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800px-Cloud_computing.svgThe “Cloud” is a confusing place with dozens of applications and services ranging from compute needs to developer tools, couple this with confusing taxonomy and undescriptive names, selecting the right choice for you and your company can be daunting. That’s why we created these twelve categories of cloud services , with definitions in each to help you choose the right cloud offering. 

Once you have decided which cloud services you need just select the matching service tag from the pull down menu in the top right of the webpage to see which cloud service providers can meet your needs.



Also called “cloud hosting” and “utility computing,” infrastructure as a service (IaaS) provides the servers and operating systems, while platform as a service (PaaS) adds the databases, runtime engines and other necessary system software for the customer to deploy its applications.

Instead of purchasing and operating its own servers, it can be much more economical for a company to use the cloud for computing and eliminate the security, maintenance, network and environmental issues with inhouse datacenters. In addition, commercial cloud facilities may be able to withstand natural disasters that meet and exceed military standards.

For both small and large Web publishers, cloud providers such as Amazon and Google are invaluable. Their hardware can be configured to handle tiny amounts of traffic or huge amounts of traffic. In either case, IaaS/PaaS providers charge for actual usage, and there is no wasted expense with underutilized inhouse servers.


Data storage where the digital data is stored in logical pools, the physical storage spans across multiple servers (and often locations), and the physical environment is typically owned and managed by a hosting company. These cloud storage providers are responsible for keeping the data available and accessible, and the physical environment protected and running. People and organizations buy or lease storage capacity from the providers to store end user, organization, or application data.

Cloud storage services may be accessed through a collocated cloud compute service, a web service application programming interface (API) or by applications that utilize the API, such as cloud desktop storage, a cloud storage gateway or Web-based content management systems.



Content delivery network (CDN) is a system of distributed servers (network) that deliver webpages and other Web content to a user based on the geographic locations of the user, the origin of the webpage and a content delivery server.
This service is effective in speeding the delivery of content of websites with high traffic and websites that have global reach. The closer the CDN server is to the user geographically, the faster the content will be delivered to the user. CDNs also provide protection from large surges in traffic.



A cloud database is a database that typically runs on a cloud computing platform, such as Amazon EC2, GoGrid, Salesforce and Rackspace. There are two common deployment models: users can run databases on the cloud independently, using a virtual machine image, or they can purchase access to a database service, maintained by a cloud database provider. Of the databases available on the cloud, some are SQL-based and some use a NoSQL data model.



(Customer Relationship Management) An integrated information system that is used to plan, schedule and control the presales and postsales activities in an organization. CRM embraces all aspects of dealing with prospects and customers, including the call center, sales force, marketing, technical support and field service. The primary goal of CRM is to improve long-term growth and profitability through a better understanding of customer behavior. CRM aims to provide more effective feedback and improved integration to better gauge the return on investment (ROI) in these areas.


Big Data

Big Data refers to the massive amounts of data collected over time that are difficult to analyze and handle using common database management tools. The data are analyzed for marketing trends in business as well as in the fields of manufacturing, medicine and science. The types of data include business transactions, e-mail messages, photos, surveillance videos, activity logs and unstructured text from blogs and social media, as well as the huge amounts of data that can be collected from sensors of all varieties (see machine-generated data)



 The Guizhou Information Park, a new member of the China Telecom Data center family takes the seventh seat in our biggest category spreading 3,552,090 square feet. China Telecom invested 7 billion yuan ($1.14 billion) building the new Information Park. Strategic location in the Guizhou province of southern China puts the facility in close proximity to vast energy sources. The Guizhou Information Park will be home to one million servers with 120,000 of those spots taken before coming online in early 2014.


Management Services

Management services exist to provide cloud based application management and administrative services to developers and users. Examples of management services include Google Cloud Endpoints which creates APIs and client libraries from an App Engine application, referred to as an API backend, to simplify client access to data from other applications.


Deploy & Management

Deployment Management aims to plan, schedule and control the movement of releases to test and live environments. The primary goal of Management and Deployment Management is to ensure that the integrity of the live environment is protected and that the correct components are released. An examples of deploy and management is AWS’ Elastic Beanstalk where customers upload their code and Elastic Beanstalk automatically handles the deployment, from capacity provisioning, load balancing, auto-scaling to application health monitoring.


Developer Tools

Cloud based and delivered software that assists in the creation of new software. Compilers, debuggers, visual programming tools, GUI builders, application generators are examples. Examples of developer tools include Google’s Cloud SDK and Push to Deploy.



Cloud support is technical advice on the selection, usage and troubleshooting of cloud based services. Examples of this are AWS Support and Trusted Advisor.


Marketplace Software

A cloud marketplace is an online storefront operated by a cloud service provider. A cloud marketplace provides customers with access to software applications and services that are built on, integrate with or complement the cloud provider’s offerings. A marketplace typically provides customers with native cloud applications and approved apps created by third-party developers. Applications from third-party developers not only help the cloud provider fill niche gaps in its portfolio and meet the needs of more customers, but they also provide the customer with peace of mind by knowing that all purchases from the vendor’s marketplace will integrate with each other smoothly