What is Apache CloudStack
An open source cloud computing and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform developed to help make creating, deploying and managing cloud services easier by providing a complete “stack” of features and components for cloud environments.

What is an API or Application Program Interface
An API is how one computer process (software) communicates with another. APIs may be standardized by industry agreement or government fiat, or proprietary to a specific application or vendor. The scope of the term API can vary based on its usage. It may refer to a single “call” by which one application can request information for another, the set of such calls for an application such as Google Maps, or the collection of all such application APIs used by an organization. In Cloud environments, this is sometimes referred to as “Web API.”

What is AWS or Amazon Web Services
Amazon’s suite of Public cloud services (includes EC2, RDS, S3, SQS and VPC) that together make up their cloud computing platform.

  • Amazon EC2 – Short for Amazon Elastic Computer Cloud, Amazon EC2 is a commercial Web service that lets customers “rent” computing resources from the EC2 public cloud. Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud Web service, which provides resizable computing capacity in the cloud so developers can enjoy great scalability for building applications.
  • Amazon S3 – Amazon Simple Storage Services — Amazon’s public cloud storage service.

What is Azure or Windows Azure
Microsoft’s public cloud computing platform.

What is Billing and service usage metering
You can be billed for resources as you use them. This pay-as-you-go model means usage is metered and you pay only for what you consume.

What is a BPaaS or Business Process as a Service
A complete business process is provided as a service – such as billing, HR, payroll, advertising, etc.

What is Business Continuity
Business continuity is the activity performed by an organization to ensure that critical business functions will be available to customers, suppliers, regulators, and other entities that must have access to those functions. These activities include many daily chores such as project management, system backups, change control, and help desk. Business continuity is not something implemented at the time of a disaster; Business Continuity refers to those activities performed daily to maintain service, consistency, and recoverability.

What is BYOD or Bring Your Own Device
Some VoIP and Virtual Desktop providers allow a person to supply their own equipment. It refers to the policy of companies permitting employees to bring personally owned mobile devices (laptops, tablets, and smart phones) to their workplace, and use those devices to access privileged company information and applications.

What is a CCMM or Cloud Computing Maturity Model
Defines five stages of evolution for an enterprise data center to migrate to cloud computing. The five stages are: consolidation, virtualization, automation, utility and cloud.

What is a CDN or Content Delivery Network
A system consisting of multiple computers that contain copies of data, which are located in different places on the network so clients can access the copy closest to them.

What is a Cloud App
Short for cloud application, cloud app is the phrase used to describe a software application that is never installed on a local computer. Instead, it is accessed via the Internet.

What is a Cloud Application
A software application that is never installed on a local machine — it’s always accessed over the Internet. It is the top layer of the Cloud Computing Stack (aka Pyramid) where applications interact with client web browsers. Cloud Applications are tightly controlled, leaving little room for modification. Examples include: Gmail or SalesForce.com.

What is Cloud Application Management for Platforms or CAMP
CAMP, short for Cloud Application Management for Platforms, is a specification designed to ease management of applications — including packaging and deployment — across public and private cloud computing platforms.

What is Cloud Arcs
Short for cloud architectures, they are designs for software applications that can be accessed and used over the Internet.

What is Cloud as a Service or CaaS
A cloud computing service that has been opened up into a platform that others can build upon.

What is Cloud Backup
Cloud backup, or cloud computer backup, refers to backing up data to a remote, cloud-based server. As a form of cloud storage, cloud backup data is stored in and accessible from multiple distributed and connected resources that comprise a cloud.

What is a Cloud Backup Service Provider
A third-party entity that manages and distributes remote, cloud-based data backup services and solutions to customers from a central data center.

What is Cloud Backup Solutions
Cloud backup solutions enable enterprises or individuals to store their data and computer files in the cloud using a storage service provider, rather than storing the data locally on a physical disk, such as a hard drive or tape backup.

What is a Cloud Bridge
Running an application in such a way that its components are integrated within multiple cloud environments (which could be any combination of internal/private and external/public clouds).

What is a Cloud Broker
An entity that creates and maintains relationships with multiple cloud service providers. It acts as a liaison between cloud services customers and cloud service providers, selecting the best provider for each customer and monitoring the services.

What is Cloudburst
Cloud bursting is a technique used by hybrid clouds to provide additional resources to private clouds on an as-needed basis. If the private cloud has the processing power to handle its workloads, the hybrid cloud is not used. It is what happens when your cloud has an outage or security breach and your data is unavailable. The term cloudburst is being used in two meanings, negative and positive:

  • Cloudburst (negative): The failure of a cloud computing environment due to the inability to handle a spike in demand.
  • Cloudburst (positive): The dynamic deployment of a software application that runs on internal organizational compute resources to a public cloud to address a spike in demand.

What is a Cloudcenter
A datacenter in the “cloud” utilizing standards-based virtualized components as a datacenter-like infrastructure that rents its infrastructure.

What is a Cloud client
Computing device for cloud computing. Updated version of thin client.

What is Cloud Computing
The term “cloud” refers to the way that networks, specifically the Internet, have been represented in engineering and network drawings for some time. In reality, the cloud is just the latest iteration of a concept that has been called many things in the past including ASP (application service provider), on-demand, utility computing and as a service (Software as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service).

Cloud technologies are simply a pool of computing resources (servers, storage, applications, and voice services) that is provided as-needed to businesses from a provider’s network, eliminating the need for on-site equipment, maintenance, and management. Cloud technologies enable IT departments to increase or add capabilities as needed without purchasing equipment and software, training employees to support it, and using office space, power, and cooling to house it. They provide end-users immediate access to new, always-on features from nearly any device in any location. They also provide the business a predictable, subscription-based, pay-per-use way to fund IT.

What is a Cloud Computing Reseller
A company that purchases hosting services from a cloud server hosting or cloud computing provider and then re-sells them to its own customers.

What is a Cloud Database
A database accessible to clients from the cloud and delivered to users on demand via the Internet from a cloud database provider’s servers. Also referred to as Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS), cloud databases can use cloud computing to achieve optimized scaling, high availability, multi-tenancy and effective resource allocation.

What is Cloud Elasticity or What is Cloud Scalability
The cloud is elastic, meaning that resource allocation can get bigger or smaller depending on demand. Elasticity enables scalability, which means that the cloud can scale upward for peak demand and downward for lighter demand. Scalability also means that an application can scale when adding users and when application requirements change.

What is Cloud Enablement
Cloud enablement is the process of creating, deploying and operating some or most of an organization’s IT infrastructure, software and resources through the cloud. Cloud enablement shifts in-house IT to a public, private or hybrid cloud environment. Cloud enablement service is delivered by cloud enablers or cloud service providers.

What is a Cloud Enabler
A general term that refers to organizations (typically vendors) who are not cloud providers per se, but make available technology, such as cloudware, that enables cloud computing. Vendor that provides technology or service that enables a client or other vendor to take advantage of cloud computing.

What is Cloud Envy
Used to describe a vendor who jumps on the cloud computing bandwagon by rebranding existing services.

What is Cloud Governance and Compliance
Governance defines who’s responsible for what and the policies and procedures that your people or groups need to follow. Cloud governance requires governing your own infrastructure as well as infrastructure that you don’t totally control. Cloud governance has two key components: understanding compliance and risk and business performance goals. There are organizations, such as the Cloud Security Alliance, that promote the use of best practices for providing security assurance within Cloud Computing.

What is Cloud Hosting
A type of hosting where the client leases virtualized, dynamically scalable infrastructure on an as-needed basis. Users frequently have the choice of operating system and other infrastructure components. Typically cloud hosting is self-service, billed hourly or monthly, and controlled via a web interface or API.

What is Cloud Infrastructure
The “bottom” layer–or foundation–of the Cloud Pyramid is the delivery of computer infrastructure through paravirtualization. This includes servers, networks and other hardware appliances delivered as either Infrastructure Web Services or “cloudcenters”. Full control of the infrastructure is provided at this level.

What is Cloud Manageability
You need a consistent view across both on-premises and cloud-based environments. This includes managing the assets provisioning as well as the quality of service (QOS) you’re receiving from your service provider.

What is Cloud Management
Software and technologies designed for operating and monitoring the applications, data, and services residing in the cloud. Cloud management tools help ensure a company’s cloud computing-based resources are working optimally and properly interacting with users and other services.

What is Cloud Migration
The process of transitioning all or part of a company’s data, applications, and services from on-site premises behind the firewall to the cloud, where the information can be provided over the Internet on an on-demand basis.

What is Cloud OS
A phrase frequently used in place of Platform as a Service (PaaS) to denote an association to cloud computing.

What is Cloud Operating System or Cloud OS
A computer operating system that is specially designed to run in a provider’s datacenter and be delivered to the user over the Internet or another network also known as platform-as-a-service (PaaS). Windows Azure is an example of a cloud operating system or “cloud layer” that runs on Windows Server 2008. The term is also sometimes used to refer to cloud-based client operating systems such as Google’s Chrome OS.

What is Cloud-Oriented Architecture or COA
A term coined by Jeff Barr at Amazon Web Services to describe an architecture where applications act as services in the cloud and serve other applications in the cloud environment. An architecture for IT infrastructure and software applications that are optimized for use in cloud computing environments. The term is not yet in wide use, and as is the case for the term “cloud computing” itself, there is no common or generally accepted definition or specific description of a cloud-oriented architecture.

What is a Cloud Platform
The “middle” layer of the Cloud Pyramid which provides a computing platform or framework (e.g., .NET, Ruby on Rails, or Python) as a service or stack. Control is limited to that of the platform or framework, but not at a lower level (server infrastructure). Examples include: Google AppEngine or Microsoft Azure.

What is Cloud Portability
In cloud (cloud computing) terminology, the phrase “cloud portability” means the ability to move applications and its associated data between one cloud provider and another — or between public and private cloud environments. See also Vendor lock-in.

What is a Cloud Provider
A company that provides cloud-based platform, infrastructure, application, or storage services to other organizations and/or individuals, usually for a fee.

What are Cloud Providers
Computing service providers whose product/platform is based on virtualization of computing resources and a utility-based payment model.

What is a Cloud Pyramid
A visual representation of Cloud Computing layers where different segments are broken out by functionality. Simplified version includes: Infrastructure, Platform and Application layers.

What is Cloud Provisioning
The deployment of a company’s cloud computing strategy, which typically first involves selecting which applications and services will reside in the cloud and which will remain on site behind the firewall or in a private cloud. Cloud provisioning also entails developing the processes for interfacing with the cloud’s applications and services as well as auditing and monitoring who accesses and utilizes the resources.

What is Cloud Security
The same security principles that apply to on-site computing apply to cloud computing security.

What are Cloud Servers
Virtualized servers running Windows or Linux operating systems that are instantiated via a web interface or API. Cloud Servers behave in the same manner as physical ones and can be controlled at an administrator or root level, depending on the server type and Cloud Hosting provider.

What is Cloud Server Hosting
Cloud server hosting is a type of hosting in which hosting services are made available to customers on demand via the Internet. Rather than being provided by a single server or virtual server, cloud server hosting services are provided by multiple connected servers that comprise a cloud.

What is Cloud Service Architecture or CSA
A term coined by Jeff Barr, chief evangelist at Amazon Web Services. The term describes an architecture in which applications and application components act as services on the cloud, which serve other applications within the same cloud environment.

What is Cloud Sourcing
Outsourcing storage or taking advantage of some other type of cloud service. The outsourcing of some IT operations to lower cost cloud services. Example: data backup

What are Cloud Standards
A standard is an agreed-upon approach for doing something. Cloud standards ensure interoperability, so you can take tools, applications, virtual images, and more, and use them in another cloud environment without having to do any rework. Portability lets you take one application or instance running on one vendor’s implementation and deploy it on another vendor’s implementation.

What is Cloud Storage
A service that allows customers to save data by transferring it over the Internet or another network to an offsite storage system maintained by a third party. Cloud storage means “the storage of data online in the cloud,” wherein a company’s data is stored in an accessible from multiple distributed and connected resources that comprise a cloud.

What is Cloud Storm or What is Cloudstorming
The act of connecting multiple cloud computing environments. Also referred to as cloud network.

What is Cloud Testing
Load and performance testing conducted on the applications and services provided via cloud computing — particularly the capability to access these services — in order to ensure optimal performance and scalability under a wide variety of conditions.

What is Cloudware
A general term referring to a variety of software, typically at the infrastructure level, that enables building, deploying, running or managing applications in a cloud computing environment. Ex. Evolve IP’s OSSmosis Enterprise Cloud Manager.

What is Cloudwashing
Slapping the word “cloud” on products and services you already have.

What is a Cluster
A group of linked computers that work together as if they were a single computer, for high availability and/or load balancing.

What is a Consumption-based pricing model
A pricing model whereby the service provider charges its customers based on the amount of the service the customer consumes, rather than a time-based fee. For example, a cloud storage provider might charge per gigabyte of information stored. See also Subscription-based pricing model.

What is Customer self-service
A feature that allows customers to provision, manage, and terminate services themselves, without involving the service provider, via a Web interface or programmatic calls to service APIs.

What is Data in the cloud
Managing data in the cloud requires data security and privacy, including controls for moving data from point A to point B. It also includes managing data storage and the resources for large-scale data processing.

What is Disaster Recovery or DR
DR is the ability to restore access to records, data, hardware and software necessary to resume critical business operations after a disaster. There are facility disasters (e.g., fire in the building, bomb threats), local disasters (e.g., power outages, floods, earthquakes), and regional disasters (e.g., hurricanes [Hurricane Katrina was 500 miles wide], electrical grid failures). The cost to guarantee that you can resume operations usually increases as the distance and number of disaster recovery centers increases. This is often grouped with Business Continuity.

What is a Disruptive Technology
A term used in the business world to describe innovations that improve products or services in unexpected ways and change both the way things are done and the market. Cloud computing is often referred to as a disruptive technology because it has the potential to completely change the way IT services are procured, deployed, and maintained.

What is Elastic computing
The ability to dynamically provision and de-provision processing, memory, and storage resources to meet demands of peak usage without worrying about capacity planning and engineering for peak usage.

What is Encryption
The process of transforming information (plaintext) in such a way as to make it unreadable (ciphertext) to anyone except those possessing a key to protect your information assets.

What is an Enterprise Application
The term used to describe applications — or software — that a business would use to assist the organization in solving enterprise problems. When the word “enterprise” is combined with “application,” it usually refers to a software platform that is too large and too complex for individual or small business use.

What is Enterprise Cloud Backup
Enterprise-grade cloud backup solutions typically add essential features such as archiving and disaster recovery to cloud backup solutions.

What is an External Cloud
Public or private cloud services that are provided by a third party outside the organization. A cloud computing environment that is external to the boundaries of the organization.

What is Federation
Federation is the act of combining data or identities across multiple systems. Federation can be done by a cloud provider or by a cloud broker.

What is a Funnel Cloud
Discussion about cloud computing that goes round and round but never turns into action (never “touches the ground”)

What are Google Apps
Google’s SaaS offering that includes an office productivity suite, email, and document sharing, as well as Gmail, Google Talk for instant messaging, Google Calendar and Google Docs, spreadsheets, and presentations.

What is HaaS
Hardware as a service; see IaaS.

What is a Hosted application
An Internet-based or Web-based application software program that runs on a remote server and can be accessed via an Internet-connected PC or thin client. See also SaaS.

What is Hybrid cloud / Hybrid Cloud Storage
A combination of two or more clouds (private, community, or public) that remain unique entities but are bound together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and application portability. A networking environment that includes multiple integrated internal and/or external providers. Hybrid clouds combine aspects of both public and private clouds. A combination of public cloud storage and private cloud storage where some critical data resides in the enterprise’s private cloud while other data is stored and accessible from a public cloud storage provider.

What is Identity management
Managing personal identity information so that access to computer resources, applications, data, and services is controlled properly.

What is Infrastructure as a Service or What is IaaS
Cloud infrastructure services or “Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)” delivers computer infrastructure, typically a platform virtualization environment, as a service. Rather than purchasing servers, software, data center space or network equipment, clients instead buy those resources as a fully outsourced service. The service is typically billed on a utility computing basis and amount of resources consumed (and therefore the cost) will typically reflect the level of activity. It is an evolution of web hosting and virtual private server offerings.

What is Intercloud
A global cloud of clouds, similar in concept to the Internet being a global network of networks. See also: Intracloud

What is Intracloud
An Intercloud consisting of only private clouds.

What is an Internal Cloud
Another name for a private cloud. A type of private cloud whose services are provided by an IT department to those in its own organization.

What is Linux
An open source operating system based on Unix. It is the dominant operating system for cloud computing.

What is a Mashup
A Web-based application that combines data and/or functionality from multiple sources.

What is Microsoft Azure
Microsoft cloud services that provide the platform as a service (see PaaS), allowing developers to create cloud applications and services.

What is Middleware
Software that sits between applications and operating systems, consisting of a set of services that enable interoperability in support of distributed architectures by passing data between applications. So, for example, the data in one database can be accessed through another database.

What is Mobile Cloud Storage
A form of cloud storage that applies to storing an individual’s mobile device data in the cloud and providing the individual with access to the data from anywhere.

What is Multi-Tenant
In cloud computing, multi-tenant is the phrase used to describe multiple customers using the same public cloud.

What is Multitenancy
Multitenancy is the property of multiple systems, applications or data from different enterprises hosted on the same physical hardware. Multitenancy is common to most cloud-based systems.

What is an On-demand Service
A model by which a customer can purchase cloud services as needed; for instance, if customers need to utilize additional servers for the duration of a project, they can do so and then drop back to the previous level after the project is completed.

What is Online Backup
In storage technology, online backup means to back up data from your hard drive to a remote server or computer using a network connection. Online backup technology leverages the Internet and cloud computing to create an attractive off-site storage solution with little hardware requirements for any business of any size.

What is Pay-as-you-go
A cost model for cloud services that encompasses both subscription-based and consumption-based models, in contrast to traditional IT cost model that requires up-front capital expenditures for hardware and software.

What is Personal Cloud Storage
A form of cloud storage that applies to storing an individual’s data in the cloud and providing the individual with access to the data from anywhere. Personal cloud storage also often enables syncing and sharing stored data across multiple devices such as mobile phones and tablet computers. Personal cloud storage is also frequently referred to as mobile cloud storage or pocket cloud storage. Example: iCloud

What is Platform as a Service or PaaS
Cloud platform services, whereby the computing platform (operating system and associated services) is delivered as a service over the Internet by the provider. The PaaS layer offers black-box services with which developers can build applications on top of the compute infrastructure. This might include developer tools that are offered as a service to build services, or data access and database services, or billing services.

What is a Private Cloud
Private Clouds provide a dedicated instance of these services for your exclusive use and, as a result, can be secured and accessed privately. While they are housed in provider’s data center, they do not leverage the pool of shared resources, so they cannot grow and shrink and do not include failover and redundancy. Private Clouds most times utilize the same technology (hardware, virtualization, security) as an on-premise deployment, but they are outsourced to a service provider for hosting and care and feeding of the environment. Visit ‘ What is private cloud ‘ for more information.

What is a Private Cloud Project
Companies initiate private cloud projects to enable their IT infrastructure to become more capable of quickly adapting to continually evolving business needs and requirements. Private cloud projects can also be connected to public clouds to create hybrid clouds.

What is Private Cloud Security
A private cloud implementation aims to avoid many of the objections regarding cloud computing security. Because a private cloud setup is implemented safely within the corporate firewall, it remains under the control of the IT department.

What is Private Cloud Storage
A form of cloud storage where the enterprise data and cloud storage resources both reside within the enterprise’s data center and behind the firewall.

What is Public cloud
Public clouds provide a pool of shared computing resources, applications, and storage to the customer as a single virtualized service. They generally allow you to grow or shrink these resources as needed and often times provide built-in failover and redundancy. But, they are delivered (as the name suggests) publicly and in a defined fashion, so you are unable to secure your services with a private firewall or access them privately over your Wide Area Network (WAN). Public Clouds also generally require an on-staff development resource and in some cases a full re-factor of the application framework for proper functionality. The Public Cloud is generally referred to as a “revolutionary” approach to Cloud Computing as it brings many benefits but also a degree of complexity and know-how to fully leverage its capabilities.

What is Public Cloud Storage
A form of cloud storage where the enterprise and storage service provider are separate and the data is stored outside of the enterprise’s data center.

What is Rapid Elasticity
Elasticity is defined as the ability to scale resources both up and down as needed. To the consumer, the cloud appears to be infinite, and the consumer can purchase as much or as little computing power as they need. Defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as one of the five essential characteristics of cloud computing.

What is Red Hat Cloud Computing
Red Hat Cloud Computing refers to solutions for private clouds, hybrid clouds, and public clouds offered by Red Hat.

What is Red Hat CloudForms
Red Hat CloudForms is an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering that builds upon a collection of more than 60 open source projects. CloudForms include application lifecycle management capabilities as well as the capability to create hybrid public and private clouds from the broadest range of computing resources with unique portability across physical, virtual and cloud computing resources.

What is Red Hat OpenShift
OpenShift provides developers with a choice in languages, frameworks, and clouds to build, test, run, and manage Java, Ruby, PHP, Perl and Python applications. Developers can also choose the cloud provider the applications will run on.

What are Roaming workloads
The backend product of cloudcenters.

What is SaaS or Software as a Service
Cloud application services, whereby applications are delivered over the Internet by the provider, so that the applications don’t have to be purchased, installed, and run on the customer’s computers. SaaS providers were previously referred to as ASP (application service providers). In the SaaS layer, the service provider hosts the software so you don’t need to install it, manage it, or buy hardware for it. All you have to do is connect and use it. SaaS Examples include customer relationship management as a service.

What is Salesforce.com
An online SaaS company that is best known for delivering customer relationship management (CRM) software to companies over the Internet.

What is Self-service Provisioning
Cloud customers can provision cloud services without going through a lengthy process. You request an amount of computing, storage, software, process, or more from the service provider. After you use these resources, they can be automatically deprovisioned.

What is Service Migration
The act of moving from one cloud service or vendor to another.

What is a Service Provider
The company or organization that provides a public or private cloud service.

What is a Service level agreement or SLA
A contractual agreement by which a service provider defines the level of service, responsibilities, priorities, and guarantees regarding availability, performance, and other aspects of the service.

What are Standardized Interfaces
Cloud services should have standardized APIs, which provide instructions on how two application or data sources can communicate with each other. A standardized interface lets the customer more easily link cloud services together.

What is Storage Cloud
Storage cloud refers to the collection of multiple distributed and connected resources responsible for storing and managing data online in the cloud.

What is a Subscription-based Pricing Model
A pricing model that lets customers pay a fee to use the service for a particular time period, often used for SaaS services. See also Consumption-based pricing model.

What is TCO or What is Total Cost of Ownership
TCO is an estimate of the total cost of a solution over time, usually a few years. It should include all costs, direct and indirect, associated with the solution. It helps determine the financial value of a change in operations. Because the cloud is a pay-as-you-go model, much of your financial future is predicted for you with a cloud-based solution. This means your method of comparing future costs has to reflect the factors the monthly cost of your cloud computing solution inherently provides, like RAM, Disk, licensing, support by qualified personnel, redundancy, scale for future needs, and disaster recovery to name a few. A lot of these factors are surprises that await you when buying, managing, and administering IT on your own with a premise-based solution.

What is Utility Computing or What is Utility Pricing
Utility pricing is where the subscriber pays for resources as they are used instead of paying a fixed price independent of usage. In the current mode, a customer buys a server and pays for it as a capital expense, and then pays recurring maintenance fees. In a Cloud environment, online computing or storage is sold as a metered commercial service where the customer “rents” the resources and pays as they use, based on how much they use – similar to how a customer pays for electricity in their home.

What is Vendor lock-in
Dependency on the particular cloud vendor and difficulty moving from one cloud vendor to another due to lack of standardized protocols, APIs, data structures (schema), and service models.

What is a Vertical cloud
A cloud computing environment that is optimized for use in a particular industry, such as health care or financial services.

What is Vertical Cloud Computing
A vertical cloud, or vertical cloud computing, is the phrase used to describe the optimization of cloud computing and cloud services for a particular vertical (e.g., a specific industry) or specific use application.

What is Virtual Data Center or What is Virtual Servers or What is vServer
A Virtual Data Center is a Virtual Private Cloud Computing Service that enables customers to leverage guaranteed resource reservation pools (processor, memory and disk resources) at a cloud service provider’s secure data center. A vServer is a virtual private cloud (VPC) server that leverages the scalability and failover of public cloud services with the privacy and security of dedicated hosting environments.

What is Virtual Desktop Infrastructure or VDI
A virtual desktop is an untethered virtual workspace that can be accessed from anywhere at any time on a variety of devices for a predictable monthly fee. By leveraging a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), IT managers are freed from the need to “touch” each desktop for support or delivery of new applications, saving your staff time and keeping your employees productive. Because all of the employees’ “work” is being done in the cloud, you can extend the usable life of older computers, replace them with inexpensive thin clients, and even provide secure access from home PCs and iPads.

What is a Virtual Private Cloud or What is VPC
The term describes a concept that is similar to, and derived from, the familiar concept of a Virtual Private Network (VPN), but applied to cloud computing. It is the notion of turning a public cloud into a virtual private cloud, particularly in terms of security and the ability to create a VPC across components that are both within the cloud and external to it. e.g., the Amazon VPC that allows Amazon EC2 to connect to legacy infrastructure on an IPsec VPN. A Virtual Private Cloud leverages the scalability and failover of public cloud services with the privacy and security of dedicated environments. Virtual Private Cloud functions perfectly with both new and legacy applications and provides predictable, stable, and secure architecture with the resiliency and on-demand expansion capabilities that most expect with the “cloud”. Often referred to as the “evolutionary” approach, Virtual Private Cloud does not require changes to the application framework or special coding for proper migration. The Virtual Private Cloud delivers the best of both worlds.

What is a Virtual Private Data Center
Resources grouped according to specific business objectives.

What is a Virtual machine or What is VM
A file (typically called an image) that, when executed, looks to the user like an actual machine. Infrastructure as a Service is often provided as a VM image that can be started or stopped as needed. Changes made to the VM while it is running can be stored to disk to make them persistent.

What is VMware vCloud Connector
The VMware vCloud Connector is a tool that facilitates hybrid cloud computing for organizations. The vCloud Connector essentially helps to orchestrate and administer the migration of VMs across different data centers and clouds.


What is ACD or What is Automatic Call Distributor
A specialized phone system used for handling many incoming calls. The ACD will recognize and answer an incoming call; will look in its database for call routing instructions. It will send the call to a recording or IVR or will send the call to an available agent according to the instructions for that call. An ACD will normally produce management information tracking both calls and agent performance.

What is Auto Attendant
An automatic response system, such as a voice presenting options such as press 2 for sales, 5 for Lisa, etc., which handles incoming calls and sends them to the appropriate phone or message.

What is Backbone
A high speed fiber network with a large capacity that connects major cities throughout the world.

What is Bandwidth
Bandwidth is the volume of data that can be transmitted over a communication line in a fixed amount of time. It is expressed in bits per second (bps), 1000 bits per second (kbps), or bytes per second for digital devices and in cycles per second, or Hertz (Hz) for analog devices. Bandwidth can also be defined as the difference between a band of frequencies or wavelengths.

What is a Call Center Agent
The person that handles calls in a contact center. Also referred to as a customer service representative (CSR).

What is Call Control
In telephony, call control refers to the software within a telephone switch that supplies its central function. Call control decodes addressing information and routes telephone calls from one endpoint to another. It also creates the features that can be used to adapt standard switch operation to the needs of users, such as “Call Waiting”, “Call Forward on Busy” etc.

What is Call Hunting or What is a Hunt Group
A calling feature for inbound calls that will “roll past” a busy signal or try multiple numbers until the call is answered.

What is CDR or What is a Call Detail Record
Details about a specific call that includes duration, origination, destination, and billable information, as well as other pertinent information.

What is Clipping
The loss of speech-signal components, resulting in the dropping of the initial or end parts of a word or words.

What is a Cloud Call Center
A Call Center solution that is hosted in a service provider’s cloud and is delivered in an economical monthly subscription model. It provides contact center managers with more control and deeper insight into their contact center operations than a premise-based system. By establishing a single cloud-based contact center across multiple locations, call centers can streamline operations and maximize staffing.

What is Cloud Communications
Cloud refers to the Internet. Cloud Communications uses the Internet as a way to have users connect to host equipment at a remote location which then connect to other users allowing phone calls. Synonymous with hosted VoIP or Internet Phone Service.

What is a Codec
Codec is a term that arises from the Compressor-Decompressor or enCOder/DECoder process. It is used for software or hardware devices that can convert or transform a data stream. For instance, at the transmitting end codecs can encode a data stream or data signal for easy transmission, storage or encryption. At the receiving end, they can decode the signal in the appropriate form for viewing. They are most suitable for video conferencing and streaming media solutions.

What is CTI or What is Computer Telephony Integration
The linking of the computer in the ACD system to the computer which houses the company’s database to permit faster and more efficient handling of calls. Screen pop is a function of CTI which can direct the data screen of the calling person’s account to the terminal of the agent as the call is being routed there, saving the agent from having to identify the caller’s account number, key it in, and wait for computer response. Also permits transfer of data screens to a second agent when a call is transferred and many other capabilities impossible with only one or the other system independently.

What is DID or What is Direct Inward Dialing
A service that allows an enterprise to allocate individual phone numbers to each person within its PBX system.

What is DNIS or What is Dialed Number Identification Service
DNIS is a feature of 800 and 900 lines that provide the number the caller dialed to the receiving switch. Using DNIS capabilities, one trunk group can be used to serve multiple applications. Generally, a DNIS number will be used to identify to the answering telephone system the “application” the caller dialed.

What is DNS
A computer program running on a web server, translating domain names into IP addresses. In the last years, special types of domain names records were added to the DNS worldwide system, which provides support to SIP/VoIP (SRV/NAPTR, ENUM).

What is DSL or What is a Digital Subscriber Line
Phone technology that allows a broadband internet digital connection to be carried over existing copper phone lines, while still allowing the phone service carry analog signals over the same line.

What is E911
E911 is the short form of the term Enhanced 911, and is used for providing emergency service on cellular and Internet voice calls.

What is Find-me/follow-me
A feature that allows calls to find you wherever you are, ringing multiple phones (such as your cell phone, home phone, and work phone) all at once.

What is FMC or What is Fixed Mobile Convergence
FMC is the integrated connectivity between fixed and wireless telecommunications network. It is used by carriers to provide a seamless switching between cellular and local networks for mobile phone users.

What is a Frame Relay
In data communications, a packet switching method that uses available bandwidth only when it is needed. This fast packet switching method is efficient enough to transmit voice communications to the proper network management

What is IM or What is Instant Messaging or What is Chat
Instant Messaging is a software that allows users to exchange messages in real time. However, to do so both the users must be logged on to the instant messaging service at the same time. Some of the popular IM services are: Microsoft Lync, MSN Messenger, and Yahoo! Messenger.

What is IP or What is Internet Protocol
IP defines the way data packets, also called datagrams, should be moved between the destination and the source. More technically, it can be defined as the network layer protocol in the TCP/IP communications protocol suite.

What is an IP address
An IP address, also known as Internet Protocol address, is the machine number used to identify all devices that are connected to the net. Each device has its own unique number which it uses to communicate. This number is fixed in the case of those computing devices that have a fixed IP address. The rest are allotted a dynamic IP address, which is valid for the period they are connected to the net. The numbers range from to

What is IP mapping
IP mapping is the process of identifying IP addresses on the basis of their geographical locations. The mapping enables web administrators to pinpoint the location of any computing device connected to the Internet.

What is an IP Phone or What is an Internet Phone or What is a SIP Phone or What is a VoIP Phone
An IP phone is one that converts voice into digital packets and vice versa to make phone calls over Internet possible. It has built-in IP signaling protocols such as SIP or H.323 that ensure that the voice is routed to the right destination over the net. On the media side, the IP Phone uses audio or/and video codecs such as G.711 or/and H.261 respectively over RTP. The IP phones come with several values added services like voicemail, e-mail, call number blocking etc.

What is an ISP or What is an Internet Service Provider
A business that provides subscriber-based access to the Internet. Subscribers can be individuals or businesses. According to Jack Rickard, publisher of Boardwatch Magazine, ISPs operate at the fourth or lowest level of the Internet. At the third level, regional providers aggregate traffic from lower-order ISPs to the second, backbone level. The highest level in North America is the NAP (Network Access Point), which act as peer-to-peer interconnection points for the largest backbones. There are three “official” NAPs located in San Francisco, Chicago and Pennsauken, New Jersey. ISPs use both Internet Routers, Servers and Rack-Mounted modems to provide a variety of services including Web Site hosting, FTP service, e-mail accounts, unified messaging, audio and video broadcasting and in some cases – Internet Telephony and Fax Gateway service.

What is IVR or What is Interactive Voice Response
A software information system integrated into a phone system that speaks to callers and uses menus and voice responses. By using touch-tone keypad entries to interact with the software, you get voice responses with real time data. An IVR platform uses computer telephony components to translate callers’ touch-tones or voice commands into computer queries after the callers hear an audio menu. These queries are then “fetched” by the IVR platform from the host computer. In some cases, the information resides in the same platform (self-hosted).

What is Jitter
As data load increases and decreases, routers on the Internet can create slightly different times that individual packets take to travel from one point to another point. This variation in time is known as jitter.

What is a LAN
A group of computers and associated devices that share a common communications line or wireless link and typically share the resources of a single processor or server within a small geographic area (for example, within an office building).

What is Latency
The time it takes for a packet to reach its destination. Higher delay times can be an issue, especially for VoIP, where voice delay can be recognized with latency higher than 150 milliseconds. Higher than 500 milliseconds and the conversation is going to be very problematic.

What is MOS or What is a Mean Opinion Score
The Mean Opinion Score (MOS) provides a numerical indication of the perceived quality of voice transmission after compression and/or transmission and is expressed as a number in the range 1 to 5, where 1 is lowest perceived audio quality and 5 is the highest perceived audio quality measurement.

What is Multiprotocol Label Switching or What is MPLS
A method for maximizing network speeds on high traffic networks. It enables enterprises and service providers to build intelligent networks that deliver scalable, end-to-end services

What is a Packet
A logically grouped unit of data. Packets contain a payload (the information to be transmitted), originator, destination and synchronizing information. The idea with packets is to transmit them over a network so each individual packet can be sent along the most optimal route to its. Packets are assembled on one end of the communication and re-assembled on the receiving end based on the header addressing information at the front of each packet. Routers in the network will store and forward packets based on network delays, errors and re-transmittal requests from the receiving end.

What is Packet loss
Packet loss is the term used to indicate the loss of data packets during transmission over a computer network. This may happen on account of high network latency or on account of overloading of switches or routers that are unable to process or route all the incoming data. Packet loss sounds like an echo when speaking on a VoIP phone. Your hosted VoIP PBX should not allow for more than 1 or 2% of packet loss, and obviously the less the better.

What is Packet Switching
A means of economically sending and receiving data over alternate, multiple network channels. The premise for packet switching is the packet, a small bundle of information containing the payload and routing information. Packet switching takes data, breaks it down into packets, transmits the packets and does the reverse on the other end. Packets can be sent in order and then be received in a different order – only to be put back in the correct order in seconds. There are slow packet switching networks, like the old SNA networks – and there are fast packet networks based on Frame Relay and ATM. Although traditionally used for data, packet networks, especially well-managed ones, are becoming suitable for real-time transmission of voice and video.

What is a PBX or What is a Private Branch Exchange
A private telephone switching system that allows outside phone lines from a telecommunications provider to connect to extensions within the office or building. They usually have multiple features including call forwarding, rollover, paging and voice mail.

What is POE or What is Power over Ethernet
A system to transmit electrical power over a standard twisted pair Ethernet cable.

What is POP or What is Point of Presence
Point of Presence, the equivalent of a local phone company’s central office. The place your long distance carrier terminates your long distance lines just before those lines are connected to your local phone company’s lines, or to your own direct hookup.

What is POTS or What is Plain Old Telephone System
The familiar single phone line, single phone number system that has been in existence for many years.

What is Presence
In computer and telecommunications networks, presence information is a status indicator that conveys ability and willingness of a potential communication partner—for example, a user – to communicate. A user’s client provides presence information (presence state) via a network connection to a presence service, which is stored in what constitutes his personal availability record and can be made available for distribution to other users (called watchers) to convey his availability for communication. Presence information has wide application in many communication services and is one of the innovations driving the popularity of instant messaging or recent implementations of voice over IP clients.

What is PRI or What is Primary Rate Interface
The Primary Rate Interface consists of 23 B-channels and one 64 Kpbs D-channel using a T-1 line and can have up to 1.544 Mbps service. Typically, it is a dynamic circuit that delivers both voice and data, giving preference for voice. When a channel is not carrying voice it is automatically allocated for data.

What is the PSTN or What is the Public Switched Telephone Service
The combination of local, long-distance and international carriers that make up the worldwide telephone network.

What is QoS or What is Quality of Service
The ability of a network (including applications, hosts, and infrastructure devices) to deliver traffic with minimum delay and maximum availability.

What is a Router
A router is a device connected to at least two networks that determine the next network point to forward a packet to. The decision of which way to send each information packet is based on its current understanding of the networks that it is connected to.

What is RTP or What is Real-Time Transport Protocol
An Internet protocol that functions for end-to-end network connections for applications that use audio or video.

What is SIP or What is Session Initiation Protocol
A signaling protocol for Internet conferencing, telephony, and instant messaging. It is a request-response protocol, dealing with requests from clients and responses from servers, initiating an interactive user session.

What is SIP Trunking
The use of VoIP to facilitate the connection of typically a PBX to the Internet, where the Internet replaces the conventional telephone trunk, allowing a business to communicate with traditional PSTN telephone subscribers worldwide by connecting to an ITSP (Internet Telephony Service Provider). SIP trunking can save money and offer services to an IP-PBX.

What is a Softphone or What is a Soft Phone
IP telephony software that allows end users to send and receive calls over the computer or handheld PC device (PDA) over the Internet. Typically used in conjunction with a headset and microphone there are many free softphones that are available.

What is a Soft switch
It is a software application that is used to keep track of, monitor or regulate connections at the junction point between circuit and packet networks. This software is loaded in computers and is now replacing hardware switches on most telecom networks.

What is a Switch
A switch is a device that keeps a record of the MAC addresses of all devices connected to it and then channels incoming data from any of multiple input ports to the specific output port that will take the data toward its intended destination.

What is a T-1 line
North American digital standard for high-capacity transmission of telephony and data communications. In telephone, T-1 provides a 1.544 Mbps link which is broken down into 24 discrete, 64 Kpbs voice-grade channels. In data communications, T-1 links are used to directly connect CPE (Customer Premises Equipment) routers to the Internet and for Private Data Network or VPN circuits.

What is Unified Communications or What is UC
The integration of real-time communication services such as instant messaging (chat), presence information, telephony (including IP telephony), video conferencing, data sharing (including web connected electronic whiteboards aka IWB’s or Interactive White Boards), call control and speech recognition with non-real-time communication services such as unified messaging (integrated voicemail, e-mail, SMS and fax). UC is not necessarily a single product, but a set of products that provides a consistent unified user interface and user experience across multiple devices and media types.

What is Unified Messaging
Unified Messaging is the integration of different electronic messaging and communications media (e-mail, SMS, Fax, voicemail, video messaging, etc.) technologies into a single interface, accessible from a variety of different devices. While traditional communications systems delivered messages into several different types of stores such as voicemail systems, e-mail servers, and stand-alone fax machines, with Unified Messaging all types of messages are stored in one system. Voicemail messages, for example, can be delivered directly into the user’s inbox and played either through a headset or the computer’s speaker. This simplifies the user’s experience (only one place to check for messages) and can offer new options for workflow such as appending notes or documents to forwarded voicemails.

What is a Virtual Call Center
The concept of having network and agent resources that are located at multiple physical sites perform as if all resources were located at a single site.

What is VoIP or What is Voice over IP or What is Voice over Internet Protocol
The transmission of voice over the Internet as digital packets rather than the traditional circuit-committed protocols of the PSTN. VoIP uses real-time protocol (RTP) to help ensure that the packets get delivered in a timely way. Visit ‘What is VoIP?’ for more information.

What is a VoIP Gateway
A network device that converts voice and fax calls in real time from the public switched telephone network (PSTN) to an IP network.

Evolve IP
Patton’s VoIP Glossary
Voipmechanic.com’s Glossary for VoIP Associated Terms