General networking terms

API (Application Programming Interface)

A software component that allows applications to share data and functionality

CA (Certification Authority)

A trusted entity that issues, signs, and stores digital certificates

CIDR (Classless Inter-Domain Routing)

An Internet Protocol addressing method that improves the efficiency of allocating IP addresses

CLI (Command-line Interface)

A text-based interface for applications and operating systems that allows a user to enter commands

DNS (Domain Name System)

The system by which computers and other devices on the Internet or Internet Protocol networks are uniquely identified using names matched to their IP addresses

Fault tolerance

A system’s ability to continue operating without interruptions in the event of a hardware or software failure

IP address

A unique numerical label assigned to a networked device

IPFIX (Internet Protocol Flow Information Export)

A protocol that standardizes Internet Protocol flow information from networked devices

LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol)

An open, cross platform protocol used to authenticate and store information about users, groups, and applications

MAC (Media Access Control) address

A unique hardware identifier typically assigned by manufacturers to network adapters and devices

OVF (Open Virtualization Format)

An open-source standard for packaging and distributing virtual machines and software applications


A block of data transmitted across a network


Duplicated or alternative network devices and connections meant to serve as a failsafes against the primary service becoming unavailable


A device that forwards or routes data packets to devices on a network


A system or device that provides resources, data, services, or applications to other devices over a network

SSH (Secure Shell Protocol)

A network communication protocol that allows network services to be used securely over an unsecured network

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)

A protocol for establishing secure connections between networked devices


A device that connects devices in a network and allows them to communicate with each other


A standard for message logging that allows a wide variety of networked devices to share the same repositories and management systems

UDP (User Datagram Protocol)

A communication protocol used by applications to send messages to other hosts on an Internet Protocol network via low-latency, loss-tolerating connections

Virtual appliance

A pre-configured virtual machine image with pre-installed software meant to serve a specific function