Explained: 10 popular cloud computing terms

Paul Boughton

Industrial automation components supplier European Automation has produced a helpful buzzword guide on cloud computing for the automation industry. The concise directory is aimed at giving a relevant outline of some of the most popular, but occasionally mystifying terms used in cloud computing. The top 10 is available for download from the industry guides section of European Automation’s website.

Like many rapidly developing sectors, the automation industry is prone to using buzzwords to describe innovative and evolutionary processes. Terms like ‘Industry 4.0’, ‘disruptive technology’ and the ’Internet of Things (IoT)’ are just a few examples that continue to appear time and again.

Although cloud computing has been around for a number of years, it is constantly improving and becoming more bespoke. Combine this with the fascination in industry for "big data" and you have a recipe for a specialised, cloud-based archiving language. And a particularly long list of confusing phrases.

In its first industry buzzword guide, European Automation has explained ten popular cloud computing terms that are often referred to in technical documents without definition. The buzzword guide acts as a reference point for both customers and suppliers.

"Companies want to record information for two reasons: compliance and most importantly, power," explains Darren Halford, group sales manager at European Automation. "Big data is the idea that storing masses of information can help identify patterns that allow companies to make more accurate market predictions. To store hundreds of terabytes (TB) of data effectively, many companies are turning to cloud-based storage.

"However, as with any specialised modern technology, cloud computing comes with a whole host of acronyms, buzzwords and technical phrases that describe some fairly basic ideas and services. To help less techy people out, we decided to compile a list of the top ten most commonly used terms and give a short definition for each one."