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Cloud adoption by businesses has skyrocketed over the past two years with more and more businesses taking the plunge to update their tech stack. Just last month, Microsoft reported a 32%1 year-on-year increase in its cloud business segment. And every day, we’re seeing new customers ask us to help them make the  move  to the cloud. 

The ability to scale, and scale back, almost overnight was priceless in the middle of so much uncertainty.  However, if you’re a business owner looking to upgrade your systems, there’s still so much industry jargon to wrap your head around when  searching for solution providers. This can make it incredibly hard to choose the right solution and provider for your business’s needs.  

These days most businesses understand that a move to the cloud involves computing services – everything from applications to storage and processing power – being delivered over the internet, rather than from bulky boxes and servers tucked away in the corner of your office. 

But here is some of the cloud jargon which you’re sure to come across when looking at different cloud options, broken down into plain English.  

Cloud architecture vs cloud infrastructure  

Cloud architecture is like the blueprint you’d use to build a house. This means how all the different components and capabilities are connected to deliver the online platform on which applications can run. Cloud infrastructure would be the materials with which you’d build the house. So, this is all the different components needed for a cloud platform including hardware, abstracted resources, storage and network resources.  

Public cloud vs private cloud 

Public is the type of cloud you’re most likely to use as a business owner. A public cloud platform uses a standard cloud computing model to make resources available to remote users. A third-party provider usually hosts the scalable, on-demand IT resources and delivers them to users over a network connection. Services we use every day like Gmail or Dropbox are delivered using a public cloud, but more complex business applications can be too. The opposite is a private cloud, which is dedicated solely to the end user, usually within their firewall, and so provides an extra layer of security.  

Now, let’s move on to some of the more specific terms you might be seeing looking at different offerings….  

On-demand self-service 

This means that your IT team can effectively help themselves to extra resources as they need them, without having to call up and go through your cloud provider. You can decide which services to subscribe to, and in what quantities, then make a purchase with a credit card or online payments system. This can be invaluable if you need to suddenly buy more resources to manage sudden spikes in usage.   

Measured service 

This is when your computing resources use is measured, and you can see exactly what level of resource you need. Now, most providers won’t provide a pay-as-you-go service but knowing roughly how much capacity you’ll need should help you decide on a flexible payment model which suits you needs.  

Obviously, this is just a fraction of the technical terminology out there, but hopefully this will help you start to make sense of the different options on the market. Got a question on a term we didn’t cover here? Get in touch with our team who leave the jargon behind.