Have a look through our glossary if you need a definition for any of the terms in our website
BackupBackup is the activity of copying files or databases so that they will be preserved in case of equipment failure or other catastrophe. Backup is usually a routine part of the operation of large businesses with mainframes as well as the administrators of smaller business computers. For personal computer users, backup is also necessary but often neglected.
BandwidthIn computer networks, bandwidth is used as a synonym for data transfer rate, the amount of data that can be carried from one point to another in a given time period (usually a second). Network bandwidth is usually expressed in bits per second (bps); modern networks typically have speeds measured in the millions of bits per second (megabits per second, or Mbps) or billions of bits per second (gigabits per second, or Gbps).
BroadbandIn general, broadband refers to telecommunication in which a wide band of frequencies is available to transmit information.
Carrier-NeutralA network-neutral data center (or carrier-neutral data center) is a data center (or carrier hotel) which allows interconnection between multiple telecommunication carriers and/or colocation providers. Network-neutral data centers exist all over the world and vary in size and power.
CloudCloud computing is a general term for the delivery of hosted services over the Internet. Often referred to as cloud computing.
ColocationA colocation (colo) is a data center facility in which a business can rent space for servers and other computing hardware. Typically, a colo provides the building, cooling, power, bandwidth and physical security while the customer provides servers and storage. Space in the facility is often leased by the rack, cabinet, cage or room.
CPUIs the abbreviation for central processing unit. Sometimes referred to simply as the central processor, but more commonly called processor, the CPU is the brains of the computer where most calculations take place. In terms of computing power, the CPU is the most important element of a computer system.
Dedicated serverA dedicated hosting service, dedicated server, or managed hosting service is a type of Internet hosting in which the client leases an entireserver not shared with anyone else.
Disaster RecoveryDisaster recovery (DR) involves a set of policies and procedures to enable the recovery or continuation of vital technology infrastructure and systems following a natural or human-induced disaster. Disaster recovery focuses on the IT or technology systems supporting critical business functions, as opposed to business continuity, which involves keeping all essential aspects of a business functioning despite significant disruptive events. Disaster recovery is therefore a subset of business continuity
DowntimeThe term downtime is used to refer to periods when a system is unavailable. Downtime or outage duration refers to a period of time that a system fails to provide or perform its primary function. Reliability, availability, recovery, and unavailability are related concepts. The unavailability is the proportion of a time-span that a system is unavailable or offline. This is usually a result of the system failing to function because of an unplanned event, or because of routine maintenance (a planned event).
Dual CoreDual-core refers to a CPU that includes two complete execution cores per physical processor. It has combined two processors and their caches and cache controllers onto a single integrated circuit(silicon chip).
EFMEthernet in the first mile (EFM) refers to using one of the Ethernet family of computer network protocols between a telecommunications company and a customer’s premises. From the customer’s point of view it is their “first” mile, although from the access network’s point of view it is known as the “last mile”. A working group of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) produced the standards known as IEEE 802.3ah-2004, which were later included in the overall standard IEEE 802.3-2008. Although it is often used for businesses, it can also be known as Ethernet to the Home (ETTH). One family of standards known as EPON uses a passive optical network.
Ethernet Leased LineA leased line is a private bidirectional or symmetric telecommunications line between two or more locations provided in exchange for a monthly rent. Sometimes known as a private circuit or data line in the UK.
Fibre OpticFiber optic (or “optical fiber”) refers to the medium and the technology associated with the transmission of information as light impulses along a glass or plastic wire or fiber. Fiber optic wire carries much more information than conventional copper wire and is far less subject to electromagnetic interference. Most telephone company long-distance lines are now fiber optic.
FirewallA firewall is a network security system, either hardware- or software-based, that controls incoming and outgoing network traffic based on a set of rules.
FTTCFiber is terminated in a street cabinet, typically within 1,000 feet (300 m), within range for high-bandwidth copper technologies such as wired ethernetor IEEE 1901 power line networking and wireless Wi-Fi technology. FTTC is occasionally ambiguously called FTTP (fiber-to-the-pole), leading to confusion with the distinct fiber-to-the-premises system.
FTTP(fiber-to-the-premises): This term is used either as a blanket term for both FTTH and FTTB, or where the fiber network includes both homes and small businesses.
GBA gigabyte (GB) is a measure of computer data storage capacity that is roughly equivalent to 1 billion bytes.
Gbps(1)When spelled Gbps, short for Gigabits per second, a data transfer speed measurement for high-speed networks such asGigabit Ethernet. When used to describe data transfer rates, a gigabit equals 1,000,000,000 bits.
(2) When spelled GBps, short for Gigabytes per second.
HardwareIn information technology, hardware is the physical aspect of computers, telecommunications, and other devices. The term arose as a way to distinguish the “box” and the electronic circuitry and components of a computer from the program you put in it to make it do things. The program came to be known as the software.
HDDIn a personal computer, a hard disk drive (HDD) is the mechanism that controls the positioning, reading, and writing of the hard disk, which furnishes the largest amount of data storage for the PC. Although the hard disk drive (often shortened to “hard drive”) and the hard disk are not the same thing, they are packaged as a unit and so either term is sometimes used to refer to the whole unit.
InfrastructureInfrastructure is a collection of physical or virtual resources that supports an overall IT environment: server, storage and network components.
IP AddressAn Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a numerical label assigned to each device (e.g., computer, printer) participating in a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. An IP address serves two principal functions: host or network interface identification and location addressing. Its role has been characterized as follows: “A name indicates what we seek. An address indicates where it is. A route indicates how to get there.”
ISOISO, founded in 1947, is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies from some 100 countries, with one standards body representing each member country. According to ISO, “ISO” is not an abbreviation. It is a word, derived from the Greek isos, meaning “equal”.
LANA local area network (LAN) is a group of computers and associated devices that share a common communications line or wireless link to a server. Typically, a LAN encompasses computers and peripherals connected to a server within a small geographic area such as an office building or home. Computers and other mobile devices can share resources such as a printer or network storage.
Leased LineA leased line is a private bidirectional or symmetric telecommunications line between two or more locations provided in exchange for a monthly rent. Sometimes known as a private circuit or data line in the UK.
LinuxIs a Unix-like and mostly POSIX-compliant computer operating system (OS) assembled under the model of free and open-source software development and distribution.
MBThe megabyte is a multiple of the unit byte for digital information. Its recommended unit symbol is MB, but sometimes MByte is used. The unit prefix mega is a multiplier of 1000000 (106) in the International System of Units (SI). Therefore, one megabyte is one million bytes of information. This definition has been incorporated into the International System of Quantities.
MbThe megabit is a multiple of the unit bit for digital information. The prefix mega (symbol M) is defined in the International System of Units (SI) as a multiplier of 106 (1 million), and therefore
1 megabit = 106bits = 1000000bits = 1000 kilobits.
The megabit has the unit symbol Mb or Mbit.
MbpsMbps is not to be confused with MBps (megabytes per second). Also see Kilo, mega, giga, tera, peta, and all that.
Mbps stands for millions of bits per second or megabits per second and is a measure of bandwidth (the total information flow over a given time) on a telecommunications medium.
NASNetwork-attached storage (NAS) is a file-level computer data storage server connected to a computer network providing data access to a heterogeneous group of clients. NAS is specialized for serving files either by its hardware, software, or configuration. It is often manufactured as a computer appliance – a purpose-built specialized computer. NAS systems are networked appliances which contain one or more storage drives, often arranged into logical, redundant storage containers or RAID.
N+1N+1 redundancy is a form of resilience that ensures system availability in the event of component failure. Components (N) have at least one independent backup component (+1). The level of resilience is referred to as active/passive or standby as backup components do not actively participate within the system during normal operation. The level of transparency (disruption to system availability) during failover is dependent on a specific solution, though degradation to system resilience will occur during failover.
OSAn operating system (OS) is system software that manages computer hardware and software resources and provides common services for computer programs. The operating system is a component of the system software in a computer system. Application programs usually require an operating system to function.
ProcessorA processor is the logic circuitry that responds to and processes the basic instructions that drive a computer. Often referred to as CPU.
PortOn computer and telecommunication devices, a port (noun) is generally a specific place for being physically connected to some other device, usually with a socket and plug of some kind. Typically, a personal computer is provided with one or more serialports and usually one parallel port. The serial port supports sequential, one bit-at-a-time transmission to peripheral devices such as scanners and the parallel port supports multiple-bit-at-a-time transmission to devices such as printers.
Quad CoreA quad-core processor is a chip with four independent units called cores that read and execute central processing unit (CPU) instructions such as add, move data, and branch.
RAIDRAID (redundant array of independent disks; originally redundant array of inexpensive disks) provides a way of storing the same data in different places (thus, redundantly) on multiple hard disks (though not all RAID levels provide redundancy). By placing data on multiple disks, input/output (I/O) operations can overlap in a balanced way, improving performance. Since multiple disks increase the mean time between failures (MTBF), storing data redundantly also increases fault tolerance.
RAMRAM (random access memory) is the place in a computer where the operating system, application programs, and data in current use are kept so that they can be quickly reached by the computer’s processor. RAM is much faster to read from and write to than the other kinds of storage in a computer, the hard disk, floppy disk, and CD-ROM.
Redundant(1) Redundant – The term redundant can describe computer or network system components, such as fans, hard disk drives, servers, operating systems, switches and telecommunication links that are installed to back up primary resources in case they fail. A well-known example of a redundant system is the redundant array of independent disks (RAID).
(2) Redundant data can protect a storage array against data loss in the event of a hard disk failure.
SDD(solid-state drive or solid-state disk) is a nonvolatile storage device that stores persistent data on solid-state flash memory.
Server FarmA server farm or server cluster is a collection of computer servers – usually maintained by an organization to supply server functionality far beyond the capability of a single machine. Often referred to as a data centre.
SLAA service-level agreement (SLA) is a part of a standardized service contract where a service is formally defined. Particular aspects of the service – scope, quality, responsibilities – are agreed between the service provider and the service user. A common feature of an SLA is a contracted delivery time (of the service or performance)
SoftwareSoftware is a general term for the various kinds of programs used to operate computers and related devices.
SwitchesIn a telecommunications network, a switch is a device that channels incoming data from any of multiple input ports to the specific output port that will take the data toward its intended destination. In the traditional circuit-switched telephone network, one or more switches are used to set up a dedicated though temporary connection or circuit for an exchange between two or more parties.
UptimeUptime is a measure of the time a machine, typically a computer, has been working and available. Uptime is the opposite of downtime.
UptimeWide area network (WAN) is a telecommunications network or computer network that extends over a large geographical distance. Wide area networks often are established with leased telecommunication circuits.
Business, education and government entities use wide area networks to relay data among staff, students, clients, buyers, and suppliers from various geographical locations. In essence, this mode of telecommunication allows a business to effectively carry out its daily function regardless of location. The Internet may be considered a WAN.
VirtualisationVirtualization is the creation of a virtual (rather than actual) version of something, such as an operating system, a server, a storage device or network resources.
Virtual ServerOn the Internet, a virtual server is a server (computer and various server programs) at someone else’s location that is shared by multiple Web site owners so that each owner can use and administer it as though they had complete control of the server.
VLANA virtual LAN (VLAN) abstracts the idea of the LAN; A VLAN might comprise a subset of the ports on a single switch or subsets of ports on multiple switches. By default, systems on one VLAN don’t see the traffic associated with systems on other VLANs on the same network.
VMWareVMware is a virtualization and cloud computing software provider for x86-compatible computers.