Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
A ADC (Application Delivery Controllers)

Application Delivery controllers (ADC) mean to accelerate application delivery for asymmetrical connections and applications, such as customers accessing a corporate e-commerce site. ADCs focus on optimizing the server-side experience using techniques such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) offload, static caching, and load balancing to mitigate spikes in the traffic and improve the end user experience.

APM (Application Performance Management)

APM (Application Performance Management) refers to the discipline that focuses on monitoring and managing the performance and service availability of software applications. APM can be defined as process and use of related IT tools to detect, diagnose, remedy and report application’s performance to ensure that it meets end-users’ and businesses’ expectations. Application performance relates to how fast transactions are completed or information is delivered to the end user via a particular network, application and/or Web services infrastructure.

APO (Application Performance Objective)

Application performance objective. APO is made of a set of parameters that define the business criticality, the characteristics and the performance objectives of an application. APOs are used by the Ipanema system to automatically control application flows and to measure and report the obtained performance through the AQS (application quality score) composite metric.

Application acceleration

Application acceleration, or WAN acceleration, aims at reducing the response time of bandwidth hungry applications and applications using protocols that are sensitive to delay because of their chattiness (e.g. Microsoft CIFS protocol). Application acceleration makes possible to use such application with a good QoE (Quality of Experience) over long distance networks, enabling IT scenario like Datacenter consolidation.

Application performance brownout

An application performance brownout (in contrast to a blackout) is when a service degrades below the normal service definition but does not entirely break. In an application performance brownout, the response time of an application is considered to go above the threshold where the user can achieve a productive use of the application.

Applications SLA

An application service-level agreement (SLA) is a contract between a network service provider and a customer where the performance objectives are expressed using Quality of Experience (QoE) indicators including Mean Opinion Score (MOS) for voice and video services and Application Quality Score (AQS) for data services.

AQS (Application Quality Score®)

AQS (Application Quality Score®) is a composite KPI that applies for data applications. Scores typically range from 0 to 10, directly rating the application quality delivered by the network. This is particularly valuable for business critical applications (ERP, CRM, videoconference, etc.). It can be seen as the extension of the Mean Opinion Score (MOS) defined by the ITU for voice.

Asymmetric routing

Asymmetric routing is a situation where packets of a same bi-directional connection use a different route for each communication way.

Autonomic computing

Autonomic Computing aim is to develop computer systems capable of self-management, to overcome the growing complexity of computing systems management. Autonomic computing refers to the self-managing characteristics of distributed computing resources, adapting to unpredictable changes whilst hiding intrinsic complexity to operators and users. An autonomic computing framework might be seen composed by Autonomic Components (AC) interacting with each other.

Autonomic networking

Autonomic Networking aims to create self-managing networks to overcome the rapidly growing complexity of the Internet and other networks and to enable their further growth. Since 1999, Ipanema Technologies pionnered Autonomic Networking for enterprise’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) with a real-time distributed architecture that is self-configured and self-healing. Autonomic Networking enables Objective-based Management of the delivered performance, simplifying dramatically traffic management operations.

B Business critical applications

A business-critical application is an application that is essential in the enterprise’s business process. It is critical in a sense that if it become unavailable or if its performance degrades, the impact on the business productivity is significant.

  B.I. (Business Intelligence)

Business Intelligence (BI) is the set of techniques and tools for the transformation of raw data into meaningful and useful information for business analysis purposes. BI technologies are capable of handling large amounts of unstructured data to help identify, develop and otherwise create new strategic business opportunities. The goal of BI is to allow for the easy interpretation of these large volumes of data. Identifying new opportunities and implementing an effective strategy based on insights can provide businesses with a competitive market advantage and long-term stability.

C CE router (Customer Edge router)

CE routers are located at the customer premises and interfaces to a provider edge router (PE).

Change management

Change management is a systematic approach to dealing with changes, both from the perspective of an organization and at the individual level. Change management has at least three different aspects, including: adapting to change, controlling change, and effecting change. A proactive approach to dealing with change is at the core of all three aspects. For an organization, change management means defining and implementing procedures and/or technologies to deal with changes in the business environment and to profit from changing opportunities.

CIFS (Common Internet File System)

CIFS (Common Internet File System) (also known as SMB) is the communication protocol used by Microsoft Windows operating system to enable servers and workstations to share access among files, printers and other equipment within a network.

Cloud computing

Gartner defines Cloud computing as “A style of Computing where scalable and elastic IT capabilities are provided as a service to multiple customers using Internet technologies”.

COBIT (Control Objectives for Information and related Technology)

A framework for IT governance, Control Objectives for Information and related Technology (COBIT) provides good practices across a domain and process framework and presents activities in a manageable and logical structure. COBIT’s good practices represent the consensus of experts. They are strongly focused more on control, less on execution. These practices will help optimise IT-enabled investments, ensure service delivery and provide a measure against which to judge when things do go wrong.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

A CRM is an integrated information system that is used to plan, schedule and control customers oriented activities. CRM embraces all aspects of dealing with prospects and customers, including the call center, sales force, marketing, technical support and field services. CRM aims to customer’s satisfaction and enterprise’s operations efficiency. CRM vendors include: Amdocs, Microsoft, Oracle, SAGE and SAP. CRM is also offered in software as a service (SaaS) mode by service providers like Salesforce.com, Rightnow and SugarCRM.

D Data center consolidation

Data centre consolidation aims to concentrate application servers and software in a small number data centers to achieve cost savings, standardize IT and facilitate application maintenance. This approach involves planning, optimization, and physical migration of systems and facilities. One of the main challenge of Data center cosolidation is to maintain a good Quality of Experience (QoE) and service availability for application users that work from remote branch offices.

Data compression

In computer science and information theory, data compression or source coding is the process of encoding information using fewer bits (or other information-bearing units) than an unencoded representation would use through use of specific encoding schemes. One of the most famous loss-less compression algorithm is the Lempel-Ziv (LZ) compression method.

Desktop virtualization

Desktop virtualization (or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) is a server-centric computing model that borrows from the traditional thin-client model and is designed to give system administrators the ability to host and centrally manage desktop virtual machines in the data center while giving end users a full PC desktop experience.

Disaster recovery

Disaster recovery is the process, policies and procedures related to preparing for recovery or continuation of technology infrastructure critical to an organization after a natural or human-induced disaster.

DPI (Deep Packet Inspection)

Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) is the act of any IP network equipment using any field other than the layer 3 destination IP address. This is performed as the packet passes an inspection point, searching for layer 4 and above information (e.g. the URI for HTTP protocol). In the context of WAN optimization and Application Performance Management (APM), DPI searches more specifically for protocol signatures and application or resource identification information. In the context of security, DPI searches more specifically protocol non-compliance, viruses, spam, intrusions information.

E ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)

An ERP is a software based integrated information system that serves all departments within an enterprise in an integrated manner. Examples of activities include: Product lifecycle management, Supply chain management, Warehouse Management, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Sales Order Processing, Financials, Human Resources, and Decision Support System. ERP vendors include: Oracle, SAGE, SAP, Microsoft Dynamics and SSA Global Technologies.

F Frame relay

Frame relay is a data transmission technique used to send digital information. Data packets, called frames, are passed from one start-point to one destination via a series of intermediate node points. Network providers commonly implement Frame Relay for voice and data to interconnext local area networks (LANs) over a wide area network (WAN). Very popular in the 1990s, Frame Relay is progressively replaced by MPLS, VPN and dedicated broadband services such as cable modem and DSL.

H HSRP(Hot Stand-by Router Protocol)

HSRP is a Cisco proprietary redundancy protocol for establishing a fault-tolerant dual router architecture. The protocol establishes a framework between network routers in order to achieve default gateway failover if the primary gateway becomes inaccessible.

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is the set of rules for transferring files on the Web. As soon as a user opens its Web browser, she is indirectly making use of HTTP. HTTP is an application protocol that runs on top of the TCP/IP suite of protocols.

HTTPS

Initially developed by Netscape, HTTPS (HTTP over SSL or HTTP Secure) is the use of Secure Socket Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) under regular HTTP application layering. HTTPS encrypts and decrypts user page requests as well as the pages that are returned by the Web server.

Hybrid Networking

Hybrid networking consists of the simultaneous usage of networks of different nature (e.g. MPLS + Internet) to interconnect enterprise’s remote sites and data centers. Hybrid networking aims at improving application performance and availability, get easier access to remote offices and decrease network costs.

I IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

IaaS stands for “Infrastructure as a Service”. It is a form of server hosting that includes network access, routing services and storage. The IaaS provider will generally provide the hardware and administrative services needed to store applications and a platform for running applications. Among many others, well known IaaS offerings encompass Amazon EC2, Rackspace and IBM Cloudburst.

IPSec (Internet Protocol Security)

Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) is a protocol suite for securing Internet Protocol (IP) communications by authenticating and encrypting each IP packet of a data stream. IPsec includes protocols for establishing mutual authentication between agents at the beginning of the session and negotiation of cryptographic keys to be used during the session. IPsec can be used to protect data flows between a pair of hosts (e.g. computer users or servers), between a pair of security gateways (e.g. routers or firewalls), or between a security gateway and a host.

IPT (IP Telephony)

IP Telephony (IPT) describes the use of Voice over IP (VoIP) in the context of a full IP voice communication system in contrast to the simple IP interconnection of traditional voice communication systems.

IT infrastructure

In information technology and on the Internet, IT infrastructure refers to the equipments used to interconnect computers and users. IT Infrastructure includes the transmission media, including telephone lines, cable television lines, satellites and antennas, as well as routers, aggregators, repeaters, and other devices that control transmission paths. IT Infrastructure also includes the software used to send, receive, and manage the signals that are transmitted.

ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library)

ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is a widely accepted approach to IT service management (technologies, services, development and operations). It provides a cohesive set of best practice guidance drawn from the public and private sectors across the world.

L LAN (Local Area Network)

Local area network (LAN) is made of a group of computers and devices that share a common communications line or wireless link. Typically, connected devices share the resources of a single processor or server within a small geographic area (for example, within an office building). Usually, the server has applications and data storage that are shared in common by multiple computer users.

M MAPI (Messaging Application Programming Interface)

MAPI is a messaging architecture and API for Microsoft Windows. While MAPI is designed to be independent of the protocol, it is usually used with MAPI/RPC, the proprietary protocol that Microsoft Outlook uses to communicate with Microsoft Exchange.

MOS (Mean Opinion Score)

In voice communication (e.g. Internet telephony) Mean Opinion Score (MOS) provides a numerical indication (between 1 and 5) of the perceived quality of the human speech received after being transmitted and eventually compressed using codecs.

MPLS (Multi Protocol Label Switching)

Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) is a mechanism used in high-performance telecommunications networks which directs and carries data from one network node to the next. MPLS makes it easy to create “virtual links” between distant nodes. It can encapsulate packets of various network protocols in Label Switched Path (LSP) between two MPLS nodes like P (Provider equipment) or PE (Provider Edge equipment). MPLS is widely used by Telecom operators (TELCOs) to provide enterprise IP/VPN services.

N Network SLA

A network service-level agreement (SLA) is a contract between a network service provider and a customer that specifies, usually in measurable terms, what services the network service provider will furnish. It defines service availability (outage, mean time to repair or MTTR…), change management (time to apply a change) and performance objectives typically expressed using network level indicators such as link bandwidth, delay, loss and jitter.

Network visibility

Network visibility refers to the ability to capture statistics from network flows and to determine how the network performs, how it is used by the applications and how the applications are performing over it.

NFV (Network Functions Virtualization)

Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) is a network architecture concept that proposes using IT virtualization related technologies, to virtualize entire classes of network node functions into building blocks that may be connected, or chained, together to create communication services.

NFV relies upon, but differs from, traditional server virtualization techniques such as those used in enterprise IT. A virtualized network function, or VNF, may consist of one or more virtual machines running different software and processes, on top of industry standard high volume servers, switches and storage, or even cloud computing infrastructure, instead of having custom hardware appliances for each network function.

For example, a virtualized session border controller function could be deployed to protect a network without the typical cost and complexity of obtaining and installing physical units. Other examples of NFV include virtualized load balancers, firewalls, intrusion detection devices and WAN accelerators.

O Orchestration

“Orchestration describes the automated arrangement, coordination, and management of complex computer systems, and by extension networking systems.

This usage of orchestration is often discussed in the context of service oriented architecture, virtualization, provisioning, Converged Infrastructure and dynamic datacenter topics. Orchestration in this sense is about aligning the business request with the applications, data, and infrastructure. It defines the policies and service levels through automated workflows, provisioning, and change management. This creates an application-aligned infrastructure that can be scaled up or down based on the needs of each application. Orchestration also provides centralized management of the resource pool, including billing, metering, and chargeback for consumption. For example, orchestration reduces the time and effort for deploying multiple instances of a single application. And as the requirement for more resources or a new application is triggered, automated tools now can perform tasks which, previously, could only be done by multiple administrators operating on their individual pieces of the physical stack.”

Q QoE (Quality of Experience)

Quality of Experience (QoE), some times also known as “Quality of User Experience,” is a subjective measure of a customer’s experiences with a service or an application. It looks at a the offering from the standpoint of the customer or end user, and asks, “What is essential in providing you with the experience you desired and/or expected?”. When applied to telephony, QoE can be measure with the Mean Opinion Score (MOS). When applied to other applications, QoE can be measured using response times or Application Quality Scores (AQS).

QoS (Quality of Service)

In the field of computer networking and other packet-switched telecommunication networks, the term Quality of Service (QoS) refers to resource reservation or priorization control mechanisms. Quality of service is the ability to provide different priority to different applications, users, or data flows, or to guarantee a certain level of performance to a data flow. For example, a required bit rate, delay, jitter, packet dropping probability and/or bit error rate may be guaranteed.

P PaaS (Platform as a Service)

PaaS stands for “Platform as a Service”. Among many others, well known PaaS offerings encompass MicroSoft Azure and Force.com.

PE router

PE routers belong to an MPLS network architecture and are located at the edge of a provider network. They interface to CE routers on the customer side and to other PE routers or specialized core routers (often called P routers) on the backbone network side.

R ROI (Return On Investment)

ROI evaluates the efficiency of an investment. To calculate ROI, the benefit (return) of an investment is divided by the cost of the investment; the result is expressed as a percentage or a ratio.

Router

A network device that forwards packets from one network to another. Based on internal routing tables, routers read each incoming packet and decide how to forward it. The destination address in the packets determines which line (interface) outgoing packets are directed to. In large-scale enterprise routers, the current traffic load, congestion, line costs and other factors determine which line to forward to. Usually working with Internet Protocol (IP) a router operates at the level 3 of the OSI model.

RTT (Round-Trip Time)

The total time required for a packet to traverse a network to its destination and back again.

S SaaS (Software as a Service)

SaaS stands for “Software as a Service”. Among many others, well known SaaS offerings encompass Google Apps, MS Office 365 and Salesforce.com.

SDN (Software-Defined Networking)

“Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is an approach to networking that allows to manage network services through abstraction of lower level functionality. This is done by decoupling the system that makes decisions about where traffic is sent (the control plane) from the underlying systems that forward traffic to the selected destination (the data plane).

SDN requires some method for the control plane to communicate with the data plane. One such mechanism, OpenFlow, is often misunderstood to be equivalent to SDN, but other mechanisms could also fit into the concept”

SLA (Service Level Agreement)

A SLA is a contract between a service provider and a customer that specifies (if possible measurable terms) what performance the service provider commits to furnish. SLA defines breach conditions as well as their consequences (usually financial penalties).

SMB (Server Message Block)

CIFS (Common Internet File System) (also known as SMB) is the communication protocol used by Microsoft Windows operating system to enable servers and workstations to share access among files, printers and other equipment within a network.

SSL (Secured Socket Layer)

SSL stands for Secured Socket Layer. It is a commonly-used protocol for managing the security of data transmission on the Internet. SSL has recently been succeeded by Transport Layer Security (TLS), which is based on SSL.

Switch

A Switch (network switch) is an hardware device that joins multiple computers together within one local area network (LAN). Technically, network switches operate at layer two (Data Link Layer) of the OSI model, using usually Ethernet connectivity.

T TCO (Total Cost of Ownership)

TCO is a financial estimate to determine direct and indirect costs of a product or system. A TCO analysis includes the cost of acquisition and operating costs.

TCP (Transmission Control Protocol)

Connection-oriented transport layer protocol that provides reliable full-duplex data transmission. TCP is used to support most of data transfer applications.

Telepresence

Telepresence refers to a set of technologies or services which allow remote people to get a live, face-to-face communication experience and feel as if they were present in a same meeting room. Telepresence is today considered as an extension of videoconference.

TLS (Transport Layer Security)

Transport Layer Security (TLS) is a protocol that ensures privacy between communicating applications and their users on the Internet. When a server and client communicate, TLS ensures that no third party may eavesdrop or tamper. TLS is the successor to the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

Traffic Management

Traffic Management is the action of organizing the traffic and the network in a proactive fashion rather than letting non-deterministic protocol like TCP/IP decide about the network’s resources utilization.

U UC (Unified Communications)

Unified Communications is the integration of real-time communication services such as instant messaging (chat), presence information, telephony, video conferencing, data sharing and speech recognition with non-real-time communication services such as unified messaging (integrated voicemail, e-mail, SMS and fax).

UDP (User Datagram Protocol)

Connectionless transport layer protocol in the TCP/IP protocol stack. UDP is a simple protocol that exchanges datagrams without acknowledgments or guaranteed delivery, requiring that error processing and retransmission be handled by other protocols. UDP is used to support most of real-time transfer application like voice and video.

V VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure)

Desktop virtualization (or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) is a server-centric computing model that borrows from the traditional thin-client model and is designed to give system administrators the ability to host and centrally manage desktop virtual machines in the data center while giving end users a full PC desktop experience.

Videoconference

Videoconference is a set of interactive telecommunication technologies or services which allows two or more locations to interact via two-way video and audio transmissions simultaneously. It has also been called visual collaboration and is a type of groupware. It differs from videophone in that it is designed to serve a conference rather than individuals.

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a general term for a family of transmission technologies for delivery of voice communications over IP networks such as the Internet, VPNs or other packet-switched networks.

VPN (Virtual Private Network)

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) aims at creating a private scope of computer communications over a shared infrastructure. The links between nodes are formed over logical connections or virtual circuits between hosts of a larger network, such as IPSec tunnel over the Internet or Label Switched Path (LSP) in case of MPLS shared infrastucture.

W WAFS (Wide-area File Services)

Wide-area File Services (WAFS) is a storage technology that makes the access to a remote data center across a wide area network (WAN) feel as though it were local. WAN optimization, caching and file access acceleration are essential elements of WAFS.

WAN (Wide Area Network)

A Wide Area Network (WAN) is a geographically dispersed telecommunications network. It distinguishes a broader telecommunication structure from a local area network (LAN). A wide area network may be privately owned or rented, but the term usually connotes the inclusion of shared network infrastructure. An intermediate form of network in terms of geography is a Metropolitan Area Network (MAN).

WAN acceleration

Application acceleration, or WAN acceleration, aims at reducing the response time of bandwidth hungry applications and applications using protocols that are sensitive to delay because of their chattiness (e.g. Microsoft CIFS protocol). Application acceleration makes possible to use such application with a good QoE (Quality of Experience) over long distance networks, enabling IT scenario like Datacenter consolidation.

WAN Governance

WAN Governance is the meeting of WAN optimization and application performance management with IT governance. WAN Governance enables looking at the global enterprise network from a business angle, rather than as a collection of technical objects, one of the new challenges faced by every IT head. WAN Governance enables enterprises to manage their WAN coherently and predictably, aligning the network to the needs of the business.

WAN Optimization

See WAN Acceleration

WOC (WAN Optimization Controllers)

WOC stands for WAN Optimization Controllers. A WOC is an appliance that optimizes bandwidth to improve the end user’s experience on a wide area network (WAN). WOCs offer compression and disk caching and further optimizes the WAN link by accounting for known problems with common network protocols such as Common Internet File System (CIFS).

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