While their business purposes vary, companies of all sizes and industries are shifting to use cloud services. According to Gartner research, spending on cloud computing infrastructure and platforms is at an all-time high at $214.3 billion and is slated to grow exponentially through 2022, giving rise to related jobs in the process.
But as cloud adoption surges and businesses embark on cloud-related projects, a skills gap looms large across the industry. In fact, 94 percent of IT hiring managers say filling cloud-related roles is “at least somewhat difficult” with some even calling the lack of available cloud-related talent a “full-blown crisis.” This means there’s a massive opportunity for professionals that can demonstrate their skills.
Listed as the number one hard skill sought by companies across industries, cloud computing expertise is in high demand. IT professionals can improve their competitive advantage by ensuring their working knowledge of these cloud technologies is up-to-date. You can start by understanding some basic terms and concepts used frequently in the work.
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What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services over the internet. In the past, companies required local systems and servers to run various applications; now, these processes can be managed in the cloud by an external provider. Due to the relatively lower cost of these IT solutions, many organizations now rely on services provided by popular cloud platforms, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud and Softlayer, Google Cloud Platform, and Salesforce. These web service providers offer a broad range of global, cloud-based IT products, including computing technologies, storage, databases, analytics, networking, mobile, developer tools, management tools, Internet of Things connectivity, security, and enterprise applications. These services help organizations move faster, facilitate agile development, and better manage scalability.
One of the most common providers is Amazon Web Services (AWS), and many working in IT are required to get intimately familiar with the technology. However, the assault of AWS terminology and the confusion as to why everything is prefixed with “cloud” or “elastic” can be a bit overwhelming. To help, here’s a glossary-style cheat sheet with common terms and phrases you’ll come across as you dive deeper into the world of cloud computing.
Common AWS Terms
AWS IoT: AWS IoT is a managed cloud service that lets connected devices easily and securely interact with cloud applications and other devices.
Certificate Manager: AWS Certificate Manager lets you easily provision, manage, and deploy Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS) certificates for use with AWS services.
CloudFormation: AWS CloudFormation lets you create and update a collection of related AWS resources in a predictable fashion.
CloudFront: Amazon CloudFront provides a way to distribute content to end-users with low latency and high data transfer speeds.
CloudSearch: AWS CloudSearch is a fully managed search service for websites and apps.
CloudTrail: AWS CloudTrail provides increased visibility into user activity by recording API calls made on your account.
Data Pipeline: AWS Data Pipeline is a lightweight orchestration service for periodic, data-driven workflows.
DMS: AWS Database Migration Service (DMS) helps you migrate databases to the cloud easily and securely while minimizing downtime.
DynamoDB: Amazon DynamoDB is a scalable NoSQL data store that manages distributed replicas of your data for high availability.
EC2: Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud.
EC2 Container Service: Amazon ECS allows you to easily run and manage Docker containers across a cluster of Amazon EC2 instances.
Elastic Beanstalk: AWS Elastic Beanstalk is an application container for deploying and managing applications.
ElastiCache: Amazon ElastiCache improves application performance by allowing you to retrieve information from an in-memory caching system.
Elastic File System: Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) is a file storage service for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances.
Elasticsearch Service: Amazon Elasticsearch Service is a managed service that makes it easy to deploy, operate, and scale Elasticsearch, a popular open-source search and analytics engine.
Elastic Transcoder: Amazon Elastic Transcoder lets you convert your media files in the cloud easily, at low cost, and at scale
EMR: Amazon Elastic MapReduce lets you perform big data tasks such as web indexing, data mining, and log file analysis.
Glacier: Amazon Glacier is a low-cost storage service that provides secure and durable storage for data archiving and backup.
IAM: AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) lets you securely control access to AWS services and resources.
Inspector: Amazon Inspector enables you to analyze the behavior of the applications you run in AWS and helps you to identify potential security issues.
Kinesis: Amazon Kinesis services make it easy to work with real-time streaming data in the AWS cloud.
Lambda: AWS Lambda is a compute service that runs your code in response to events and automatically manages the compute resources for you.
Machine Learning: Amazon Machine Learning is a service that enables you to easily build smart applications.
OpsWorks: AWS OpsWorks is a DevOps platform for managing applications of any scale or complexity on the AWS cloud.
RDS: Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) makes it easy to set up, operate, and scale familiar relational databases in the cloud.
Redshift: Amazon Redshift is a fast, fully managed, petabyte-scale data warehouse that makes it cost-effective to analyze all your data using your existing business intelligence tools.
Route 53: Amazon Route 53 is a scalable and highly available Domain Name System (DNS) and Domain Name Registration service.
SES: Amazon Simple Email Service (SES) enables you to send and receive email.
SNS: Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) lets you publish messages to subscribers or other applications.
Storage Gateway: AWS Storage Gateway securely integrates on-premises IT environments with cloud storage for backup and disaster recovery.
SQS: Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) offers a reliable, highly scalable, hosted queue for storing messages.
SWF: Amazon Simple Workflow (SWF) coordinates all of the processing steps within an application.
S3: Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data.
VPC: Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) lets you launch AWS resources in a private, isolated cloud.
Want to Learn More about Cloud Computing?
If you’re looking to work directly with a web service provider or as an IT solutions manager that contracts web service providers, these terms will be useful in your everyday role. In order to succeed and advance your career, however, you’ll need a deep working knowledge of web services and cloud computing. Programs like Northeastern’s Cloud Computing Application and Management Graduate Certificate enable students to develop the technical and management skills to address the needs of enterprise cloud computing. Students have an opportunity to learn theoretical and practical, hands-on aspects of distributed systems from both technical and business perspectives, giving them a competitive advantage in the workforce.