Networking Definitions

This glossary explains the meaning of key words and phrases that information technology (IT) and business professionals use when discussing networking and related software products. You can find additional definitions by visiting WhatIs.com or using the search box below.

  • C

    CSMA/CA (Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Avoidance)

    CSMA/CA (Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Avoidance) is a protocol for carrier transmission in 802.11 networks.

  • CSU/DSU (Channel Service Unit/Data Service Unit)

    A CSU/DSU (Channel Service Unit/Data Service Unit) is a hardware device about the size of an external modem that converts a digital data frame from the communications technology used on a local area network (LAN) into a frame appropriate to a wide-area network (WAN) and vice versa.

  • CTI (computer-telephony integration)

    CTI (computer-telephony integration), or sometimes simply "computer telephony," is the use of computers to manage telephone calls.

  • customer premises equipment (CPE)

    Customer premises equipment (CPE) is telephone or other service provider equipment that is located on the customer's premises (physical location) rather than on the provider's premises or in between.

  • cycles per second (CPS)

    Cps (cycles per second) is the measure of how frequently an alternating current changes direction.

  • cyclic redundancy checking

    Cyclic redundancy checking is a method of checking for errors in data that has been transmitted on a communications link.

  • D

    D-channel

    In the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), the D-channel is the channel that carries control and signalling information.

  • daisy chain

    A daisy chain is an interconnection of computer devices, peripherals, or network nodes in series, one after another. It is the computer equivalent of a series electrical circuit.

  • dark fiber

    Dark fiber is optical fiber infrastructure (cabling and repeaters) that is currently in place but is not being used.

  • darknet

    A darknet is a routed allocation of IP address space that is not discoverable by any usual means.

  • DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency)

    DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is the independent research branch of the U.S. Department of Defense that funded a project that in time was to lead to the creation of the Internet.

  • DARPANET

    DARPANET (or DARPANet) is a term sometimes used for the ARPANET, the early network from which today's Internet evolved.

  • data center interconnect (DCI)

    Data center interconnect (DCI) is a segment of the networking market that focuses on the technology used to link two or more data centers so the facilities can share resources. There are many options for DCI connectivity and selecting the right one depends upon a wide range of variables, including the location of the data centers, the distance between data centers, bandwidth and availability requirements, the capabilities of local service providers and security concerns.

  • data link control (DLC)

    DLC also is an abbreviation for digital loop carrier.

  • data link layer

    The Data-Link Layer is the protocol layer in a program that handles the moving of data in and out across a physical link in a network.

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