The Quick Cloud Computing Jargon Buster and Acronym Fixer
By : Synextra

At Synextra, we know that IT can be difficult to get your head around, especially for small businesses that do not have the resources to devote to employing full-time technical staff.

We try to make IT simple for business leaders – that’s why we’ve put together this Cloud Computing Jargon Buster to make our range of cloud services simpler to understand.

If you don’t know your caches from your clouds then this Cloud Computing Jargon Buster Guide is for you.


Software to you and me. Many people will have used desktop applications that are installed on a single device at the user’s location. Cloud applications share some of these characteristics but also function over the internet in the cloud.


Typically, a ‘long-term’ data storage solution. Instead of saving information ‘live’ or in a backup environment, you can place it in an archive location where it will remain secure for years rather than days or months.

AWS (Amazon Web Services)

Amazon Web Services is a subsidiary of Amazon providing on-demand cloud computing platforms and APIs to individuals, companies, and governments, on a metered pay-as-you-go basis. See ‘Cloud Platform’.


A way of storing and protecting important information online, offline or a mix of both. Cloud backup involves transferring the data to an off-site server where it can be stored securely.

Big Data

Extremely large data sets which can be analysed computationally to reveal patterns in the data and used to predict behaviour.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

BYOD refers to the use of Wi-Fi enabled devices (smartphones, tablets etc), often owned by employees themselves, to perform company work, either in the workplace, at home or at some other remote location


An area of a computer’s memory used to temporarily store recent information like HTML pages, images or files. This information is usually stored locally to make it quicker and easier for users to access.


The cloud consists of servers in data centres around the world to form a global network. People and businesses work more efficiently because they can access their information from anywhere from any device.

CaaS (Cloud as a Service)

Cloud as a Service refers to any resource that can be made available to an end-user over the internet. They are delivered via a public, private or hybrid cloud.

Cloud Computing

A general term for the delivery of hosted services over the internet using a network of remote servers.

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting is when websites, applications or services are hosted in the cloud, and accessed via the internet rather than being deployed on a single server, bringing increased flexibility and scalability compared to a single physical server hosting solution.

Cloud Platform

The hardware and operating environment of a server in an internet-based datacentre, combined with the software infrastructure for a cloud computing service. The three most common cloud platform vendors who offer cloud computing services in this way are Amazon (AWS), Microsoft (Azure) and Google (Google Cloud Platform). See Synextra’s AWS and Azure Cloud Services.

Cloud Backup

The process of backing up data to a remote, cloud-based server. See our Backup Service

Cloud Migration

Transferring all of or a piece of a company’s data, applications, and services from on-premise hardware into the cloud.

DaaS (Desktop as a Service)

A cloud computing offering where a service provider delivers virtual desktops to end-users over the internet accessed on a variety of devices. It’s frequently used by organisations with remote employees as well as those with BYOD policies. Also known as Remote Desktop or desktop virtualisation  (see VDI below).

Data Centre

A large network of servers used for the remote storage, processing and distribution of large amounts of data.

DR (Disaster Recovery)

A contingency plan to be carried out in the event of a company disaster. Cloud Disaster Recovery is one component of a recovery plan which secures important data in a cloud environment.

DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service)

Replication, hosting and restoration via the cloud. See Synextra’s DR Services.

Enterprise Cloud Hosting

Enterprise Cloud Hosting is the outsourcing of some or all of the enterprise software such as public and private cloud from service providers to businesses. These Cloud solution providers may also provide training, backup, and upgrade services. See Synextra’s Managed Enterprise Cloud Hosting.

Google Cloud Platform

Owned by Google and one of the largest Cloud providers. See ‘Cloud Platform’.

Hybrid Cloud

An integrated cloud service that uses both public and private clouds to perform different functions.

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

One of the three basic cloud service models (alongside SaaS and PaaS) where the provider offers virtualised hardware (infrastructure). This includes things like virtual server space, network connections, bandwidth and IP addresses.

MaaS (Monitoring as a Service)

A monitoring platform that provides users with the ability to monitor functionality for infrastructure and applications that are hosted in the cloud. Continually tracking applications, systems and supporting infrastructure.

Managed DRaaS

Managed DRaaS orchestrates the entire Disaster Recovery (DR) process. Servers and data can be restored back to the exact moment before failure. Synextra’s Managed DRaaS.

Managed Cloud Hosting

A form of supported hosting where the general, day-to-day management of servers and systems is handled by the hosting provider.

MSP (Managed Service Provider)

An IT services provider that provides fully outsourced network, application, and system services across a network to clients.


The combination of Microsoft Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS).

Microsoft Azure

Owned by Microsoft and one of the largest Cloud providers. See ‘Cloud Platform’.

MDM (Mobile Device Management)

Security Software to monitor, manage and secure employees mobile devices – often deployed across multiple mobile service providers and mobile operating systems.

MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching)

A routing technique that directs data from one node to the next based on short path labels to avoid complex lookups – speeding up traffic flow. Synextra’s MPLS. Also known as Managed Networks.


With so many cloud platforms available, Multicloud lets you easily and seamlessly use the best platform for each task at hand. Synextra’s Multi-Cloud Solutions.

Offsite storage

Offsite storage refers to the process of ensuring redundancy and protection by securing your data at a remote server away from your premises.


Software or infrastructure that is operated from within the buildings of the organisation using the software or infrastructure. Prior to cloud computing, this was the only method for running IT systems.

 PaaS (Platform as a Service)

A basic cloud service where the provider host the tools or ‘platform’ on which a website and other applications can run. These tools include things like the database and any necessary project management.

POD (Platform On-Demand)

POD provides a cost-effective alternative to building and maintaining in-house data centre environments without losing control of virtual environments. Designed to support performance-hungry, business-critical environments, POD combines dedicated enterprise servers with ultrafast NetApp storage to deliver a powerful, dedicated cloud platform. See Synextra’s POD solution.

Private Cloud

A secure model of cloud computing which can only be accessed and operated by the specified organisation.

Public Cloud

A common cloud computing model in which a service provider makes resources like software or data storage available over the internet.

SaaS (Software as a Service)

A more complete service offering in which the cloud service provider is responsible for all technical IT elements including infrastructure, platform and applications.


SmartStac™ Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is our own public cloud platform designed for low-cost, agile, application and cloud hosting. All the time/cost saving, security and scalability benefits of public cloud at a fraction of the price.

Virtual Desktop

A virtual desktop takes everything about a traditional computer (the hardware, the data, the operating system and the processing power) and puts it in the cloud. Read more here.

VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure)

A powerful form of desktop virtualisation that enables a fully personalised desktop for each user with all the security and simplicity of centralised management.


Veaam Software is a privately held IT company that develops backup, disaster recovery and intelligent data management software for virtual, physical and multi-cloud infrastructures.

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)

A telephone system capable of replacing traditional landlines with phones that connect back to our cloud-hosted phone system.

XaaS (Anything as a Service)

A service that is offered over the internet. This would include DRaaS, IaaS, PaaS for example. All services provided involve a service level agreement (SLA) which details the terms under which those services will be provided.


Provider for disaster recovery, backup and workload mobility software for virtualized infrastructures and cloud environments. Synextra’s Zerto Backup Solution.



Contact Synxtra if you want to know more about DR, SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, or any of the above. Feel free to let us know if you have any to add to our Cloud Computing Jargon Buster.

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