Nomenclature Reference

Various projects and organizations who work with cloud computing use different words to refer to the same thing. This cross-reference shows the words used by Exosphere. In most cases, Exosphere has adopted the OpenStack term, except where a clearer/better term exists for the target audience (researchers and other non-IT professionals).

Note for users: an organization can offer a customized version of Exosphere with localized nomenclature (see localization section of, so if you are using Exosphere somewhere other than, that interface may use different words. Ask your administrator for details.

Note for developers: some code in the Exosphere codebase (e.g. variable and function names) may use OpenStack terms instead of the "Exosphere new default term" listed below. Please see issue 506 for ongoing work to resolve this.

Description Exosphere new default term OpenStack term(s) Jetstream term Amazon Web Services term
OpenStack deployment including its own Keystone cloud cloud, cluster cloud N/A
OpenStack that shares its Keystone with others region region region availability zone/region
unit of tenancy project project, (tenant) allocation account
maximum amount of resources your project can use resource limits quota, limits quota AWS Service Quotas
PKI public key used for SSH auth SSH public key keypair SSH public key key pair
virtual computer instance? server, (instance) instance instance
hardware configuration of a virtual computer size size, flavor flavor instance type and size
console for troubleshooting a broken instance console console console EC2 console
buffer passed to cloud-init on first boot boot script user data boot script user data
static representation of hard drive contents image image image Amazon Machine Image (AMI)
storage block device volume volume volume volume
non-floating IP address internal IP address fixed IP address internal IP address private IPv4 address
floating IP address public IP address floating IP address public IP address Elastic IP Address
text-based user interface served in a web browser terminal N/A web shell N/A
graphical desktop interface served in a web browser graphical environment N/A web desktop N/A