Easy explanation of Cloud Service Models – 2020 Taxonomy of Cloud Computing!

Are you still a student? Are you a recent college grad? Are new to Cloud Computing? Not sure about the cloud jargon! Don’t worry! I will try to get you covered. In this article, we will cover Top 100 cloud jargon that are used very often!

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Cloud Jargon

Cloud Computing:

Cloud Computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. [Source: NIST]

Cloud Service:

The term “cloud services” refers to a wide range of services that are delivered on demand to companies and customers over the internet. These services are designed to provide easy, affordable access to applications and resources, without the need for internal infrastructure or hardware.

Cloud Service Models:

Cloud computing is offered in three different cloud service models which each satisfy a unique set of business requirements. These three cloud service models are known as Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

The capability provided to the consumer is to use the provider’s applications running on a cloud infrastructure. The applications are accessible from various client devices through either a thin client interface, such as a web browser (e.g., web-based email), or a program interface. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, storage, or even individual application capabilities, with the possible exception of limited user-specific application configuration settings.

The capability provided to the consumer is to deploy onto the cloud infrastructure consumer-created or acquired applications created using programming languages, libraries, services, and tools supported by the provider. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, or storage, but has control over the deployed applications and possibly configuration settings for the application-hosting environment.

The capability provided to the consumer is to provision processing, storage, networks, and other fundamental computing resources where the consumer is able to deploy and run arbitrary software, which can include operating systems and applications. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure but has control over operating systems, storage, and deployed applications; and possibly limited control of select networking components (e.g., host firewalls).

Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS is relatively mature, and the phrase’s use predates that of cloud service model. Cloud applications allow the cloud to be leveraged for software architecture, reducing the burdens of maintenance, support, and operations by having the application run on computers belonging to the vendor.

GMail and Salesforce are among examples of SaaS run as clouds, but not all SaaS has to be based in cloud computing.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Platform as a service refers to cloud service model that supply an on-demand environment for developing, testing, delivering and managing software applications. PaaS is designed to make it easier for developers to quickly create web or mobile apps, without worrying about setting up or managing the underlying infrastructure of servers, storage, network and databases needed for development.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

IaaS is a cloud service model where virtualized infrastructure is offered to, and managed for, businesses by external cloud providers. With IaaS, companies can outsource for storage, server, data center space and cloud networking components connected through the internet, offering similar functionality as that of an on-premises infrastructure. Some examples of the wide usage of IaaS are automated, policy-driven operations such as backup, recovery, monitoring, clustering, internal networking, website hosting, etc.

The service provider is responsible for building the servers and storage, networking firewalls/ security, and the physical data center. Some key players offering IaaS cloud service model are Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, GoGrid, Rackspace, DigitalOcean among others.

Main 5 Cloud Properties:

The main essential 5 Cloud Properties are:

  1. On-demand self-service– A consumer can unilaterally provision computing capabilities, such as server time and network storage, as needed automatically without requiring human interaction with each service provider.
  2. Broad network access – Capabilities are available over the network and accessed through standard mechanisms that promote use by heterogeneous thin or thick client platforms (e.g., mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and workstations)
  3. Resource pooling– The provider’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand.
  4. Rapid elasticity – Capabilities can be elastically provisioned and released, in some cases automatically, to scale rapidly outward and inward commensurate with demand. To the consumer, the capabilities available for provisioning often appear unlimited and can be appropriated in any quantity at any time.
  5. Measured service – Cloud systems automatically control and optimize resource use by leveraging a metering capability at some level of abstraction appropriate to the type of service (e.g., storage, processing, bandwidth, and active user accounts). Resource usage can be monitored, controlled, and reported, providing transparency for both the provider and consumer of the utilized service.

Cloud portability:

The ability to migrate applications (and often it’s associated data) from one cloud provider to another as well as across private or internal cloud and public or external clouds. Also see: Vendor-Lock-in.

Cloud provider:

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

Cloud Sourcing:

Cloud sourcing is a process by which specialized cloud products and services and their deployment and maintenance is outsourced to and provided by one or more cloud service providers.

Cloud sourcing enables organizations to procure their entire IT infrastructure from a cloud, easily integrates with any platform and requires no management overhead. Cloud sourcing is believed to be the future of cloud computing and business as we see it, where organizations of all sizes are rapidly looking to the cloud to meet their IT needs.

Cloud storage:

Cloud storage is a cloud computing model that stores data on the Internet through a cloud computing provider who manages and operates data storage as a service. … This gives you agility, global scale and durability, with “anytime, anywhere” data access.


Cloudware refers to software that is built, deployed, delivered and accessed entirely from a remote Web server or from the “cloud,” a remote web server. It is a software delivery model that provides software over the internet.

Cloudware can also be referred to as a web-based application, or SaaS in terms of service model. Cloudware sometimes also refers to software that enables the construction and delivery of software solutions and services from the cloud.


Cloud Servers are virtual machines that are located on a single physical server, while Clustered Cloud Servers sit on top of a cluster of multiple physical machines (also known as nodes). Clustering explores massive parallelism at the job level and achieves high availability- HA through stand-alone operations.

Consumer cloud:

Cloud computing offerings targeted toward individuals for personal use, such as Dropbox or iCloud. In this cloud service model, end users interact with consumer cloud’s through highly interactive applications. When you store photos or documents in an app like Dropbox, you are interacting with their cloud, hence the consumer cloud. Consumer clouds are composed no differently from other cloud systems. The only difference is the B2C nature of their delivery. Most applications that interact directly with the customer can be classified as using a consumer cloud.

Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS):

Content Management Interoperability Services is an open standard that allows different content management systems to inter-operate over the Internet. Specifically, CMIS defines an abstraction layer for controlling diverse document management systems and repositories using web protocols

Disruptive technology:

Disruptive technology is an innovation that significantly alters the way that consumers, industries, or businesses operate. A disruptive technology sweeps away the systems or habits it replaces because it has attributes that are recognizably superior.

Elastic computing:

Elastic computing is the ability to quickly expand or decrease computer processing, memory and storage resources to meet changing demands without worrying about capacity planning and engineering for peak usage.


In cloud computing, multi-tenancy means that multiple customers of a cloud vendor are using the same computing resources. Despite the fact that they share resources, cloud customers aren’t aware of each other, and their data is kept totally separate. Multi-tenancy is a crucial component of cloud computing; without it, cloud services would be far less practical. Multi-tenant architecture is a feature in many types of public cloud computing, including IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, containers, and serverless computing.

Pay as you go:

Pay-as-yougo cloud computing (PAYG cloud computing) is a payment method for cloud service model that charges based on usage. The practice is similar to that of utility bills, using only resources that are needed.

Vendor lock-in:

Vendor lock-in is the restricted or proprietary use of a technology, solution or service developed by a vendor or vendor partner. This technique can be disabling and demoralizing because customers are effectively prevented from switching to alternate vendors.

Vendor lock in is also known as proprietary lock-in or customer lock-in.

Vertical cloud:

A vertical cloud, also known as vertical cloud computing is a cloud service model that is designed for a specific industry or application. This cloud computing model results in the optimization of cloud computing and cloud services for a particular vertical i.e. a particular industry or a particular application. The service provider in this type of cloud computing offers specialized functions and options geared specifically towards meeting the exact needs and requirements of a particular industry or application.

Vertical clouds enable organizations to build and acquire applications that answer best to their needs and fulfill important parameters of functionality, reliability and usability. These cloud solutions are built around a vertical and optimized to provide services to only limited business model, process or need.

Cloud Service Model for Deployment:

There are four cloud service model for deployment: public, private, community, and hybrid. Each cloud service model for deployment is defined according to where the infrastructure for the environment is located.

  • Public clouds are owned and operated by a third-party cloud service providers, which deliver their computing resources like servers and storage over the Internet. Microsoft Azure is one of the example of a public cloud service model. With a public cloud, all hardware, software and other supporting infrastructure is owned and managed by the cloud provider. You access these services and manage your account using a web browser.
  • A private cloud refers to cloud computing resources used exclusively by a single business or organization. A private cloud can be physically located on the company’s on-site data center. Some companies also pay third-party service providers to host their private cloud. A private cloud service model is one in which the services and infrastructure are maintained on a private network.
  • A community cloud in computing is a collaborative effort in which infrastructure is shared between several organizations from a specific community with common concerns (security, compliance, jurisdiction, etc.), whether managed internally or by a third-party and hosted internally or externally.
  • Hybrid clouds combine public and private cloud service models, bound together by technology that allows data and applications to be shared between them. By allowing data and applications to move between private and public clouds, a hybrid cloud gives your business greater flexibility, more deployment options and helps optimize your existing infrastructure, security and compliance.

Cloud Roles:

Person or organization that maintains a business relationship with, and uses service from, Cloud Service Providers.

Cloud Service provider activities:

Service Deployment: All of the activities and organization needed to make a cloud service available

Service Orchestration: Refers to the arrangement, coordination and management of cloud infrastructure to provide different cloud services to meet IT and business requirements.

Service Management: Cloud Service Management includes all the service-related functions that are necessary for the management and operations of those services required by or proposed to customers.

Service Security: Refers to information security. “information security” means protecting information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction in order to provide:

Integrity: which means guarding against improper information modification or destruction, and includes ensuring information non-repudiation and authenticity;

Confidentiality: which means preserving authorized restrictions on access and disclosure, including means for protecting personal privacy and proprietary information

Availability: which means ensuring timely and reliable access to and use of information. (Source: [SOURCE: Title III of the E-Government Act, entitled the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA)])

Service Privacy: Information privacy is the assured, proper, and consistent collection, processing, communication, use and disposition of disposition of personal information (PI) and personally-identifiable information (PII) throughout its life cycle. (Source: adapted from OASIS)

Cloud Carrier activities:

Cloud Distribution: The process of transporting cloud data between Cloud Providers and Cloud Consumers.

Cloud Access: To make contact with or gain access to Cloud Services.


  1. Wikipedia
  2. Cloud Provider Documentation

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