General News
Data Centers

An Industry Defined: Cloud Computing, IaaS, Data Center, Colocation, IoT, Carrier Hotel and more...

The tech sector is renowned for its buzzwords and acronyms, with the cloud and data center sectors being no exception. From cloud computing to IaaS to colocation and the IoT; we've covered the top industry terms in a new glossary which will be updated regularly by Cloudscene's data analysis team.Here are the first 20 industry terms defined on Cloudscene's industry glossary:

Big Data

Structured and unstructured data sets that are too large and complex for traditional processing methods to deal with. Challenges include the capture, storage, analysis, sharing and protection of such data.


A metal framed chassis that holds, secures and organizes a vertical stack of network and server hardware, including routers, switches, access points, storage devices and modems. Also known as a rack.

Carrier Hotel

A carrier hotel is a data center where technology infrastructure connects to a range of telecoms and network service providers. Businesses rent floor space for their servers, storage devices and other IT hardware, while the carrier hotel provides the power, bandwidth, cooling and security. Also known as a colocation center.

Carrier-Neutral Data Center

A carrier-neutral data center facilitates interconnection between numerous telecoms carriers and colocation providers, thus enabling customers to switch providers without physically moving to a new site. Also known as a network-neutral data center.

Clean and Renewable Energy

Clean or renewable energy refers to power generated from sustainable and environmentally friendly sources such as solar, wind, water and geothermal, with minimum pollution or carbon footprint.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is the delivery of software, storage, and other computing services via the Internet (the cloud), rather than being deployed on local hardware. Cloud services are typically charged on a monthly usage basis.

Cloud Hosting

In a cloud-hosted solution, customers rent virtual server space instead of physical servers. The virtual partitions draw resources from an array of underlying physical servers installed in a data center. The physical server itself may be shared with other applications or customers. This is generally considered less secure than a colocation or a VPS.

Cloud On-Ramp

A private, direct connection to the cloud from within a data center. The connections are usually to major cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, IBM Softlayer, VMWare, Rackspace, Alibaba Cloud and Oracle Cloud. Find Cloud On-Ramps on Cloudscene

Cloud Server

A cloud server is a remote virtual server hosted by a cloud computing service. Cloud servers offer similar functionality to dedicated physical servers, but can be more reliable, scalable, flexible and cost-effective.

Cloud Service Provider

A cloud service provider is an organization that offers cloud-computing services such as IaaS, PaaS or SaaS. These services are typically offered to customers under an on-demand, pay-as-you-go model. Find Service Providers on Cloudscene

Colocation Center

A colocation center (colo) is a data center where technology infrastructure connects to a range of telecoms and network service providers. Businesses rent floor space for their servers, storage devices and other IT hardware. Also known as a carrier hotel. Find Data Centers on Cloudscene


A cross-connect is a hardware connection between separate racks/cabinets/infrastructure provided by a data center. For example, a link between a network and an Internet service provider.

Dark Fiber

Dark fiber is unused optical fiber. Companies that lay cables can gain economies of scale by installing more than is immediately needed, with the excess fiber remaining dark (unlit) until purchased by future customers.

Data Center

A data center is a building that hosts servers, storage devices, network equipment and other IT infrastructure. These facilities typically include backup power supplies, redundant communications links, cooling systems, fire suppression and security protection. Find Data Centers on Cloudscene

Data Center Operator

A data center operator is a company that runs and manages a facility enabling interconnection between businesses and their customers, partners, networks and IT equipment. Find Data Center Operators on Cloudscene

Data Center Security

Data center security refers to practices that protect data centers from a range of attacks and threats, both physical and digital. Security measures may include biometric authentication, mantraps, armed personnel, firewalls and anti-malware systems. Read about the world’s most secure data centers

Dedicated Server

A dedicated server is a form of Internet hosting where the customer leases an entire server not shared with other customers. This gives the organization complete control over the server’s operating system and hardware. Also known as a dedicated hosting service.

Disaster Recovery (DR)

Disaster Recovery is a strategy that mitigates the impact of negative events (such as fire, flood or power failure) by enabling an organization to quickly resume operations following the event. Examples include switching mission-critical functions to a backup location.

Express Routing

Express Routing uses a private connection between a data center and its customer’s infrastructure, avoiding the public Internet and thereby offering higher reliability and lower latency than regular connections.

Geothermal Cooling

With geothermal cooling, a closed-loop coolant-filled piping system runs under the ground around the data center, using the steady underground temperatures to help cool the facility.

For more on defining the data center, visit Cloudscene's glossary of top industry terms.

Get started with Cloudscene today

Create a free account to start searching, sourcing, and selling the easy way.

Sign Up Free