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Network Terms to Know

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Aggregation – A method of combining (aggregating) two or more network connections in parallel in order to increase throughput beyond what a single connection could sustain, and to provide redundancy in case one of the connections fails.

Application complexity – A measure of ease/difficulty regarding the quality of a software application in terms of (a) Functionality (b) Reliability (c) Usability (d) Efficiency (e) Maintainability (f) Portability.

Application latency – The time difference between a request packet and its first response packet with data minus the network latency.

Application performance – The measurement of real-world performance and availability of software applications.

Application Performance Management (APM) – The monitoring and management of software applications performance and availability.

Application Virtualization – The separation of the installation of an application from the underlying operating system on which it is executed. Application virtualization is layered on top of other virtualization technologies, allowing computing resources to be distributed dynamically in real-time. From the user’s perspective, the application works just like it would if it resided on the user’s device.

Capacity Planning – The planning of a network factoring utilization, availability, bandwidth, and other network capacity constraints.

Data Center Consolidation – The reduction of the size of a single facility, or merger of one or more facilities in order to reduce the IT footprint and overall operating costs.

Dependency Mapping – The process of tracking and establishing the dependencies and relationships between IT components.

Dropped Packets – The condition when one or more packets of data traversing a computer network fail to reach their destination.

End User Experience – The overall interaction and level of satisfaction between an end user accessing and using a software application.

Filtering – The overall interaction and level of satisfaction between an end user accessing a software application and the application itself.

Hybrid Cloud – A mix of on-premise private cloud, and third-party public cloud services, with orchestration between the two platforms.

Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) – A software-defined IT infrastructure that virtualizes all of the elements of conventional ‘hardware-defined’ systems. HCI includes, at a minimum, virtualized computing (a hypervisor), a virtualized SAN (software-defined storage), and virtualized networking (software-defined networking). HCI typically runs on commodity hardware that can scale out by adding more nodes into the deployment.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) – Online services that provide virtualized computing resources over the Internet.

Jitter – The variation in the delay of received packets.

Load Balancing – The distribution of workloads across multiple computing resources to optimize resource use, minimize response time, maximize throughput, and avoid overload of any single resource.

Metadata – Data that describes or provides information about other data.

Microsegmentation – A security technique of creating secure zones in a data center where resources are isolated from one another so if a breach occurs, the damage is minimized.

Migration to Azure – The migration of workloads and applications to Microsoft Azure, a comprehensive set of open, enterprise-grade, cloud computing services.

Mean Opinion Score (MOS) – A measure of voice quality that provides a numerical indication of the perceived quality of the media received ranging from 1 to 5, with 1 being the worst.

Multi-Cloud Strategy – The use of two or more cloud computing services to minimize the risk of downtime or widespread data loss due to a localized component failure.

Multi-Segment Analysis (MSA) – A process that allows you to locate, visualize, and analyze one or more network flows as they traverse several capture points on your network from end-to-end. MSA provides visibility and analysis of application flows across multiple network segments, including network delay, packet loss, and retransmissions.

Netflow – A feature that was introduced by Cisco for collecting IP network traffic information and monitoring network traffic as it enters or exits an interface.

Network Performance Management (NPM) – The techniques used to monitor and manage the performance and availability of a computer network.

Network transaction – Stream of data traveling across a network (for example, from one LAN station to another). Multiple flows can be transmitted on a single circuit.

Network Utilization – The amount of network traffic compared to the maximum traffic that a network can support, generally specified as a percentage.

Network Virtualization – The process of combining software and hardware network resources, and network functionality to create a single pool of resources that make up a virtual network.

Network Visibility Framework (NVF) – A framework that breaks down the network role into simple layers, namely a data layer, a message layer, and a visibility layer. The NVF could help explain how multiple product vendors work together in a cohesive and collaborative way to deliver value-added solutions.

Non-volatile memory express (NVMe) – A host controller interface and storage protocol designed to accelerate the transfer of information between enterprise and client systems and solid-state drives (SSDs) attached via a PCI Express (PCIe) bus.

Packet loss – A condition that occurs when one or more packets of data traversing a computer network fail to reach their destination. Typically caused by network congestion, packet loss is generally measured as a percentage of packets lost compared to packets sent.

Public cloud – A type of cloud computing where services such as servers, data storage, and applications are provided by a cloud service provider and are accessible over a public network such as the Internet.

Private Cloud – A type of cloud computing that uses a secure cloud based environment operated solely for single organization.

Resource Optimization – The methods and processes used to match the available resources with the needs and goals of an organization.

R-factor – A measure of VoIP quality in IP networks ranging from 0 to 100, with 100 being ‘high quality.’ Any R-Factor less than 50 is not acceptable.

Software-defined networking (SDN) – An approach to cloud computing that enables cloud and network engineers, and administrators to respond quickly to the changing needs of a business via a centralized control console.

Server Virtualization – The partitioning of a physical server into smaller virtual servers, so that it appears as several ‘virtual servers,’ each of which can run their own copy of an operating system.

SSL Decryption – The ability to decrypt, inspect, and then re-encrypt SSL-encrypted traffic before it is sent to its destination. SSL is the industry standard for transmitting secure data over the Internet.

TCP Quality of Service – A family of Internet standards that provides the ability to give preferential treatment to selected network traffic over various technologies.

Virtualization – The creation of software-based virtual machines that can run multiple operating systems from a single physical machine.

Virtual Machine (Guest VM) – The ‘guest’ component of a virtual machine (VM), an independent instance of an operating system (guest operating system) installed and running on the VM.

Visibility-as-a-Service (VaaS) – A broad concept that enables IT organizations to access network traffic across their entire infrastructure on demand, whether it resides in the cloud, remote office, campus, or data center.

VLAN – Virtual LAN. A group of logical devices on one or more LANs grouped together and configured to communicate as if they were attached to the same wire, when in fact they are from a number of different LAN segments.

VoFi – Voice over WiFi. A technology that merges Voice over IP (VoIP) over WiFi wireless networks.

VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol. A technology for delivering voice communications and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol networks, such as the Internet.

WAN – Wide Area Network. A communications network or computer network that extends over a large geographic area such as cites, states, or countries.

WLAN Wireless Local Area Network. A wireless computer network that links two or more devices using high-frequency radio waves within a limited area, and often includes an access point to the Internet.