Key terms used in Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS 

Overall, the public cloud services offered by Microsoft and Amazon are similar. However, using the two platforms can be made more complex by virtue of them using naming conventions which you might not be familiar with. We have provided the following list of key terms for public cloud services.

For more information about how IG CloudOps can help your organisation take advantage of the cloud, please contact one of our AWS consultants or Azure consultants today. 

We also provide our own software to help manage and extend the cloud platform to give visibility and insight and help automate the management of your cloud infrastructure. Please have a look at CloudOps for more information.

For a comparison of terms used in AWS & Azure see our terms comparison


Amazon Web Services (AWS)

AWS is the Amazon public cloud platform, which offers a growing collection of integrated services, including IaaS and PaaS with a range of configurable Virtual Machines to facilitate different solutions.

Find out more about our services for AWS and Azure

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI simulates the reasoning of human intelligence.  AI is developed to learn from new information and make decisions using a set of pre-programmed algorithms.  AI may be used for automating some business workflows based on defined rules.


Business Analytics Tools

Business analytics tools are used to extract data from multiple systems and then provide a repository or data warehouse where the information can be analysed.  These types of tool can be highly complex and mine data from different sources before functions are applied to help decision making.

Building a plan for how Business Analytics Tools can help your organisation manage data and processes better is a key part of our AWS and Azure consultancy services.

Business Intelligence Tools (BI)

BI tools process unstructured data from different sources to help you find meaningful trends or identify new opportunities.


The Cloud

The cloud is a metaphor for the global network, of computers connected to the internet and used for hosting data and applications remotely.

Amazon's public cloud is Amazon Web Services (AWS). Microsoft's public cloud is Azure 

Find out more about how we can help with AWS services & Azure services

Cloud Bursting

Cloud bursting is a system by which capacity in one cloud is overflowed into another.  An example of this might be a private cloud which “bursts” into a public cloud such as Azure when all the resource capacity is being used.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is the resource delivery model by which applications, data and computing resource are virtualised into a remote data centre and delivered as a service.

There are three main types of cloud computing.

  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) refers to web-based applications
  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) refers to the computing resource and storage hosted in a cloud environment.
  • Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) is a set of tools that are virtualised and used to build and host applications.

Cost Management

Services that help to manage cloud costs while maximising available resource – these are extended by IG CloudOps which adds extra functionality to help reduce costs further while balancing performance. 

When we carry out a cost review, we make sure we take you pricing and discount model into account (e.g. Reserved instances / CSP agreements). As this can have a large impact on the recommendations to save you money on your cloud spend now, and in the future.

Cloud Service Provider (CSP)

A CSP is the company that provides cloud-based infrastructure including storage, compute and applications.

IG CloudOps can provide hosted cloud-based infrastructure or can help you move to a direct relationship with AWS or Azure. If you would like to know more then speak to one of our AWS or Azure consultants.

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage is offsite storage which is remote from your local network.  Cloud storage may be used for day to day data or for back-ups of key information.



DevOps is the grouping of processes, technology and people brings operations and development teams together to increase the speed of software delivery making products more reliable and secure.

ISVs and other organisations who produce software for specific purposes view DevOps facilitation as a key aspect of their AWS migration or Azure migration plans.


Elastic Computing

The cloud brings flexibility.  Elastic computing is the dynamic provision and de-provision of processing and storage resource to meet demands without the need to engineer for a particular level of usage.


Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud solution is one that combines the public cloud platform (such as Azure or AWS) with a local private cloud. 

This gives options when it comes to the security and governance of data if specific compliance requirements around storage are required, or if some aspects of application performance require a particular type of hosting.


Microsoft Azure

Azure is the Microsoft public cloud platform, which offers a growing collection of integrated services, including IaaS and PaaS with a range of configurable Virtual Machines to facilitate different solutions.

Find out more about our services for Azure


Private Cloud

Private cloud services are offered over either the internet or a private network to select users and not accessible to the general public.

Public Cloud

Public Cloud services are delivered over the public internet and can be connected to from anywhere in the world.


Serverless Computing

Serverless computing is one in which the CSP provisions and manages servers for applications and development.  It means that developers and system managers can focus on building their applications rather than managing their infrastructure.

Find out more about how we can provide cloud infrastructure with our Cloud management platform CloudOps


Virtual Machines

A virtual machine is a system that behaves like an actual computer.  There are a wide range of AWS and Azure Virtual Machines which are specialised for different tasks such as hosting or processing data.

Find out how we can help with migration / deployment / on-going management of cloud infrastructure


Virtualisation is the process of creating a computing environment on cloud servers.  Virtualised infrastructure includes hardware in the form of virtual machines, operating systems and storage.

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