Information Technology Glossary

AD

Active Directory is a directory service implemented by Microsoft for Windows domain networks. It is included in most Windows Server operating systems. An AD domain controller authenticates and authorizes all users and computers in a Windows domain network—assigning and enforcing security policies for all computers and installing or updating software.

BIOS

Basic Input Output System is a very low level software that is built into all computer hardware. The purposes of the BIOS are to initialize and test the system hardware components and to load an operating system.

BSOD

Blue Screen of Death is a stop error created by Microsoft Windows when the system encounters a critical error that does not allow it to keep running. These errors are usually hardware, update or driver related and contain codes which indicate the area where the error has occurred.

CAT5

Category 5 cable is a twisted pair cable used to carry signals over a computer network such as Ethernet. The standard cable provides performance up to Gigabit Speeds.

CAT6

Category 6 cable is a twisted pair cable used to carry signals over a computer network such as Ethernet. The standard cable provides performance up to Gigabit Speeds and out performs its predecessor CAT5.

DB

Database is and organized collection of data. The information is organized in such a way that it can be rapidly and easily accessed on demand by applications.

DHCP

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol is a network protocol used to configure devices that are connected to a network so they can communicate on that network using Internet Protocol. The DHCP server maintains a database of available IP addresses and configuration information. When the server receives a request from a client, the DHCP server determines the network to which the DHCP client is connected, and then allocates an IP address or prefix that is appropriate for the client, and sends configuration information appropriate for that client.

Display Port

Display Port is a digital display interface. The interface is primarily used to connect a video source to a display device such as a computer monitor, though it can also be used to transmit audio, USB, and other forms of data.

DNS

Domain Name System is a distributed naming system for computers connected to the internet. It translates easily memorized domain names to the numerical IP addresses needed for the purposes of locating a computer worldwide.

Device Driver

A computer program that operates or controls a particular type of device that is attached to a computer. Drivers are frequently associated with printers and video cards. These types of peripherals usually require a device driver to perform correctly. The driver software acts as a translator between a hardware device and an operating system.

DVI

Digital Visual Interface is a video display interface. It is used to connect a video source to a display device such as a computer monitor. It can support higher resolutions than VGA its predecessor.

EOL

End of Life is a term used when a device or software program has reached an age when it is no longer supported by the manufacturer. This generally means that device or software is no longer sold or supported and that no further updates will be released for the product.

Exchange

Mail Server, Calendaring software, and contact manager developed by Microsoft.

Firewall

A software or hardware-based network security system that controls incoming and outgoing network traffic. Rules can be set that determine whether data should be allowed through or not. This is a basic level of network security.

GB

Gigabyte 1 gigabyte is 1000000000 bytes. The unit symbol for the gigabyte is GB.

GUI

Graphical User Interface is a type of interface that allows users to interact with electronic devices using images rather than text commands. The actions are usually performed by direct manipulation of the graphical elements.

HDMI

High Definition Multimedia Interface is an audio/video cable used for transferring uncompressed video data and digital audio from an HDMI source to a compatible monitor or other device.

IE

Internet Explorer is a series of web browsers developed by Microsoft and bundled with all Microsoft Operating systems.

IM

Instant Messaging is a type of online chat which offers real time text transmission over the internet.

IMAP

Internet Message Access Protocol is a software protocol that allows an email client to access email on a remote mail server.

IP

Internet Protocol address is a numerical label assigned to each device in a computer network. It serves 2 main purposes, host identification and location addressing. They are usually displayed as numbers such as 192.168.51.10.

ISP

Internet Service Provider is a business or organization that offers users access to the internet for a monthly fee. Many ISP but not all are telecommunications providers.

KB

Knowledge base is a special database for knowledge management. Commonly used in IT to document the process of how to fix common issues so that information can be shared.

KB

Kilobyte 1 Kilobyte is 1000 bytes. The unit symbol for the Kilobyte is KB.

LAN

Local Area Network is a computer network that interconnects computers in a limited area such as a business or other location.

LCD

Liquid Crystal Display is a flat panel display that uses the light modulating properties of liquid crystals. Liquid Crystals do not emit light directly. LCD displays are more energy efficient than CRT monitors and can be disposed of easier.

LED

LED displays are a flat panel display that uses light emitting diodes as a video display. They are energy efficient, and have brighter truer colors than their LCD counterpart.

MB

Megabyte 1 Megabyte is 1000000 bytes. The unit symbol for the Megabyte is MB.

MS

Microsoft is a leading manufacturer of software and operating systems for businesses.

NAT

Network Address Translation is the process of modifying IP addresses while in transit across a traffic routing device such as a firewall or switch. Basic NATs can be used to interconnect two IP networks that have incompatible addressing.

NFS

Network File System is a file system protocol that allows a user on a client computer to access files over a network in a similar manner to how local storage is accessed.

PoE

Power Over Ethernet is when electrical power along with data is passed over the same connecting cable. This also allows for long cable lengths.

POP3

Post Office Protocol is an application protocol used by local email clients to retrieve email from an email server of the internet. It is an older protocol that allows for simple email and little else.

Proc

Processor is the hardware component within a computer that carries out the instructions of a computer program by performing the basic arithmetical, logical, and other operations of the system.

RAID

Redundant Array of Independent Disks is a storage technology that combines multiple disk drives into a logical unit. Data is distributed across the drives and arranged for maximum levels of redundancy and performance. There are several different levels of RAID depending on your specific computing needs.

RAM

Random Access Memory – is a hardware component in computers that allows stored data to be accessed directly in any random order.

RDP

Remote Desktop Protocol – is a protocol developed by Microsoft which provides a user with a graphical interface to connect to another computer over a network connection. Commonly known as remote control.

SaaS

Software As A Service – is a software delivery model in which software and associated data are centrally hosted on the cloud, and users pay a monthly fee to access it.

SAN

Storage Area Network – is a dedicated network that provides access to consolidated data storage. SANs are usually hardware disk arrays connected to the servers via fiber or other high speed connection for fast local access of data.

SAS

Serial Attached SCSI drives are specialized server hard drives that use a specific protocol to move data on servers at high speeds. They generally spin at 10K or 15K speeds and are more reliable than their SATA counterparts.

SATA

Serial ATA is a type of hard disk. They generally spin at 5400 or 7200 RPMs, and offer high volume low cost storage. They are not as reliable as SAS drives, and for this reason are rarely used in servers.

SMTP

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol – is an internet standard for email transmission across IP networks.

SNMP

Simple Network Management Protocol – is a protocol for managing devices on an IP network. It is most commonly used in network management to monitor network attached devices for conditions that need attention.

SQL

Structured Query Language – is a special purpose programming language designed for managing data in a database. Microsoft has an SQL database software program that is commonly used in businesses.

SSD

Solid State Drive – This is a new type of hard drive that has no spinning disks. It uses integrated circuit assemblies as memory to store data persistently. Because there are no spinning disks data can be accessed very rapidly, and they tend to be durable because they have no moving parts.

SSL

Secure Socket Layer – is a cryptographic protocol that provides secure communication over the internet.

Switch

A computer networking device that links network segments or network devices. The term commonly refers to a multi-port hardware device that routes data over the network.

TB

Terabyte 1 Terabyte is 1000000000000 bytes. The unit symbol for the Terabyte is TB.

USB

Universal Serial Bus – an industry standard connection cable used for communication between computers and peripheral devices of all kinds.

VGA

Video Graphics Array – This is the standard connection cable for analog displays. It is still commonly used, but has been replaced by DVI, HDMI and display port which can carry digital high definition signals.

VM

Virtual Machine – is a software implemented abstraction of the underlying hardware, which is presented to the application layer of the system. Virtual machines may be based on specifications of a hypothetical computer or emulate the computer architecture and functions of a real world computer.

VPN

Virtual Private Network – extends a private network across a public network such as the internet. It is commonly used to access internal network resources from a remote location.

WAN

Wide Area Network – This is generally a network that covers a broad area. Data can be transmitted over long distances and over different LANS.

WLAN

A wireless network that links two or more devices using a wireless distribution technology, and provides access to the internet via an access point of some kind.

WWAN

A wireless network that uses cellular technology to access the internet. These are also commonly known as hot spots or mobile broad band.