The Technical Buzzwords Of 2017 In Layman’s Terms


The technology industry is full of jargon and buzzwords, which, if you’re not in the club, can often feel like a foreign language. When it comes to communicating new technologies and processes to other parts of the business, IT professionals need to be careful to translate these buzzwords into human speak if they want to avoid a confused, blank look which could result in a data breach, shadow IT activity, or missing out on investment in new IT equipment.

Last year we finally began to grasp hybrid IT, SDN and Big Data. So what should we look out for next? Patrick Hubbard, head geek at SolarWinds, explains to us in layman’s terms, the buzzwords set to take 2017 by storm.


A blockchain is a distributed database that maintains a continuously growing list of ordered records, or blocks. Once data is recorded into a block it cannot be altered, therefore a blockchain is regarded as a verifiable and permanent ledger.

Blockchain technologies have been on the minds of financial institutions and eCoin entrepreneurs for a number of years, but in 2016, the technology expanded beyond the bounds of the financial industry. At a time when companies are finding it difficult to deal with data management and security, blockchain provides a seemingly perfect solution to a surprising variety of challenges.

This year, blockchain will gain steam as a buzzword and much more research will go into the technology and its functionality, although it’s unlikely there will be many effective new capabilities to be readily implemented just yet.


SQL (Structured Query Language) is the special purpose, domain specific language which relational database management systems use to communicate with the database. MySQL is an open source relational database management system which is used in many high profile, large scale websites, including Google, Facebook and Twitter. MS SQL, Oracle and DB2 are example of closed source databases, typically used in enterprise.

SQL, the language, is used by database administrators to modify database tables and index structures by adding, updating and deleting rows of data and gathering data to be used for analytics and transaction processing. SQL operations take the form of commands written as statements, which commonly contains add, insert, delete, alter and update.

SaaS, FaaS, PaaS

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licenced on a subscription basis and centrally hosted. Beyond this, Function-as-a-Service (FaaS) is a new cloud computing category which allows customers to develop, run and manage application functionalities without the headache of architecting and overseeing the backend infrastructure.

The service aims to reduce the barrier of consumption for programming languages by decoupling the platform architecture, allowing IT professionals to develop programs to perform specific tasks without the additional plumbing. The rise of a new chapter in cloud computing signals the continuing maturity of the cloud market from its roots as infrastructure as a service, to PaaS, SaaS, FaaS and beyond.

This year, more specialised services, such as FaaS, will continue to proliferate, given the targeted efficiency that leads to both a better experience and an improved pricing structure. The ability to run nearly any type of application or function, with zero infrastructure administration on the IT professional’s behalf, is tremendously appealing.


Nope, not Tupperware for your packed lunch. Many early adopters of containers think that they can be replacements for virtual machines, however this is not the case. A container consists of an entire runtime environment (a configuration of hardware and software) – an application, its dependencies, libraries and other binaries, and configuration files needed to run it – bundled into one package designed for lightweight, short term use. When implemented correctly, containers enable much more agile and portable software development environments.

Expected to become an even bigger buzzword of 2017, IT teams will gain a greater understanding of the how container technology can realistically be used for IT operations alongside virtual infrastructure. The proliferation of containers as a computing strategy within IT departments will simultaneously give rise to greater security concerns and the need for IT professionals that are skilled in specific coding languages related to containerisation.