There’s no shortage of (often confusing) buzzwords and acronyms where cloud computing is concerned. For people familiar with the cloud, they’re not particularly difficult to remember. For everyone else, though?
Keeping track can often be an exercise in futility. Today, we’re going to go over a few more critical acronyms and terms pertaining to the cloud. Don’t forget to check out part one, found here.
Mobile Device Management (UEM) is essentially a catch-all term for software designed to manage, secure, and provide visibility into an organization’s mobile infrastructure. This may include smartphones, tablets, laptops, and wearable devices. Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) functions similarly, but also includes endpoints such as desktop computers and smart devices.
A Virtual Machine (VM) is exactly that. A virtual, simulated software environment that behaves exactly like a physical computer. Virtual machines are created and managed by hypervisors, or Virtual Machine Monitors, defined below.
A Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM), also known as a hypervisor, is the underlying system that creates and manages the resources in a VM. VMMs come in many shapes and sizes and can be hardware-based, software-based, firmware-based, or some combination of the three. In addition, there are two different categories of VMM, though there’s often overlap between the two.
A Type-1 hypervisor runs directly on a system’s hardware, while a Type-2 hypervisor runs atop an operating system.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It creates a hardware-agnostic desktop environment which can usually be accessed remotely. If you think this sounds similar to a VM, you’re right.
Per virtualization specialist VMWare, VMs are the backbone of VDI, which manages and provisions virtual desktops off a central server. There are two forms of VDI, persistent VDI saves all changes after a user disconnects, while nonpersistent VDI does not.
Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) involves managing and maintaining VDI via the cloud rather than through an on-site solution. It usually involves outsourcing to a cloud service provider.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is one of the most popular cloud platforms in the world. It provides a huge range of different IaaS functionality. Per Statista, AWS accounts for approximately 45 percent of the IaaS market and 32 percent of the cloud infrastructure services market.
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a distributed network of servers and/or data centers intended to reduce load times for both websites and web applications. When a user connects to a solution or site that utilizes a CDN, they’ll be connected to the nearest node of the network. At that point, they’ll access everything as they normally would.
Cloud Management Platform (CMP) is a term created by leading analyst Gartner. In the Gartner Glossary, CMPs are defined as “integrated products that provide for the management of public, private, and hybrid cloud environments.” Gartner further notes that in order for a platform to be considered a CMP, it must, at minimum, include the following:
- A self-service interface.
- The ability to provision system images.
- Metering and billing functionality.
- Workload optimization.
Cloud Service Provider (CSP) is a catch-all term for vendors that offer any form of cloud computing services. This could be anything from DRaaS to PaaS and IaaS. CSPs often provide other services, as well.
The Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is, in essence, Google’s answer to AWS. It offers many of the same features and functions as AWS, albeit requiring different certifications to manage and understand them. According to Statista, GCP is predicted to hold approximately 18 percent of the cloud market by the end of this year.
A Managed Service Provider (MSP) is a vendor that provides a service such as IaaS but takes things one step further. It actively manages and maintains whatever offering its clients utilize, reducing the load on a client’s IT department in the process. Generally, MSPs also give clients the option of leveraging unmanaged offerings, as well.