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Glossary of Terms

Bandwidth
The amount of data that can be sent over a network, essentially the transmission capacity of an electronic pathway.

Co-location
A service usually provided by Internet service providers (ISPs) for their customers. Companies place some of their networking equipment, such as their web servers, off site at the ISP or telecom's data center, for added security and to provide faster connections to the Internet.

Content delivery network (CDN)
A network optimized to deliver web site content geographically closer to users, making downloads of media and software much quicker, and accelerating online applications.

Data center
A facility used to house mission critical computer systems and associated components. A data center usually includes environmental controls (air conditioning, fire extinguishers, etc.), redundant/backup power supplies, redundant Internet connections and a high level of security.

Dedicated hosting
A type of Internet hosting where the client leases an entire server not shared with anyone. This is more flexible than shared hosting, as organizations have full control over the server(s), including choice of operating system, hardware, etc. Server administration can usually be provided by the hosting company as an add-on service. A dedicated server can offer less overhead and a larger ROI. Dedicated servers are most often housed in data centers or co-location facilities, providing redundant power sources, etc. In contrast to co-location services, a dedicated hosting provider also offers system administration and owns the server equipment itself.

Disaster recovery
A plan for a business to restart operations after a disaster to avoid data loss.
Hosting
Hosting (also known as web site hosting or web hosting) is the business of housing, providing a server, and maintaining files for one or more web sites.

HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air-conditioning - or climate control)
These three functions are closely linked as they control the temperature and humidity of the air within a building in addition to providing for smoke control, maintaining pressure relationships between spaces, and providing fresh air for occupants. In modern buildings, the design, installation and control systems of these functions are integrated into a single "HVAC" system.

Internet backbone
Was originally the central network that linked all the parts of the Internet together. The term is now used as a loose term to describe the "core" of any Internet network.

Internet infrastructure
The phrase encompasses all things businesses need to function on the Internet, be it dedicated servers or data centers and the Internet connections, power, air conditioning, etc that that entails.

Latency
A delay. A time delay between the moment something is initiated and the moment its first effect begins. A low-latency network sees very little delay in the time one computer connects to another on that network.

Managed hosting
An umbrella term for any type of hosting where the Internet company takes the responsibility for the maintenance and running of the server /software. It also means the hosting company offers an array of additional or inclusive features, again all managed by the hosting company or by the customer via a simple interface.

Network Operation Center (NOC)
A central facility for network management. It is a control center for network monitoring, analysis and accounting.

Packet
A piece of a message that is sent over a packet-switching network, which contains the destination address in addition to the data.

Peering
The act of one national Internet backbone provider accepting and passing traffic from another national provider. This is a free exchange which benefits both parties, usually in cost-savings.

POP (Point of Presence)
An access point to the Internet. ISPs typically have multiple POPs that connect its network to other points on its network, as well as the rest of the Internet. A point of presence is a physical location that houses ISP or telecommunication servers, routers, ATM switches and digital/analog call aggregators.

Scalability
The ability to expand or adapt to increased demands.

Scalable bandwidth
The flexibility of bandwidth to handle a large increase in users, workload or transactions without undue strain.

Self-managed dedicated server
Server that is owned and housed by the ISP, but managed solely by the customer

SLA (service level agreement)
A contract between the provider and the user who specifies the level of service that is expected during its term. SLAs are used by vendors and customers as well as internally by IT shops and their end users. They can specify bandwidth availability, response times for routine and ad hoc queries, response time for problem resolution (network down, machine failure, etc.), attitudes and consideration of the technical staff as well as fees for the services.

UPS (uninterruptible power supply)
A device that provides battery backup when the electrical power fails or drops to an unacceptable voltage level. UPS systems can provide power for a few minutes, enough to power down the computer in an orderly manner, or supply enough battery to power a data center for several hours. In mission critical data centers, UPS systems are used for just a few minutes until electrical generators take over. UPS systems can be set up to alert file servers to shut down in an orderly manner when an outage has occurred, and the batteries are running out.

Uptime
The time in which a system is working without failure or interruption.

VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol)
Telephone service that uses the Internet as a global telephone network. Many companies offer calling within the country for a fixed fee and a low per-minute charge for international. Broadband Internet access (cable or DSL) is required, and regular house phones plug into an analog telephone adapter (ATA) provided by the company or purchased from a third party.

Zero packet loss
The ability of a system to send and receive packets without misdirection.