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Learn the Lingo: An A-to-Z Cloud Computing Reference Guide

By Dina Ferriero,
Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Cloud DictionaryIt's no secret that cloud computing is the hottest topic in the world of investment technology right now (we've certainly been talking about it frequently!). We often hear from our hedge fund clients that they are very interested in this technology, but feel they still have additional learning to do before making an informed decision as to whether it is the right option for their firms.

So, as part of our ongoing effort to provide educational content to our loyal Hedge IT readers, we have compiled a list of the most commonly used cloud computing terms. We hope this A-to-Z "dictionary" will serve as a valuable reference guide for you in your exploration into the world of cloud technology!

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z
 

A

Archiving

The systematic approach to saving and protecting all data contained in emails or instant messages so that it can be easily accessed at a later date; archiving tools integrate with email or instant message providers to accumulate and index data such that it is searchable and quickly retrievable by the user.

C

Citrix

With a Citrix server, you are able to log into a website via any computer and gain access to the applications that live on the Citrix server in your office. When you click any application icon, it will appear as if it is running locally despite being housed on your office server.

 

Cloud Computing

Services or applications that are hosted in a web-based repository known as the “cloud”; the service is hosted by a third-party provider who then provides access to that service to users on an on-demand basis via a network connection; this alleviates that firm from having to purchase and maintain costly infrastructure in-house.

 

Colocation (Colo)

Offsite data storage which allows multiple clients to locate network, server and storage equipment in one centralized location and connect them to a variety of telecommunications and network providers with limited cost and complexity.

D

Data Center

A facility used to house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems; typically includes redundant or backup power supplies, redundant communications connections, environmental controls and security features.

 

Data Center Tiers

Represent a standardized method for defining the uptime of a data center; tiers range from I to IV and are most useful in measuring data center performance, investment and return on investment (ROI).

 

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Technology

DLP technology can be used to monitor and protect data at rest, in motion and on endpoints through deep content inspection and the constant monitoring of transactions occurring across the network.

E

Encryption

A strategy used to protect data in transit; the information is transformed into an unreadable format, transported to its destination, then transformed back into a readable format so that it can be viewed by the recipient.

 

Externally-Hosted Private Cloud

A private cloud environment that is provided by a third party external to the client organization.

F

FIX Protocol

Stands for the Financial Information eXchange Protocol - a series of specifications governing the electronic communication of trade-related messages.

H

High Availability

High availability describes a system’s ability to continue processing and functioning for a certain period of time - normally a very high percentage of time, for example 99.999%. High availability can be implemented into a firm's IT infrastructure by reducing any single points of failure using redundant components.

 

Hosted Applications

Applications residing on servers that are located externally and accessed via the Internet, as opposed to a more traditional model in which applications are installed directly onto a local server or an individual PC.

 

Hybrid Cloud

A type of cloud structure that combines the advantages of both the public and private cloud models; a company can leverage third-party cloud providers in either a full or partial manner, which increases the flexibility of computing.

I

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Provides data center, infrastructure hardware and software resources to users via the Internet; applications are delivered as a virtualization platform by the cloud provider and can be accessed across the Internet.

L

Latency

A measure of time delay experienced in a system or IT environment.

M

Managed Service Provider (MSP)

A hosting or colocation service provider who offers application hosting services.

 

Mission-Critical

A computer system or application that is essential to the functioning of your business and its processes.

 

Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS)

A mechanism in high-performance telecommunications networks that directs data from one place on the network to another based on short path labels rather than long network addresses.

 

Multi-Tenancy

A structure in which a single instance of a software application serves multiple clients; a key component of cloud services including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or Software as a Service (SaaS).

N

N+1 Configuration

A form of resiliency that ensures system availability at all times, especially in the event of a component failure within the system.

O

On-Demand Service

A cloud computing model in which a client organization can purchase cloud services as they are needed, as opposed to investing heavily in servers or storage space up-front.

 

On-Premise Private Cloud

A private cloud environment that is managed by an organization’s onsite IT department, as opposed to an external, third-party IT provider.

 

Outlook Web Access (OWA)

For those companies who use Microsoft Outlook for email, you can log into OWA to access your email account from an external computer.

P

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

The delivery of a computing platform over the Internet; this model enables hedge funds to create web applications quickly without incurring the cost and complexity of buying and managing the underlying software/hardware.

 

Private Cloud

A type of cloud structure that is built exclusively for an individual enterprise; it allows the firm to host applications in the cloud, while addressing concerns regarding data security and control, which is often lacking in a public cloud environment.

 

Public Cloud

A type of cloud structure that is owned and operated by a third-party service provider; customers benefit from economies of scale because infrastructure costs are spread across all users, thus allowing each individual client to operate on a low-cost, “pay-as-you-go” model.

Q

Quality of Service

The concept that transmission rates, error rates and other elements associated with network traffic in a cloud or computer network can be measured, improved and/or guaranteed.

R

Recovery Time Objective (RTO)

The RTO is the duration of time and service level within which a business process must be restored after a disruption in order to avoid unacceptable losses. RTO begins when a disaster hits and does not end until all systems are up and running.

 

Recovery Point Objective (RPO)

The RPO is the point in time to which a firm must recover data as defined by the organization. In other words, the RPO is what an organization determines is an “acceptable loss” in a disaster situation. The RPO dictates which replication method will be required (i.e. nightly backups, snapshots, continuous replication).

 

Redundancy

A system of using multiple sources, devices or connections so that no single point of failure will completely stop the flow of information.

S

SAS 70

Statement on Auditing Standards No. 70 or SAS 70 is an auditing statement issued by the Auditing Standards Board of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants which provides guidance to service auditors when assessing the internal controls of a service organization.

 

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

An agreement or contract in which a service provider defines the services and levels of guarantee regarding availability, performance, and other aspects of the cloud services.

 

Software as a Service (SaaS)

Firms are offered a complete range of applications via the Internet, which are managed by a cloud solutions provider; firms do not need upfront investment in servers or software licenses, while for the provider, the costs are lowered since only a single application needs to be hosted and maintained.

 

Storage Area Network (SAN)

A dedicated, high-speed network that provides access to consolidated data storage; interconnects different types of data storage devices with associated data servers for a larger network.

T

TMG Server or Threat Management Gateway

A type of Microsoft software firewall that runs on its own server and allows traffic from authorized devices, such as iPhones and iPads, to the Exchange server.

V

Virtualization

The creation of a virtual version of something, such as a hardware platform, operating system, storage system, or other resources, instead of a real, tangible version.

 

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A network that uses public telecommunication infrastructures, such as the Internet, to provide remote users access to the organization’s central network.

 

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

Allows companies to integrate voice, data services and applications over a single converged IP network to achieve a more flexible, robust network infrastructure; describes a group of technologies used to make voice calls over IP networks.

X

 Xen

The Xen Cloud Platform (XCP) is an open source enterprise-ready server virtualization and cloud computing platform, delivering the Xen Hypervisor with support for a range of guest operating systems including Windows and Linux network, storage support and management tools in a single, tested installable image, which is also called XCP appliance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To learn more about cloud computing, be sure to check out our new
educational site,
the Cloud Forum, as well as these additional resources:

visit the cloud forum

 

Categorized under: Cloud Computing  Hedge Fund Operations 



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