What do all these cloud terms mean?

There are a lot of buzzwords flying around these days.  While every industry has its fair share of jargon, technology tends to have just about as many acronyms and strange-sounding terms as the government. And, since everyone (no really, everyone) is affected by technology, clarifying all these terms becomes all the more critical.
 
We’ll roll out several of these “tech term” posts, but with the overwhelming interest in The Almighty Cloud, we found it apt to begin with a purely cloud-focused edition.
 
What is the cloud?
 
Very loosely speaking, “the cloud” refers to the Internet.  This term is most commonly associated with cloud computing, which is when your network services are not local, but rather transmitted over the Internet from your provider’s datacenter.
 
What is a datacenter?
 
Basically, a datacenter is a very large, off-site server room.
 
More specifically, it is a secure facility that houses servers, storage, and telecommunications equipment. They can be public, and contain machines used by a number of different organizations, or they can be dedicated exclusively to one organization (with a LOT of data).
 
What is a Hosted Desktop?
 
This is a form of cloud computing that presents you with an entire PC experience (applications included) over the Internet, rather than from a physical computer.
 
With a hosted desktop, you can pull up the familiar Windows interface, Start button and all, on your laptop, iPhone, iPad, Android, and any other device with web capabilities.
 
What is Hosted Mail?
 
Think Gmail.
 
Anytime you access your email from the web rather than a local mail server (Exchange if you’re using Microsoft) that you own and maintain, you’re using hosted mail. It’s the same idea—you’re tapping into your provider’s servers rather than an in-house machine.
 
If you want to dig deeper into these terms, and maybe even get a head start on learning other ones, hop over to the Cloud Solutions page on our site, or check out this website--it's a great resource.