Terminology

Application Service Provider (ASP):

A business that provides software or computer-based services to customers over a network. Software offered using an ASP model is also sometimes called on-demand software or called software as a service (SaaS). Benefits of the ASP model include outsourced infrastructure and the subsequent savings in infrastructure maintenance.

Cloud:

Cloud computing describes a new supplement, consumption, and delivery model for IT services based on the Internet, and it typically involves over-the-Internet provision of dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources. The key characteristic of cloud computing is that the computing is “in the cloud” i.e. the processing (and the related data) is not in a specified, known or static place(s). This is in contrast to a model in which the processing takes place in one or more specific servers that are known.

Cloud Database, Database as a Service (DaaS):

A database platform offered as a service utilizing cloud infrastructure and cloud characteristics such a fully managed hardware and software stack, auto-elasticity, and dynamic and often supporting cloud applications. Pricing is typically the combination of a service subscription and resource consumption.

Cloud Infrastructure, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS):

Delivery of computer infrastructure as a service. Allows organizations to outsource the physical hardware such as servers, server software(optional), data-center space, network equipment, phone equipment to the service provider. Organizations save on hardware procurement and maintenance costs. The infrastructure service provider will own all hardware and usually will bill for resources consumed either.

Cloud Platform, Platform as a Service (PaaS):

Delivery of a computing platform as a service. The computing platform may be a specific operating system and may also include applications or full software stacks (LAMP, WAMP, Asterisk, Force.com etc…). Organizations may quickly provision full computing platforms for a number of uses including application development, testing, database, webservers, storage, security and many more configurations. Many of these platforms allow the organization to further develop, and extend the platform with their own tools and applications.

Elastic, Elasticity:

When talking about cloud computing, the term elastic refers to control over the capacity. An elastic solution provides the ability to increase or decrease capacity as needed. Cloud vendors also offer auto-elasticity, or on-demand resource provisioning, typically a programmatic interface (API’s or other methods) to dynamically control capacity allowing applications to increase/decrease capacity automatically based on computing needs.

Hosted:

Hosted solutions involve a third party that manages the dedicated or shared server to run the licensed application. The hosting provider may be contracted by the software provider or the customer themselves. This method may initially reduce the price of the solution by decreasing hardware costs, however, does not provide the benefits of multi-tenancy.

Incident Management:

Incident Management (IcM) is an IT Service Management (ITSM) process area. The first goal of the incident management process is to restore a normal service operation as quickly as possible and to minimize the impact on business operations, thus ensuring that the best possible levels of service.

ITIL:

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of concepts and practices for managing Information Technology (IT) services (ITSM), IT development and IT operations.

Multitenancy or Multitenant:

Software architecture in which one instance of an application, running on a remote server, serves many client organizations (also known as tenants).
A multitenant architecture simplifies administration and provisioning of tenants. Multitenant applications result in better scalability and lower cost-to-scale. Data becomes easier to segregate and analyze across tenants because all tenants share the same database schema. Read more

Multi-instance or Single-tenant:

Separate software (or hardware) instances are setup for different client organizations. This is almost always the case with an on-premise solution as each client requires an instance of the database, application, and supporting componenets. This is also the architecture of many hosted, on-demand, and even SaaS providers. This is in contrast to Multitenant architecture.

Problem Management:

Process responsible for managing the lifecycle of all problems. The primary objectives of Problem Management are to prevent problems and resulting incidents from happening, to eliminate recurring incidents and to minimize the impact of incidents that cannot be prevented.

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA):

A design principal or strategy which aims to improve the interoperability among disparate business systems. This is done by developing loosely coupled components which integrate using a defined protocol (frequently XML). The components themselves have no dependence on one another and may use different underlying technologies and operating systems. An Enterprise SOA strategy aims to align internal buisiness systems and even customer, supplier, and partner systems allowing for better integrations and reuse of existing IT investments.

Software as a Service (SaaS):

Software provided as a service usually (but not always) as a web application with monthly subscription per user. The provider will manage the infrastructure and versioning of the software service. SaaS has become a common model for many business applications including accounting, collaboration, customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), invoicing, human resource management (HRM), content management (CM), and service desk management.

SaaS is not synonomous with Multitenant architecture, and buyers should always make a point to clarify as multitenancy is usually a major advantage and can be a key differentiator.

Virtualization:

Simulation of the hardware environment in software to decouple the actual physical hardware from the operating system. Each simulation, or virtual machine, is a virtual representation of the hardware. Multiple virtual machines, each with its own operating system, may utilize the underlying physical hardware. Virtualization provides operational flexibility and increases the utilization rate hardware (capacity management).

Web Application:

General term for an application that is accessed over a network such as the Internet or an intranet usually through a web browser. The ability to update and maintain web applications without distributing and installing software on potentially thousands of client computers is a key reason for their popularity, as is the inherent support for cross-platform compatibility.