We hear lots of words day-in, day-out. But do you know what they all mean? For those that don’t (and to be honest, also for those that do), here’s a very tongue-in-cheek guide to terms frequently heard...


The cloud – A pain in the aaS

The cloud – Anything involving a data centre

The cloud – Anything involving the internet

The cloud – Anything installed locally

Backups – The thing you’ll never think you need until it’s too late

Managed Backups – Outsourcing the worry of the thing you’ll never think you need

Acceptable Use Policy – “Don’t do this. Or that. Definitely not the other”

Cloud security – Something not a lot of people do

Proper cloud security – just ask us

Data Centres

Colocation – We’re like an IT landlord for your infrastructure

Racks/Cabinets – Basically a cold shelf

Data centre – An expensive room with lots of cold shelves in

N+1 – We’ve got a spare Big Important Thing in case one of the other Big Important Things goes wrong

Cold aisle enclosure – Keeps the cold air in one place

Hot aisle enclosure – Keeps the cold air everywhere but one place


IT Security – Something the IT guys look after

Proper IT Security – Something an IT security guy looks after

Vulnerability scan – Looking for holes in your system

Penetration test – Looking for some holes then giving them a poke

PCI compliance – A box-ticking exercise

Proper PCI compliance – something that will genuinely help your business

Password – A secure word or phrase that is immediately made redundant by being written down on a post-it next to your PC.


Connectivity – A little, brightly-coloured cable that somehow connects to every other computer on the internet

Bandwidth – Not speed

Latency – Speed

Leased lines – Not what it meant in the 90s

Dark fibre – Bits of buried glass

Cloud Types as an Analogy with Toilets

Private cloud – Executive washroom

Public cloud – Public toilets at the end of the High Street

Hybrid cloud – Executive washroom that shares some plumbing with a public toilet