There is a lot of jargon about networking and data storage. Use this glossary to help you with anything you are not quite sure you understand.

Wireless and Wired Network Connection

Access Point: (AP):

A device that creates a wireless local area network, or WLAN, within a given space. It connects to a router or switch and projects the wifi signal within the space. Multiple APs can repeat the wifi signal across a large area to ensure an expansive and stable internet connection.

Channel:

The “radio station” for a given Access Point within a WLAN. Access points receive and transmit radio signals to connect with devices that need wireless internet. By setting neighboring APs to different channels, it reduces radio interference and avoids noise or static, as one would get on a radio station that is out of range or on the wrong frequency.

Ethernet cables:

Four sets of twisted copper cables used for networking and internet. Often referred to by their “Category” or speed. A category 5 cable has a bandwidth of 100 Megahertz (MHz), which can support 10 or 100 Megabit per second (Mbps) speed. Cat 5e can support up to 1000 Mbps (Gb) speed. Cat 6 has a bandwidth of 250 MHz and can support 10 Gb speed. The higher speeds are made possible by twisting the cables tighter, reducing the risk of impedance.

Fiber:

Fiber optic cables. Like copper ethernet cabling, fiber is used for networking and internet. Unlike copper, fiber uses light signals rather than electrons to send this information, so it is much faster.

Frequency:

Number of occurrences in a given amount of time. Usually referred to for the ratio of speed to wavelength and is measured in hertz (Hz).

Impedance:

The amount of opposition to an electric current. Generally, one wants to reduce impedance, especially in copper wiring because it slows down the flow of energy.

WLAN:

Wireless local area network. A computer network within a given area (i.e. an office building or school) that connects all computers, printers, servers, switches, and other networking devices, all connected wirelessly.

Networks

DHCP:

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. A tool that allows a server to dynamically assign IP addresses to any and all devices within the network, without having a network administrator do it manually.

DNS:

Domain Name System. A “phonebook” of the internet, which converts websites, domain names, or mac addresses into IP addresses or vice versa.

IP Address:

Internet Protocol address. An assigned “address” for any and all devices on any network- LAN or WAN. It typically takes the form of xxx . xxx . xxx . xxx, where x are integers.

LAN:

Local Area Network. A computer network within a given area (i.e. an office building or school) that connects all computers, printers, servers, switches, and other networking devices.

MAC address:

Media Access Control address. A unique identifier assigned to the network interface controller in a device. This physical address allows one to identify a device in computer networks. Written as six groupings of two hexadecimal digits.

Managed Switch:

A switch that can be set up to a specific configuration, allowing one more control over monitoring the network, including, but not limited to, VLANS, subnets, and sometimes PoE.

Network:

A group of interconnected computers and storage devices.

Ping:

To send a message, especially from one device to another device within the network or from one device out to the internet.

PoE:

Power over Ethernet. A port, device, or system that allows for electrical power to be passed through an ethernet cable to electronic devices.

SAN:

Stands for Storage Area Network. A network which is primarily used for transferring data between storage and devices.

Subnet:

a logical subdivision of a network. It divides a single network into two or more networks, allowing for multiple VLANs.

Switch:

A component of network infrastructure. The switch is attached to multiple ports and is able to rapidly change port connections.

VLAN:

Virtual Local area network. A broadcast domain that partitions a given LAN. This allows for multiple functional and secure groupings within a single LAN.

WAN:

Wide area network. A network that connects multiple LANs. The internet is a WAN.

VoIP:

Voice over internet protocol. A set of rules that makes it possible to use the Internet for telephone or videophone communication.

VPN:

Virtual Private Network. VPNs enable users to securely connect to a private network from a remote location.

Backups, Recovery, and Security

BaaS: 

Backup as a Service. This includes the hardware and software for backups, as well as monitoring , maintenance, security, and support. 

Backup:

Data stored on storage media for recovery purposes if something happens to the original copy.

BDR: 

Backup Data Recovery. Refers to the whole system of the appliance with the hardware and the software to backup, store, monitor, and restore. 

Deduplication:

Replacing copies of data with references back to one reference version.

Disaster recovery:

The recovery of data after it is lost due to deletion or corruption.

Encryption:

Conversion of files to a code which is unreadable without a decryption key.

Retention Management: 

The process of making policies to decide how much data and how long to keep the data stored. It can be as static as 'delete after a certain number of days' or as dynamic as selecting specific backups to keep and incorporating synthetic backup methods. 

RPO:

Stands for Recovery Point Objective. The ideal amount of time that should pass between losing and recovering data in order to save all data. The time depends on your company’s standards and needs.

RTO:

Stands for Recovery Time Objective. The ideal amount of time it should take to restore all data after an outage.

Synthetic Full Backup:

Compares the most recent backup to previous backups. Then, only data of changes are backup up on the storage. Synthetic Full backups reduce the amount of uploaded data, saving you space and time. 

Computer and Server Hardware and Software

CPU:

Central Processing Unit. The electronic circuitry that executes instructions given by a computer program. The “brain” of the computer.

OS:

Operating System. The software that supports a computer's basic functions, such as scheduling tasks, executing applications, and controlling peripherals.

RAM:

Random-access memory. Computer memory that is stored internally, allowing data to be read faster. RAM sizes are in GB increments of , where n is an integer (2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128...). 

Data and Storage

Bit / Byte:

The units to describe a packet of data. A Byte is 8 times as large as a bit.

 

Kilo

Mega

Giga

Tera

bits

(kb) 1000 bits

(Mb) 1000 kb = 1 x 10⁶ bits

(Gb) 1000 Mb = 1 x 10⁹ bits

(Tb) 1000 Gb = 1x 10¹² bits

Bytes

(kB) 1000 bytes

(MB) 1000 kB = 1 x 10⁶ Bytes

(GB) 1000 MB = 1 x 10⁹ Bytes

(TB) 1000 GB = 1x 10¹² Bytes

 

Block:

A unit of data.

Cache:

A hardware or software component meant to hold data for temporary storage or usage.

Cloud storage:

Virtual data storage and related data services accessible over a network.

Cold data:

Data that is not accessed often.

Compute:

The physical hardware for the data storage.

Hard disk drive:

A data storage device using magnetic storage to store and retrieve information written on disks.

Hot data:

Data that is accessed frequently.

Hybrid array:

A storage array with multiple types of storage devices.

I/O:

Stands for Input/Output. The process of moving data from storage to main memory (I) and vice versa (O).

iSCSI:

Stands for Internet Small Computer Systems Interface, a transport protocol that links data storage facilities.

Latency:

The time between making an I/O request and its execution.

Migration:

Data movement between systems or media.

Mirror:

A replica of data that can be accessed independently of the original data.

NAS:

Stands for Network Attached Storage. The storage devices connected to a network.

Solid state drive:

A drive with storage capacity from solid state objects with specific atomic-scale properties.

Terabyte:

1,000,000,000,000 bytes. A terabyte is about equivalent to 1,498 CDs or 130,000 digital photos.

Thin provisioning:

Allocating the capacity of a system as data is written, rather than pre-allocating everything.

Tiered storage:

A storage system that physically allocates data to different media and can dynamically move data between these classes for better performance, availability, or recovery needs.