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.

  • A

    application delivery controller (ADC)

    An application delivery controller (ADC) is a network component that manages and optimizes how client machines connect to web and enterprise application servers.

  • Application layer

    Sitting at Layer 7 -- the very top of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) communications model -- the application layer provides services for an application program to ensure that effective communication with another application program on a network is possible.

  • application-aware networking (app-ware networking)

    Application-aware networking is the capacity of an intelligent network to maintain current information about applications that connect to it and, as a result, optimize their functioning as well as that of other applications or systems that they control.

  • application-defined networking

    Application-defined networking (ADN) is a networking scenario in which applications have the ability to adapt network environments to meet their needs, rather than having resources allocated by the network.

  • ARCNET

    ARCNET is a widely-installed local area network (LAN) technology that uses a token-bus scheme for managing line sharing among the workstations and other devices connected on the LAN.

  • Arista Extensible Operating System (Arista EOS)

    Extensible Operating System (EOS) is a scalable network operating system (OS) that offers high availability, streamlines maintenance processes, and enhances network security.

  • ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency)

    An agency of the United States Department of Defense, ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency) underwrote development for the precursor of the Internet, known as ARPANET. Initially a modest network of four interconnected university computers, ARPANET's initial purpose was to enable mainly scientific users at the connected institutions to communicate and share resources.

  • ARPANET

    ARPANET was the network that became the basis for the Internet. Based on a concept first published in 1967, ARPANET was developed under the direction of the U.S. Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). In 1969, the idea became a modest reality with the interconnection of four university computers.

  • asymmetric communications

    In telecommunications, the term asymmetric (also asymmetrical or non-symmetrical) refers to any system in which the data speed or quantity differs in one direction as compared with the other direction, averaged over time.

  • asynchronous

    In general, asynchronous (pronounced "ay-SIHN-kro-nuhs," from Greek "asyn," meaning "not with," and "chronos," meaning "time") is an adjective describing objects or events that are not coordinated in time.

  • Asynchronous Pulsed Radiated Incident Light

    Asynchronous Pulsed Radiated Incident Light is a multi-duplicitous communication protocol (MDCP) used to configure wireless local area networks (WLANs) on the fly.

  • ATM (asynchronous transfer mode)

    ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) is a dedicated-connection switching technology that organizes digital data into 53-byte cell units and transmits them over a physical medium using digital signal technology.

  • attenuation

    Attenuation is a general term that refers to any reduction in the strength of a signal.

  • attenuation-to-crosstalk ratio (ACR) or headroom

    Attenuation-to-crosstalk ratio (ACR), also called headroom, is the difference, expressed as a figure in decibels (dB), between the signal attenuation produced by a wire or cable transmission medium and the near-end crosstalk (NEXT).

  • ATU-R (ADSL Terminal Unit - Remote)

    An ATU-R (ADSL Terminal Unit - Remote), sometimes called an "ADSL modem," is a hardware unit that is installed in any computer that uses a telephone company connection with Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) service.

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