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This page is designed to provide you with an explanation of the terminology you will encounter in the User Guide. For ease of use, the terms are listed here in alphabetical order. Terms in Italics indicate other Key Concepts in Using Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator.

Auto top-up

An Auto top-up is a type of Unit top-up which automatically repurchases units when your balance reaches a predefined level. Each time the auto top-up is triggered you are sent a notification email and billed either via invoice or payment card. When an auto top-up is not successful, you are sent an email informing you that the top-up has failed. A failed auto top-up is automatically reprocessed 24 hours later until it is successful or the auto top-up is cancelled.

Billing entity

Billing entities are a tier below the Licensee. They sell access to the virtual resources on the platform to Customers. Each billing entity can have multiple Customers, and Customers can have accounts with multiple billing entities.

Blueprint

Blueprints allow you to package resources such as Servers/Virtual MachinesNetworks, and Firewalls so that they can be repeatedly duplicated. They can be deployed (made active), at which point they become Deployments.

Customer

Customers buy access to virtual resources from Billing entities. Each customer is created with a default administrator User, but can add more Users if required. For information about how to add a User to a customer account, see Inviting a User.

Deployment

Deployments are active (deployed) Blueprints.

Disk

Disks are individual virtual disks provisioned from a supported storage system.

Image

Images are templates of Disks (KVM and Xen) or Servers (VMware and Hyper-V) that have been stored on the platform in a read-only format to allow customers to duplicate them repeatedly. Images may be base Operating System templates, or can contain software that is commonly used on your Virtual Machines, for example an email client or media player. Images are created from existing Snapshots, or uploaded via the 'Fetch Image' service. 

Images can be private to the customer who created them, shared with selected other customers or users, or shared with an entire Billing Entity. Images can also have specific permissions, allowing restrictions to be placed on how they can be used. For more information, see the Example Image Permissions page.

Firewall Template

Firewall Templates allow you to define sets of rules for network traffic, which can then be applied to Virtual Machines to create firewalls. Firewalls help to prevent unauthorised usage of your network by allowing or disallowing network traffic to or from specified IP addresses based on user-defined rules.

Group

A Group is a collection of users who can be granted similar permissions and can be required to perform certain tasks. For example, a group of users might be commonly expected to modify existing user accounts, for example to update personal details. An Account Admin group could be formed for these users, with the permissions required to modify existing user accounts. This saves time as permissions would not have to be assigned to each user in the group individually.

Job

When a task is performed by a user, such as creating a virtual machine, Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator processes and completes this task. This processing and completion portion of the task is called a job. Jobs are processed asynchronously.

Licensee

The licensee is the owner of the license for Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator. Typically, the licensee owns the hardware on which the platform's virtual resources are run. 

Network

Networks are what virtual and physical resources use to communicate with each other and the internet. Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator supports both Public Virtual IP (PVIP) and Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN)-based networking modes. For more information, see the Network Types page.

Resource

Resources are what you use to manage and deliver a cloud-based platform. Resources that can be managed in Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator include components such as Images, Firewall Templates, Servers/Virtual Machines, and the Network the Servers/Virtual Machines use to communicate with each other and the internet. For more information about how to create and manage resources, see Creating and Managing Resources.

Server/Virtual Machine

Servers, or virtual machines, are virtual computers that use physical resources from networked hardware. Once you configure a server you can create other servers with the same initial state by using the Duplicate button. For more information, see Managing a Server.

Snapshot

A snapshot is the saved state of a Disk (KVM and Xen) or Server (VMware and Hyper-V) at a particular point in time. Clones (copies of Disks or Servers) can be created from snapshots if required. 

SSH Key

SSH Keys provide an alternative and more secure means of user authentication to using usernames and passwords. This is useful if you commonly log in to a particular Server/Virtual Machine from a remote computer. A private key is held on a Server/Virtual Machine, and public keys are distributed to computers that are commonly used to access the Server/Virtual Machine. This allows a user with access to a public key to log in to the Server/Virtual Machine on which the private key is placed without using a password. Note that though a password is not required, SSH keys are more secure than passwords as they are significantly less likely to be guessed by third parties.

Tab

Tabs are used to organise Widgets, which display information and allow you to manage Resources 

The available tabs are displayed on the left hand vertical menu.

Unit

Units are the currency used by Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator's billing engine. They are used to pay for the use of Resources. You can buy more units using a credit card or using an invoice system, and can use Auto top-ups to top-up your unit balance automatically when it reaches a predefined level. 

User

A user is an individual account with an email address and password. This typically represents a single member of staff. Each user account can have access to multiple Customer accounts, as long as they are invited to join each Customer account. 

Widget

Widgets display information about the status of Resources, Jobs, and Units. They can also be used to manage Resources, Jobs, and Units. More widgets can be added if required. For information on how to create, modify, and delete widgets, see Adding, Modifying, and Deleting Widgets.

VDC

Virtual Data Centres (VDCs) are logical groupings of Resources within a customer account. Types of Resource include Servers, Disks, Snapshots, and Networks. VDCs exist to provide convenient groupings around which infrastructure can be organised. Each VDC is assigned to a specific cluster.

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