local support, yet a need to deliver performance and lower latency than could otherwise be achieved.

    At its most basic level, edge computing brings computation and data storage closer to the devices where it’s being gathered, rather than relying on a central location that can be thousands of miles away. This is done so that data, especially real-time data, does not suffer latency issues that can affect an application’s performance. In addition, companies can save money by having the processing done locally, reducing the amount of data that needs to be sent to a centralized or cloud-based location.

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