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Getting Started: Cloud Computing Buzzwords Simplified

This Cloud glossary will help you “speak Cloud,” and see through the cloud computing buzzwords to the real value of the services you’re considering.

Pop quiz: which of the following Cloud jargon translates to “right for your business”?

  1. Call Center as a Service (CCaaS)
  2. Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)
  3. Data Center and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
  4. All of the above
  5. None of the above
  6. Heck, if I only knew!

Ding ding ding! You guessed it; the correct answer is “Heck, if I only knew!”

That’s because some service providers use cryptic buzzwords to describe their offerings, but never explain what it really includes, or whether it’s the right fit for you.

Learning to Speak Cloud

Before you can navigate your cloud computing options — and make the best IT decisions for your business — you need to understand the basic terms and acronyms, what they entail, and what best suits your unique needs.

6 Ways to Say Cloud (So You Can Get the Cloud You Need)

1. Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is an extremely generalized term for the delivery of hosted services over the internet. It’s an umbrella term that means companies treat their IT infrastructure and computing resources as an outsourced utility, like electricity, instead of building and maintaining it on their own. Cloud computing services can be public, private, or a combination of both.

You want this if... Everyone wants this, in one form or another.

2. Public Cloud

third-party provider delivers your cloud computing services over the internet. These services include everything from processors and bandwidth to data storage and security. But public cloud means shared: you get a piece of a cloud computing environment that is also simultaneously being used by other clients.

You want this if... a) You’ve got some technical know-how and want to setup and manage your hosted servers yourself. b) You want no contract. c) Data security and compliance for you and your customers is not especially important. (Red-flag warning!!!)

3. Private Cloud

A private cloud can refer to a cloud computing platform that is either:

  • Implemented and controlled by your IT department on-premise
  • Delivered from a third-party data center to your business, and only your business

Most companies use it for security and to have their own dedicated hardware, storage, and network hosted and maintained off-premises by a third party cloud provider.

You want this if... You need the flexibility and convenience of a fully-managed hosted infrastructure, and security and compliance are critical to your business.

4. Hybrid Cloud

Typically, a hybrid cloud is a combination of public cloud services and private cloud services. Hybrid cloud enables companies to pick and choose where they store data and run critical applications.

You want this if... You’re searching for that perfectly customized balance of control, security, and scalability, and you want to maximize efficiency across each area of your business.

5. Vertical Cloud

Vertical cloud is a term for cloud computing resources and services that have been tailored and optimized for a specific industry. For example, healthcare has a well developed vertical Cloud that has been designed to meet the unique security risks and compliance needs of the industry, such as HIPAA regulations.

You want this if... The one-size-fits-all providers won’t cut it. You need a cloud provider who understands the ins and outs of your business and can go deep to meet the IT needs of your market.

6. VM

VM stands for virtual machine. In short, it’s software that imitates hardware. It’s a software computer that can run an operating system and applications and do all the things a physical computer can do, only it’s much easier to move, manage, and maintain.

You want this if... You need to make more efficient use of hardware and simplify network administration tasks like backups and resource provisioning. They’re great if you want to try a new OS, test software, backup your system, or save a legacy system.

Who Are You Calling an aaS

Who Are You Calling an aaS?

The terms above are just the tip of the iceberg. They can help you navigate the first layer of options when moving your business to the Cloud, but you’ll soon run into more bewildering jargon or buzzwords — most notably, the growing list of aaS’s, aka all those “as-a-service” providers.

At LinkSource, we’re here to help you find what works best for you. We work with top-tier third-party vendors and help you find:

Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)

Providers of UCaaS offer a solution that replaces traditional on-premise-based dial-tone phone systems. By moving basic call intelligence and the management and maintenance of the system to a cloud subscription model, users gain a myriad of features and functionality, including a variety of collaboration and communication tools, at a fraction of the cost and without the burden of maintaining expensive equipment.

Desktop as a Service (DaaS)

DaaS refers to the process of running a user desktop inside a virtual machine that lives on a server in a data center. It enables fully personalized desktops for each user with all the security and simplicity of centralized management.

Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)

This is a step above UCaaS. CCaaS provides advanced features and on-demand customer details that tightly integrate with popular CRM tools, enabling a call center agent to greatly enrich the service they provide to the end-user.

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

DRaaS providers offer multiple ways to back up, replicate, and restore data with industry-leading service level agreements for recovery-point and recover-time objectives. Time to restore data is often significantly reduced.

Data Center and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

These providers specialize in providing virtualized computing resources over the internet. Companies use them when they want to outsource their critical systems, or procure dedicated compute power and storage.

We Help You Navigate the Language and Find What’s Best for You

As a 20-plus-year old company, LinkSource knows cloud computing and is here to help you when you decide it’s time to make your move.

But we don’t just say, “oh, your business needs UCaaS and DRaaS.” We actually talk with you to discover what your goals are. After that, we:

  • conduct an audit to determine what will help you meet those goals
  • assess your current infrastructure to see what already works well and which Cloud parts might enhance your operations
  • help you select a cloud service provider by outlining strengths and weaknesses
  • create a roadmap or timeline of the migration strategy to ensure you’re not left high and dry
  • help you define security needs for data in the Cloud
  • review and evaluate the migration to ensure that all is working as it should and all users you designate have access to what they need

So, when you think you’re ready — or when you have questions — just give us a call at 916-757-1100. We’ll make the move simple, efficient, and have it solve the issues that have been bugging you.

eBook: Outsourcing Communications Technology Lifecycle Management