Cloud computing terms explained

Autonomous System (AS)

A collection of connected Internet Protocol (IP) routing prefixes under the control of one or more network operators on behalf of a single administrative entity or domain that presents a common, clearly defined routing policy to the internet.

Autonomous System Number (ASN)

Identifies a collection of IP networks and routers under the control of one entity. A unique ASN is allocated to each AS for use in BGP routing. AS numbers are important because the ASN uniquely identifies each network on the Internet.

Border Gateway Protocol (BGP)

The de facto standard dynamic routing protocol used to exchange routing information (which IP addresses are reachable and where they come from) among inter-connected network organizations.


A flexible cumulated bandwidth that can be exchanged between two or more Connectors. The Capacity is subscribed per InterCloud Region and then allocated to one or several Groups. Interregional Bandwidth is a dedicated point-to-point bandwidth between 2 dedicated Connectors in two different InterCloud regions.

Cloud computing

Term related to cloud computing, including definitions about on-demand, distributed computing and words and phrases about software-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-a-service and storage-as-a-service.

Cloud Connectivity as Code

A methodology that supports not only automation and agility in the application delivery process but also bridges the gap between application developers and network security teams on an ongoing basis, even after the application is deployed into production. To sum up, it gives developers more control over their applications while helping network security understand the business impact of their day-to-day tasks, and thus ensuring business continuity.

Cloud Resources

Compute power, disk space, database storage, hosted software application or any other IT component that is made available within a Cloud environment to enable Customer business functionality.

Cloud Security

Cloud security refers to the processes, mechanisms and services used to control the security, compliance and other usage risks of cloud computing.

Cloud Services Brokerage (CSB)

Cloud services brokerage (CSB) is an IT role and business model in which a company or other entity adds value to one or more (public or private) cloud services on behalf of one or more consumers of that services. CSB is the intermediary between cloud providers and cloud consumers that assist companies in choosing the services and offerings that best suit their needs.

Cloud Service Provider (CSP)

Company responsible for managing Cloud Resources for its customers. Ex : AWS, Azure, Google Cloud.

Cloud Virtual Interface

An interface exposed by the customer or the CSP to reach its resources.

Connectivity Services

Standard L2 - L3 platform services offered by InterCloud: Connectors, Links, Groups and Capacities.

Continuous Integration /Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)

This methodology means that each change to software code is automatically tested during each phase: code integration, building and delivery. The software is regularly updated with small releases, which guarantees more control and confidence in quality.

Customer Premises Equipment (CPE)

An equipment owned and managed by InterCloud which is connected to the customer infrastructure, on customer premises.

Customer Managed Equipment (CME)

Equipment that sits within his own infrastructure and is directly connected to the CPE. Either it is installed by InterCloud as part of the customer premises connection to the platform or it was already in place.

Cross Connect

Physical link that connects two cabinets in the same data center or between two data centers in the same campus (remote- or metro-cross Connect). A Cross Connect may support the interconnection of the InterCloud Platform to a CSP, a Telco or even a customer. In the latter case, in order to monitor the connectivity as part of the standard InterCloud SLA, the CPE is hosted in the customer cabinet.

Customer Site

Building(s) or space(s) where the customer or an operator operates the customer access link.

Data center

A facility managed by a third-party and housing computer and telecommunications systems. A data center may contain an Edge and/or a customer site.

Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) 

A documented process designed to recover and protect a business's IT infrastructure in the event of a disaster, ensuring minimal downtime and data loss.


An Edge is a data center we use to connect the InterCloud platform to Cloud Service Providers (or CSPs like Amazon Web Services or Azure cloud) or customers (underlay remember). It is also the place where we produce the Connectors.

Edge Computing 

A distributed computing paradigm that processes data near the data source or the "edge" of the network, aiming to improve response times and save bandwidth.

Enterprise connector

Allows customer’s on-premise Enterprise data center to connect to InterCloud in order to become a Private cloud. Enterprise Connectors allow access to the resources hosted on customer own premises.


A set of interrelated connectivity services mentioned above (Connectors, Links and Capacities) organized according to a certain logic (per BU, project, region…) chosen by the customer or suggested by InterCloud.

Hybrid Cloud

When enterprises build distributed applications that share resources on both private and public clouds, it is generally referred to as hybrid cloud. By allowing workloads to move between private and public clouds as computing needs and costs change, hybrid cloud gives businesses greater flexibility and more data deployment options.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Online services that provide high-level APIs used to abstract various low-level details of underlying network infrastructure like physical computing resources, location, data partitioning, scaling, security, backup, etc. A hypervisor runs the virtual machines as guests. Pools of hypervisors within the cloud operational system can support large numbers of virtual machines and the ability to scale services up and down according to customers' varying requirements.

Infrastructure as Code (IaC) 

A DevOps practice that uses code scripts to automate the setup, configuration, and management of computing infrastructure, ensuring consistent and reproducible environments across deployments.

InterCloud connector

An InterCloud Platform service that gives access to a pool of application resources in a cloud. It also gives access to one Cloud Virtual Interface and provides seamless communication with one or more Connectors.

Internet Exchange Point (IXP)

A physical location where different IP networks meet to exchange local traffic with each other via a switch. They are an integral part of the Internet ecosystem.


A direct connection between two connectors, allowing traffic isolation from other Links. Two different Links from different InterCloud Edges or cities enable us to build a resilient architecture between cloud resources.

Local Loop

A telecommunication circuit established by InterCloud or a third-party telco between a Customer Site and an Edge and forming an Ethernet link. The circuit may consist of multiple segments using different transmission technology, either in serial to traverse multiple carrier infrastructures, or in parallel to add resiliency. A protected service is still only one Ethernet link.


A software development technique that structures an application as a collection of loosely coupled services. Decomposing an application into different smaller services improves modularity and enables continuous delivery and deployment.


When enterprises need services or resources from multiple public clouds, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform. In this case they connect their networking infrastructure to multiple clouds. This refers to the distribution of cloud assets, software, applications, and more across several cloud environments. With a typical multi-cloud architecture utilizing two or more public clouds as well as private clouds, a multi-cloud environment aims to eliminate the reliance on any single cloud provider or instance.

Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS)

Multiprotocol Label Switching is a type of data-carrying technique for high-performance telecommunications networks. MPLS directs data from one network node to the next based on short path labels rather than long network addresses, avoiding complex lookups in a routing table.

Network Address Translation (NAT)

A mechanism that changes the source IP address and port and keeps a trace of the changes done.

Network As a Service (NaaS)

Network as a service, or NaaS, is a business model for delivering enterprise WAN services virtually on a subscription basis.


An interconnection points to a CSP region. For instance, if the InterCloud Platform connects one single Azure region via 3 different Edges, we count 3 cloud on-ramps.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

A cloud computing model where a third-party provider delivers hardware and software tools to users over the internet. The capability provided to the customer is to deploy onto the cloud infrastructure consumer-created or acquired applications without the need to manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, or storage. The customer still has control over the deployed applications and possibly configuration settings for the application-hosting environment. As a result, PaaS frees developers from having to install in-house hardware and software to develop or run a new application.

Private Cloud

A private cloud generally describes a data center built with current cloud technologies that runs “on-premises,” or hosted and managed by an organization or an enterprise itself, rather than in a public cloud.

Private IP address

An IP address that cannot be accessed over the Internet. This address space allows organizations to create their own private network.

Public Cloud

Public cloud computing uses cloud computing technologies to support customers that are external to the provider’s organization. Using public cloud services generates the types of economies of scale and sharing of resources that can reduce costs and increase choices of technologies.

Public IP address

A public IP address is an IP address that can be accessed over the Internet but its announcement is controlled by the Customer or InterCloud.

Regional capacities

Cumulated bandwidth that can be exchanged between two or more Connectors within the same region.

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE)

A technology that combines network security functions with WAN capabilities (i.e., SDWAN) to support the dynamic secure access needs of organizations. These capabilities are delivered primarily as a service and based upon the identity of the entity, real time context and security/compliance policies. Basically, it ensures that - at the edge of your network - you intertwine your WAN connectivity features with security features.

Service Hubs

A hub enables a physical interconnection between several computers, servers or their equipment.
An SDCI hub is pre-connected to all major CSPs. Leveraging networking technology partnerships with these providers enable SDCI providers to guarantee a seamless integration with each of them.

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

The Service Level Agreement defines the commitment made by InterCloud toward the customer regarding the quality, availability and performance of the services offered.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

The consumer is enabled to use a 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.

Software Defined Cloud Interconnect (SDCI)

Experts offering hubs to connect an enterprise to a wide variety of cloud, network and internet service providers.

Software Defined Network (SDN) 

An approach to network management that uses software-based controllers to direct traffic on the network, enabling dynamic, programmatically efficient network configuration and improved performance.

Technical debt

Technical debt (or tech debt) is the implied cost of an IT system, and it is a normal and unavoidable side effect of software engineering.

Underlay Network 

The physical infrastructure, including hardware and cabling, that supports network connectivity and data transfer.

Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN)

A network isolation mechanism that identifies ports and Ethernet frames participating in a private Ethernet network.

Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) 

A secure and isolated private cloud hosted within a public cloud environment, allowing users to run their workloads in a defined virtual network.

Zero Trust Security 

A security model that requires strict verification for every person and device attempting to access resources on a private network, assuming that threats could be both external and internal.