Six Pieces of Cloud jargon and What They Really Mean

Guest Post by Chris Lee, On behalf of Six Degrees Group, UK

The cloud is becoming ever more ubiquitous, with tools like Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive and services such as The Cloud – the free internet hotspot service – being used by more and more people every day. As a result, the basic concept of cloud technology as a publicly accessible connection is becoming easier to understand.

logo (1)This idea of the cloud is not the whole picture however – if you dive deeper into the technology you’ll soon be stuck in a quagmire of jargon that confuses even the experts. A survey conducted by Six Degrees Group (6DG) found that people perceive IT professionals as using more jargon than bankers, lawyers and politicians combined. Terms such as hosting stacks, IaaS, PaaS and SaaS, VPCs and RAIDs are alien to most people, as well as those that regularly use them: The survey by 6DG also discovered that 22% of those surveyed believed Platform as a Service (PaaS) was a new philosophy in railway management, and 16% thought Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) was a new road project.

As a consequence of these findings, Six Degrees Group created a Jargon Buster which aims to break down some of the more complex offenders into layman’s terms. Here we take a look at six of the most common jargons and what they really mean:

Public Cloud

Public Cloud is a cloud based platform deployed on a large scale that is publicly accessible, with access often being charged on a Pay As You Go basis.

Example: Starbucks’ free Wi-Fi

Private Cloud

A smaller-scale deployment on dedicated hardware, designed for access by one company or organisation.

Example: your employers’ Wi-Fi

IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service

One of the three models of cloud computing. Infrastructure as a Service provides access to virtual hardware in a virtual environment. Common examples of this are: network connections, IP addresses and virtual server space.

Examples: Amazon Web Services

PaaS: Platform as a Service

Another of the three models of cloud computing. Platform as a Service provides a platform for developers to build applications and services in a virtual environment. Access is usually through a web browser, and users can create their desired applications and services with the provider’s pre-existing tools.

Examples: Google App Engine

SaaS: Software as a Service

The third model of cloud computing is Software as a Service, wherein users can access software and apps directly from their browser via the cloud. Users can access these services from any device with internet capabilities.

Examples: Gmail, Twitter, Facebook and Adobe CS Live

The hosting stack

The relationship between IaaS, PaaS and SaaS can be described as the hosting sta. The further up the stack a customer moves, the more reliant they become on the service provider to provide apps and services.


Hopefully these definitions clarify some of the concepts and the examples allow you to connect some of the definitions to real world applications. To learn more, check out the Jargon Buster.

Chris Lee, On behalf of Six Degrees Group, UK

Six Degrees Group provides integrated managed data services linking people, places and clouds. We do this by leveraging our core capabilities and next generation network assets to deliver a fully integrated range of cloud, datacentre, connectivity and voice services. Our team includes some of the most technically able individuals in our industry and this, when combined with our core assets and product portfolio, helps our customers to be more innovative and differentiated in their own organisations, thanks to our solutions. We enjoy our contradictions: we’re a fresh new brand but we’ve got a 15 year heritage; we’re a mid-market player but we’ve got the portfolio of a corporate. For more information about our services and products, please get in touch!

Are you an expert in IoT, Big Data, Virtualization, Cloud and/or IT technologies?Do you want to feature yourself or your content on Do you have products you would like to showcase to our visitors? Or simply do you want to share your comments with our readers? We want to hear from you and have both free and sponsorship opportunities for you and your products. E-mail us at to join the fun.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *