Glossary of Terms




An IT automation tool that allows users to configure, deploy, and orchestrate advanced tasks, such as continuous deployments, or zero downtime rolling updates.

Application Load Balancer (ALB)

A pre-configured Virtual Data Center (VDC) element that operates at the application layer of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model. It directs incoming application traffic to multiple targets to improve scalability and availability of web applications.


See Application Load Balancer.

Application Programming Interface (API)

A set of rules and protocols that enables different software applications to communicate and exchange data with each other in a standardized and structured manner.


See Application Programming Interface.

Availability Zone

You can assign a Zone to a Virtual Machine to guarantee distinct locations within a region from which the cloud services are provided. It provides distributed resources across multiple zones to build highly available fault-tolerant architectures.


Backup Unit Manager

An application that schedules, manages, and operates data backup processes on a computer, server, or network device. It is an integrated application that works on a client-server architecture for extracting data backup copies from a source computer or IT environment to a remote storage facility.


A stage in the product's lifecycle where it is made available to a limited number of users or a specific target audience for testing and gathering feedback. The beta phase typically follows the alpha phase and precedes the general availability (GA) or official release of the software.

Block Storage

An IT architecture in which data is stored as a file system. Block storage provides endless possibilities for storing large amounts of information, as well as guarantees the safety of resource planning systems, and provides instant access to the required amount of data without delay.


A user-defined storage area in a cloud storage system that is divided into folders and and can be accessed or managed through APIs or user interfaces provided by the cloud storage provider.


Chef: Knife plugin

A configuration management tool that allows simplified configuration and maintenance of both servers and cloud provider environments through the use of common templates called recipes.

Command Line Interface (CLI)

It is a text-based interface that allows users to interact with a computer system or software application through commands entered via a command line interface, rather than through a graphical user interface (GUI).


See Command Line Interface.

Cloud Block Storage

Cloud Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and Solid State Drive (SSD) Block storage allow customers to use a dual-redundant storage system. Each block of storage the customer creates is stored on two storage servers, providing active-active redundancy. For additional data protection, every storage server is based either on a hardware or software RAID system.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is the delivery of information technology services over a network, usually the internet. In the cloud computing model, infrastructure, data, and software are hosted by the vendor and delivered to the user as a service.

Cloud Cubes

Virtual private service instances with shared resources. Cubes are a new addition to the Cloud product line, distinct from our established enterprise VM products. At the same time, they are fully integrated with the entire Cloud solution stack, can be used with advanced enterprise resources and features, and are hosted on the same LANs as the Enterprise VM instances.


A defacto multi-factor package that performs early initialization of a cloud instance. It is a set of community-maintained scripts that configures virtual machines based on information from the metadata service.

Cloud Storage

A model of computer storage in which data is stored in facilities (often multiple facilities) managed by a hosting company (cloud service provider) and is accessed remotely by the user via a network.

Compute Engine

A virtual machine (VM) or a collection of VMs hosted on the IONOS cloud infrastructure. Compute Engine is further categorized into Dedicated Core server and vCPU Server, each containing a set of resources to support different workloads.

Configuration Management Tools

An automated approach to maintaining computer systems and software in a known, consistent, state.


An abstract unit of software that is an independent executable unit that contains everything needed to run an application. Containers have specific parameters and can run programs, work tasks, or specific tasks. The small size, high speed, and portability of containers are due to the absence of a guest operating system in each instance. This way, containers can simply use host OS components and resources.

Core Network

A high availability core network at each location for the redundant connection of the product platform. All services provided by Cloud are connected to the Internet via this core network.

Cross Connect

A physical, hardwired cable that provides a direct connection between two different termination locations within a data center. Cross connects enable colocation customers to establish high-performance, dedicated connectivity to one another within the data center – providing increased reliability and lower latency over network connections standardly used outside of a data center.

Container Storage Interface (CSI)

An attempt to standardize the interaction between container orchestration engines and storage providers. This solution is being promoted by the Kubernetes, Docker, and Mesos. Its meaning is that storage providers implement one addition, and container orchestration platforms undertake to support the CSI interface.


See Container Storage Interface.


A three-dimensional (3D) (or higher) range of values that are generally used to explain the time sequence of an image's data. It is a data abstraction to evaluate aggregated data from a variety of viewpoints.


Database as a Service (DBaaS)

A cloud computing service that allows users access to, and the use of, a cloud database system. Users can access this without purchasing and setting up their own hardware, installing their own database software, or managing the database themselves.


See Database as a Service

Database Cluster

A collection of databases that is managed by a single instance of a running database server. After initialization, a database cluster will contain a database named postgres, which is meant as a default database for use by utilities, users and third party applications.

Data Center Designer (DCD)

A unique graphical tool for creating and managing Virtual Data Centers (VDC) in the cloud; configuration is intuitive and straightforward with a JavaScript-based graphical user interface.


See Data Center Designer.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)

It is a type of cyber attack in which multiple compromised computers or devices, known as a botnet, are used to flood a target system or network with a massive amount of traffic or requests. The goal of a DDoS attack is to overwhelm the target's resources, such as bandwidth, processing power, or memory, rendering the system or network inaccessible to legitimate users.


See Distributed Denial of Service.

Dedicated Core Server

An Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform that provides on-demand access to integrated solutions that ensure your application runs smoothly during peak loads.

Digital Asset

An entity that exists in binary format and comes with a right to use. If there's no right to use, then it is not considered an asset. Common examples include images, audio files, spreadsheets, multimedia, email, websites, digital documents, etc.

Distributed Network

A computer network system that distributes the programming, software, and data across multiple computers. These computers may be in close proximity or geographically dispersed, but they work and communicate together as one system.

Docker Machine

A command-line tool used to provision and manage Docker hosts (virtual machines or physical machines) running the Docker Engine. It simplifies the process of creating, configuring, and managing Dockerized environments on various platforms. For more information, see Docker Documentation.

Docker Machine Driver

The component responsible for creating and managing the underlying infrastructure where Docker hosts are provisioned. Docker Machine supports multiple drivers, each tailored to work with specific platforms or virtualization technologies.

Domain Name System (DNS)

A system used to convert a computer's hostname into an IP address on the Internet. For example, if a computer needs to communicate with the web server, your computer needs the IP address of the web server


See Domain Name System.


Early Access (EA)

A stage in software development or product release where a limited set of users or customers are granted early or pre-release access to a product or service. It allows these select individuals or organizations to use, test, and provide feedback on the product before its official launch or general availability.


See Early Access.

Elastic Computing

The ability to dynamically provision and de-provision computer processing, memory, and storage resources to meet changing demands without worrying about capacity planning and engineering for peak usage.

External Network

Depending on the location, different capacities for transmitting data to or from the Internet are available for operating the Cloud service. Due to the direct connection between the data centers at the German locations, the upstream can be used across locations.



Failover is switching to a redundant or standby computer server, system, hardware component or network upon the failure or abnormal termination of the previously active application, server, system, hardware component, or network in a computer network. Failover and switchover are essentially the same operation, except that failover is automatic and usually operates without warning, while switchover requires human intervention.


A network security device that monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic and permits or blocks data packets based on a set of security rules. Its purpose is to establish a barrier between your internal network and incoming traffic from external sources (such as the internet) in order to block malicious traffic like viruses and hackers.

Flow logs

A feature that allows you to capture data related to IPv4 network traffic flows. Flow logs can be enabled for any network interface of a Virtual Machine (VM) instance and Network Load Balancer, as well as the public interfaces of the Network Address Translation (NAT) Gateway.

Forwarding rules

The configuration settings that dictate how network traffic is forwarded from a source to a destination in the context of network devices, such as routers or switches. These rules determine the routing path and actions taken on incoming packets.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

It is a standard network protocol used for transferring files between a client and a server over a TCP/IP-based network, such as the internet.


See File Transfer Protocol.


General Availability (GA)

The stage in the lifecycle of a software product or service when it is considered fully developed, stable, and ready for widespread use by the general public or intended audience. It signifies that the product has completed its testing, bug fixing, and refinement phases, and is deemed suitable for production environments.


See General Availability.


We follow the binary interpretation of the gigabyte (also called gibibyte, 'GiB'), where a gigabyte equals 1024 megabytes, a megabyte equals 1024 kilobytes, and a kilobyte equals 1024 bytes. This defines one gigabyte as 1,073,741,824 bytes.


Hard Disk Drive (HDD)

It is a non-volatile storage device used for storing and retrieving digital data. HDDs use magnetic storage technology to store data. Data is read from and written to the platters using read/write heads that move across the surface of the disks.


See Hard Disk Drive.

Hot Plug

Hot swapping or hot insertion refers to the ability to add or remove hardware components from a system while it is powered on or in operation, without the need to shut down or restart the system. This capability allows for convenient and seamless replacement or addition of devices without causing disruption to the overall system.

Host Machine

A piece of physical hardware that hosts virtual machines.

Hybrid Cloud

A cloud computing environment that is comprised of a mix of Private Cloud, Public Cloud, and On-Premises solutions. In a hybrid cloud, private and public cloud infrastructures remain distinct from one another but are bound together by technology that allows data and services portability between them.


Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)

It is a cloud computing model that provides virtualized computing resources over the internet. With IaaS, users can access and manage fundamental IT infrastructure components, such as virtual machines, storage, networks, and operating systems, as scalable and on-demand services.


See Infrastructure as a service.


A copy of the entire state of a computer system, stored in some non-volatile form such as a file. A system is said to be capable of using system images if it can be shut down and later be restored to exactly the same state. In such cases, system images can be used for backup.


A method of sorting data by creating keywords or a listing of the data.

Internal Network

An internal network, also known as a LAN, refers to a network infrastructure that is confined within a specific physical location, such as an office building, campus, or data center. It is designed to facilitate communication and data sharing among devices and resources within the defined network boundary.

Internet Protocol (IP) Address

A unique address that identifies a device on the internet or a local network. They are an essential part of the internet's infrastructure and follow either the IPv4 or IPv6 addressing scheme.

Internet Protocol version 4 (IPV4) address

A unique numerical identifier assigned to devices on a network. It is part of the underlying Internet Protocol suite and is used to identify and locate devices on a computer network. IPv4 addresses are 32 bits long, represented as a series of four decimal numbers separated by periods (e.g., Each decimal number, also known as an octet, represents 8 bits of the address.

Internet Protocol version 6 (IPV6) address

A numerical identifier assigned to devices on a network. It is the successor to IPv4 and provides an expanded address space to accommodate the increasing number of connected devices in the modern Internet era. IPv6 addresses are 128 bits long, represented as eight groups of hexadecimal digits separated by colons (e.g., 2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334). This longer address format allows for a significantly larger number of unique addresses compared to IPv4.

IP Address

A unique address that identifies a device on the internet or a local network. IP stands for "Internet Protocol," which is the set of rules governing the format of data sent via the internet or local network.



An open-source container orchestration platform that automates the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. It was originally developed by Google and is now maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). Kubernetes provides a framework for managing the lifecycle of containerized applications across a cluster of nodes.

Kubernetes Clusters

A set of nodes that run containerized applications. Containerizing applications packages an app with its dependences and some necessary services. They are more lightweight and flexible than virtual machines. In this way, Kubernetes clusters allow for applications to be more easily developed, moved and managed.


Live Vertical Scaling

A technology that permits you to scale the number of CPU cores and amount of RAM while the server is running, without having to restart it. Vertical scaling involves adding or removing resources such as CPU, memory, storage, or network capacity to a single server or virtual machine.

Local Area Network (LAN)

A computer network that spans a limited geographical area, such as a home, office building, or campus and are typically privately owned and operated, providing high-speed and low-latency connections between connected devices. It connects computers, devices, and resources within the defined area, allowing them to communicate and share data.


See Local Area Network.

Load Balancer

The process of distributing a set of tasks over a set of resources (computing units), with the aim of making their overall processing more efficient. Load balancing can optimize the response time and avoid unevenly overloading some compute nodes while other compute nodes are left idle.


Managed Kubernetes

A cloud-based service that provides a managed and simplified environment for deploying, managing, and scaling Kubernetes clusters. Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration platform that automates the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications.

Managed NAT (Network Address Translation) Gateway

A service provided by cloud providers to enable outbound internet connectivity for resources within a private subnet of a virtual network. NAT allows multiple devices within a private network to share a single public IP address when accessing the internet.

Media Access Control (MAC) address

A unique identifier assigned to network interfaces at the hardware level. It is a 48-bit address that is used to identify devices on a local network.


See Media Access Control (MAC) address.

Monitoring as a Service (MaaS)

It is an infrastructure provisioning model where physical hardware, such as servers, storage devices, and networking equipment, is treated as a service. MaaS allows users to manage and deploy bare-metal servers or physical infrastructure resources through a cloud-like interface or API.


See Monitoring as a Service.


The concurrent use of separate cloud service providers for different infrastructure, platform, or software needs. A multi-cloud approach can help prevent vendor lock-in, and may help an enterprise deal with diverse workloads and partners.


A mode of operation for software in which multiple instances of one or many applications run in a shared environment. In a cloud computing model, pooled physical and virtual resources are dynamically assigned and reassigned to tenants according to consumer demand.


Network Address Translation (NAT)

A networking process that involves the modification of IP addresses in packet headers while they are being transmitted across a network. It is commonly used to enable communication between networks that use different IP address ranges.


See Network Address Translation.

Network Address Translation (NAT) Gateway

A networking component that enables communication between a private network and the internet. It acts as an intermediary device that translates IP addresses between the private network and the public internet. You can use a NAT gateway such that instances in a private subnet can connect to services outside your VPC but external services cannot initiate a connection with those instances.

Network File System (NFS)

A distributed file system protocol that allows remote file access and sharing over a network. NFS enables a client-server model, where a central server provides access to files and directories to remote clients.


See Network File System.

Network Load Balancer (NLB)

A pre-configured VDC element that provides connection-based layer 4 load balancing features and functionality. It improves the availability, scalability, and performance of network applications by efficiently distributing incoming traffic to multiple servers.


See Network Load Balancer.

Network Interface Card (NIC)

A component that provides networking capabilities for a computer. It may enable a wired connection (such as Ethernet) or a wireless connection (such as Wi-Fi) to a LAN.


See Network Interface Card.


A computer that connects to a blockchain network. 'Full' nodes store the entire distributed ledger from the first (genesis) block to the present and participate in blockchain consensus. 'Light' nodes are used by resource-constrained devices for application-specific purposes, such as reading specific blockchain data and submitting new transactions to full nodes for inclusion in the ledger.

Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe)

A standard hardware interface for Solid State Drives (SSDs) that uses the PCI Express (PCIe) bus. NVMe replaces traditional storage protocols, such as Serial ATA (SATA) and Small Computer System Interface (SCSI), which were originally designed for Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) and may not fully exploit the performance capabilities of SSDs.


Object Storage

A type of data storage architecture that stores data as objects rather than traditional file hierarchies or blocks. In object storage, each object is assigned a unique identifier and is stored in a flat address space, making it easily accessible and scalable. Objects are stored in a flat address space and can be accessed through APIs using their unique identifiers or keys.

Object Storage Key Manager

A component or service that manages the keys used for accessing and securing objects stored in an object storage system. It provides a centralized platform for generating, storing, and managing encryption keys that are used to encrypt and decrypt data stored in the object storage.


The strategy of reducing the database system response time. Databases provide us with information stored with a hierarchical and related structure, which allows us to extract the content and arrange it easily. There are plenty of options to choose from for business and companies.


Point-in-Time Recovery (PITR)

A data protection mechanism that allows you to restore a database or system to a specific point in time. It is commonly used in the context of databases but can also be applied to other types of systems. PITR works by capturing and storing incremental backups or transaction logs at regular intervals. These backups or logs contain the changes made to the data since the last full backup.


See Point-in-Time Recovery.


The process of setting up IT infrastructure. It can also refer to the steps required to manage access to data and resources, and make them available to users and systems.

Provisioning is not the same thing as configuration, but they are both steps in the deployment process. Once something has been provisioned, the next step is configuration.

Public IPv4 Addresses

Every virtual network interface card that is connected to the Internet is automatically assigned a public IPv4 address by DHCP. This IPv4 address is dynamic, meaning it can change while the virtual server is operational or in the case of a restart.

Private IPv4 Addresses

In networks that are not connected to the Internet, each virtual network interface card is automatically assigned a private IPv4 address. This is assigned by the DHCP service. These IPv4 addresses are assigned statically to the MAC addresses of the virtual network interface cards.


An open-source configuration management and automation tool that helps system administrators and DevOps teams manage and automate the deployment and configuration of software and infrastructure across a network of computers. It provides a declarative language and a framework for defining and enforcing the desired state of systems, also known as infrastructure as code.



A request for a database’s data so we can retrieve or manipulate it. It is a command issued to retrieve or manipulate data from a Database Management System (DBMS).


Remote Console

A terminal or workstation in a remote location that is used to monitor and control a local computer.

Routing Table

A data table stored in a router or a network host that lists the routes to particular network destinations, and in some cases, metrics (distances) associated with those routes. The routing table contains information about the topology of the network immediately around it. A routing table is also known as Routing Information Base (RIB).


S3 Object Storage

Create buckets and store objects with this S3 compliant service. It allows you to store and retrieve large amounts of data in the form of objects.


The ability of a process, system, or framework to handle a growing workload. In other words, a scalable system is adaptable to increasing demands. The ability to scale on demand is one of the biggest advantages of cloud computing.

Software Development Kit (SDK)

A toolbox that contain special libraries that can be used to easily manage your cloud servers by using your preferred development or coding language. They hold tools, libraries, relevant documents, sample code, processes, and or guides for use on that particular platform.


See Software Development Kit.


A piece of computer hardware or software (computer program) that provides functionality for other programs or devices, called "clients". This architecture is called the client–server model. Servers can provide various functionalities, often called "services", such as sharing data or resources among multiple clients, or performing computation for a client.


A snapshot is the state of a system at a particular point in time. It can refer to an actual copy of the state of a system or to a capability provided by certain systems.

Solid-State Drive (SSD)

A drive that uses integrated circuit assemblies to store data persistently, typically using flash memory.


See Solid-State Drive.

Secure Shell (SSH) Keys

Used for easier authorization on various services. When creating storages based on Linux images, you can inject SSH keys into your VM for setting up SSH access so that you can use SSH for secure communication.


A process through which digital data is saved within a data storage device by means of computing technology. Storage is a mechanism that enables a computer to retain data, either temporarily or permanently.



The compute resources, such as VM instances, containers, microservices, or appliances, to which the traffic is distributed for processing. Network Load Balancer backend serves registered targets using an IP address and a TCP port.

Targets can be added or removed and capacities scaled without disrupting the overall flow of connection requests.


An open-source Infrastructure as Code (IaC) tool to enable the provisioning, management, and deployment of infrastructure resources across various cloud providers, data centers, and other service providers in a declarative and automated manner.


A utility, resource, or an asset value that can be bought, sold, or traded on an existing blockchain, like Ethereum. Tokens are often used in decentralized applications.

Two Factor Authentication (2FA)

A security mechanism that adds an additional layer of protection to user accounts or systems by requiring two forms of authentication to verify identity. The two factors involve a password or PIN and a mobile device or security token. By requiring both factors, 2FA mitigates the risk of unauthorized access, even if the user's password is compromised, enhancing the overall security of the system or application.


Virtual CPU (vCPU)

A central CPU is associated with a Virtual Machine. It is also called a virtual processor.


See Virtual CPU

Virtual Data Center (VDC)

A collection of cloud resources used for creating an enterprise-grade IT infrastructure. VDC resources include the processors, memory, disk space, and networks from which virtual machines are built.


See Virtual Data Center.


VirtIO is a standardized interface for virtualized environments that provides drivers for various virtual devices, such as network interfaces, storage controllers, and other peripherals. Using VirtIO drivers with Kernel-based Virtual Machines (KVMs) offer several advantages, including improved performance and efficiency compared to emulated devices. VirtIO drivers are optimized for virtual environments and provide direct access to underlying hardware when available to enhance I/O performance and reduce overhead.

Virtual Machine (VM)

The virtualization or emulation of a computer system that are based on computer architectures and provide the functionality of a physical computer. Virtual machines are based on computer architectures and provide functionality of a physical computer.


See Virtual Machine

Virtual Network

A software-defined network that allows you to create isolated virtual networks within a cloud or virtualized environment. It provides network connectivity and segmentation between different resources and allows them to communicate securely with each other.

Virtual Server

Scalable instances with dedicated resource functionality.


Write Ahead Logs (WAL)

A technique used in database systems to ensure data durability and consistency. It is a sequential log of changes that is written before the corresponding data modifications are applied to the database. WAL provides a reliable and efficient mechanism for data recovery in the event of a system crash or failure.


See Write Ahead Logs.

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