Your Guide to Application Services Terminology and Acronyms

Don’t know your ALM from your APM from your ASM or ASP?
We’ll set you straight with a glossary of terms common to applications services.


ALM: Application lifecycle management –Managing an application through the different phases of its delivery, from development and testing to deployment and maintenance

API: Application programming interface— A library of routines, protocols and tools for building software applications that specify how software components should interact with each other.

APM: Application performance management—The monitoring and managing of software applications, including their availability and performance, to maintain certain levels of service

Application management: Managing the operation, maintenance and upgrades for a software application

ASM: Application service management –The management and monitoring of applications by a third party that delivers the software across a network, usually the Internet, from a data center

ASP: Application service provider—a third-party provider that offers access to standardized software applications and related services via a network, usually the Internet, with a payment model usually based on usage levels

BaaS: Backup as a Service—When a third party manages backup infrastructure, but the client owns the infrastructure.

Cloud computing: Computing services delivered via the Internet.  Cloud services are usually defined as being  sold on demand, typically in increments of minutes or hours; elastic, allowing the customer to use only as much as needed; and managed by the provider, being accessible to the customer’s web-connect device of choice.

CPE: Customer premise equipment

CSB: Cloud service broker—An intermediary between purchasers and sellers of cloud computing services. The role may include negotiating how those services are delivered, as well as managing the use, performance or delivery of the services

Data center: A facility that houses computer systems and related hardware, including telecommunications and data storage systems, backup power supplies, backup data communications connections, air conditioning and fire suppression systems, and security devices. Also known as a NOC, or network operations center.

DLM: Data lifecycle management—A policy-based approach to managing data from its creation and initial storage to the end of its useful life and deletion. Generally, data that must be accessed more frequently is stored for faster retrieval, which is more expensive, and data that is less critical is stored on cheaper media.

DRaaS: Disaster Recovery as a Service—Pre-determined processes provided by a third party to develop and implement a disaster recovery plan.

EAI: Enterprise application integration – Linking various enterprise systems, which typically use different operating systems or database software, so that all data and business processes across an enterprise can be shared between applications and databases

EAO: Enterprise application outsourcing—A contract relationship with a third party for ongoing service of a software application, including managing, updating and maintaining the software

EAS: Enterprise application software— An application (or software platform) too large and complex for use by a small business or individual, and which is usually designed to work with other enterprise applications. Common enterprise applications include automated billing systems, customer relationship management tools, call center support, payment processing systems and email marketing tools.

ERP: Enterprise resource planning—The delivery of integrated business applications to serve all departments within an enterprise, automating and supporting a range of business processes, such as finance, human resources, distribution, manufacturing and services

Hosted services: Outsourced IT systems and services provided over the Internet, where a remotely located computer provides its resources to the client. Hosted services include web site hosting; file hosting, with dedicated file storage to reduce the risk of data loss or theft or loss; and email hosting. Some people use the term “hosted services” interchangeably with “cloud services.”

IaaS: Infrastructure as a service—A component of cloud computing, where an organization outsources operations equipment to a service provider that owns that equipment, including, hardware, servers and networking components. The service is highly automated and offer on-demand, with the service provider housing, maintaining and operating the equipment and typically charging on a per-use basis.

Hypervisor (also known as a virtual machine monitor, or VMM): Software, firmware or hardware that creates and runs virtual machines, allowing multiple operating systems to share a single hardware host. The hypervisor controls the host processor and resources, allocating those resources to each operating system and ensuring that the operating systems do not disrupt each other.

ISV: Independent software vendor

PaaS: Platform as a service— Access to computer hardware, operating systems, storage and network capacity provided by a third-party provider over the Internet. Allows a client to rent virtual servers and services to run applications and to develop and test new applications.

Private cloud: When a cloud provider that sells hosted services to a limited number of people. A virtual private cloud is created when the service provider uses public cloud resources to create a private cloud. Some consider “private cloud” to be merely a marketing term designed to appeal to companies that wants more control over its data than may be offered by most third-party cloud service providers.

Public cloud: Cloud services, including applications and storage capacity, sold to the general public on the Internet.

SaaS: Software-as-a-Service – A cloud services term that refers to software owned, delivered and managed by the service provider from a remote location via the Internet. The fee for SaaS is typically monthly or annually, as opposed to traditional software sold with a one-time upfront licensing fee.

SLA: Service-level agreement—An agreement between a network service provider and customer that defines what services will be provided and remedies when certain levels of service are not reached.

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