Translating Terminology from On-Prem Storage to the Public Cloud

Jason Yaeger
April 7, 2022
5 min read
Are you making the transition from traditional on-premises data storage to the public cloud? Here’s a deep-dive into the differences between terminology between on-prem and the most popular public cloud providers.

Many companies and IT stakeholders that have traditionally worked with on-premises storage are now making the shift to the cloud. It's a natural change to make, given the advantages in scalability, advanced functionality, and the ready-to-use nature of many cloud programs. However, it can be challenging to make the shift to the cloud after years of familiarity with on-premise hardware

Terminology is one major hurdle. While on-prem operations tend to use broadly similar terms, the cloud comes with its own terminology and jargon - with some cloud glossaries even changing from one platform to the next. While we’ve already broken down the basic cloud acronyms you need to know when getting started in the cloud, today we’re going to tackle data and storage glossary differences between on-prem and cloud storage solutions.

Here's a primer on key differences, as well as the context for them:

On-Premises vs. Public Cloud Terms

On Premises vs. Public Cloud Terms

As you can see, there's no consistent pattern that easily translates from one cloud to the next. While some differences are basically arbitrary, others do speak to organizational differences. For instance, Azure and AWS both replace the backup and recovery department of a traditional, on-prem storage service with two dedicated services, one for backup and one for recovery. On the other hand, their firewall programs are simply "AWS Firewall" and "Azure Firewall." Additionally, Azure's version of multifactor authentication is simply Azure MFA, but AWS uses a broader Identity and Access Management program, where MFA is a subsidiary element.

Even AWS Firewall and Azure Firewall aren't one-to-one translations from on-prem firewalls. These programs both absorb various other pieces of terminology and roles from traditional IT storage.

One other element of cloud services that are fundamentally different from traditional IT is LAN function. With a traditional LAN, you physically set it up via cords and routers, but this is relevant to cloud functioning. Rather than using a true LAN setup, cloud servers create virtual closed networks of connections, resources, and assets for the group you have in mind. With Azure, this is a Virtual Network, while AWS uses a Virtual Private Cloud function.

While the names are different, they both use similar means to replicate the function of a LAN. This is similar to ways that many cloud functions and terminology change, such as replacing a standard term like "Extended Storage" that isn't relevant to cloud 

functionality with something that performs a similar role.

These are some important examples of cloud terminology changes, though it's not a completely exhaustive list. While some of the jargon is certainly obtuse and excessively branded by the cloud provider in question, there's also a comprehensible rationale behind most of it. 

If you're gearing up to make the transition to the cloud, you can make it much easier by choosing a partner who can untangle all of the differences in function and language as you go. With Tenacity, this is exactly the kind of support and guidance that you can count on. We've helped many companies thrive in their transition to the cloud with a combination of technical optimization and practical guidance.

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Tenacity is democratizing the cloud with an approach that focuses on reducing complexity and eliminating obstacles to adoption.

On a technical level, we're adept in maximizing your cloud environment to function at its best. We'll optimize your cloud environment, reduce your cloud spend, and help you get a handle on your cloud assets. In the process, we emphasize the customer experience and bring terms, resource names, and general cloud information to you in an easy-to-understand way. By contextualizing and explaining each of these resources, we help you understand your cloud and set you up for long-term success. Cybersecurity and the power of the cloud are for everyone, not just the people who've been around long enough to know their way around all of the inside baseball terms.

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