Web Hosting Terminology
Apache is one of the more popular web servers that run on a Unix system.
ASP 1. An applicant service provider (ASP) is a company that provides an application (such as Exchange) over the internet to be used by the client.
2. An active server page (ASP) is an HTML page that includes scripts processed on a server before the page is sent to the user. This is similar to a CGI or a server-side include.
ATM Asynchronous transfer mode is a dedicated switching technology that transmits small packets of data using digital switch technology. It is implemented with hardware so it can be done faster than other methods of data transmission.
backbone The backbone of a web hosting company is a set of paths that connect local or regional networks for communication.
bandwidth Bandwidth is a measure of the amount of data transmitted over a measured period of time. For example, it takes longer to download a picture than it does to download text because it required more bandwidth.
broadband Telecommunication that provides multiple channels of data over a single communication medium.
burst In web hosting, burst is when a client suddenly uses more bandwidth than is expected under its contract. Typically, the web hosting company expects this to happen occasionally and has set fees for the client depending on the bandwidth used.
CGI Common Gateway Interface (CGI) is a standard way to pass a user’s request to a web server and to receive data back for the user on an interactive web page. It is not dependent on the type of machine (e.g., Mac or PC) that is being used to request the information.
clustered A group of several servers that share work and may be able to back each other up if one server fails is considered clustered.
collocation More typically spelt ‘co-location’, it is a service whereby a company that owns a server houses it in another company’s data center due to the greater security, stronger backbone or other technological reasons.
database server A database server is specifically configured to run database software. Typically, a company will use a database server combined with other servers to run a powerful web application such as e-commerce.
dedicated A dedicated server is one that a web hosting company has dedicated to a single client. In other words, only one client can access that server and that company’s site is the only one residing on that server.
DNS Domain name system (DNS) is the way internet site names are translated into IP addresses.
domain A domain is a series of network addresses that constitute a site or set of sites.
DSL A digital subscriber line (DSL) is a technology that brings high-bandwidth information to homes and small businesses by using an existing telephone line.
ethernet Ethernet is the most used local area network (LAN) technology. It was originally developed by Xerox and is based on co-axial cables – the same type of cables used by telephone lines.
fault tolerance The ability of a system to respond to unexpected hardware or software failure is its fault tolerance.
file transfer protocol File transfer protocol (FTP) is the simplest way to transfer files between
computers over the internet. It is an application protocol that uses TCP/IP protocols and is typically used to upload web pages to a server or to download software from a site to a user’s own computer.
firewall A firewall is a program or set of programs that protects a private network from outsiders. For example, a company’s intranet would be made unavailable to outsiders using a firewall.
Flash Created by Macromedia, Flash is a program used to created animation on a web page that can stream to a user.
FrontPage A web site development tool created by Microsoft, FrontPage is designed for optimal performance on Windows NT servers. Also used by many do-it-yourselfers to create amateur looking web sites.
FTP File transfer protocol (FTP) is the simplest way to transfer files between computers over the internet. It is an application protocol that uses TCP/IP protocols and is typically used to upload web pages to a server or to download software from a site to a user’s own computer.
GB A gigabyte is a measure of storage capacity and is roughly a billion bytes. Specifically, it is 230 bytes, which is 1,073,741,824 bytes.
HTTP Hypertext transfer protocol (http) is the set of rules for exchanging files on the world wide web. It is an application protocol.
IDC An internet data center (IDC) is a facility where multiple servers are connected to the internet through a powerful backbone.
index server Index Server is an advanced search engine. Index Server allows for an efficient search of your web site since it is fully customizable and can be set not to require constant re-indexing.
internet data center An internet data center (IDC) is a facility where multiple servers are connected to the internet through a powerful backbone.
internet service provider An internet service provider (ISP) is a company that provides businesses and individuals with access to the internet. Typically, these companies also provide low-level web design tools and web hosting.
IP addresses An IP address identifies each user on the internet with a unique number. Each packet of information sent from a computer has its user’s IP address.
ISDN ISDN is a set of standards that provide users faster access to the internet over standard telephone lines. The user must have a special modem adapted to ISDN as must the ISP.
ISP An internet service provider (ISP) is a company that provides businesses and individuals with access to the internet. Typically, these companies also provide low-level web design tools and web hosting.
LAN A local area network (LAN) is a group of computers that share a common communications line and, typically, share some common resources over a small geography.
Linux Linux is an operating system that is similar to UNIX, but was originally a free system.
load balancing Load balancing divides the amount of work to be done between at least two computers to that the work is done faster and more efficiently.
local area network A local area network (LAN) is a group of computers that share a common
communications line and, typically, share some common resources over a small geography.
log file A log file is a file created for a web site that shows traffic information. Using various software packages, a log file can be used to create reports of who was at the site, how long they stayed there, where they came from and other information.
Mbps Mbps is a measure of bandwidth and stands for megabits per second.
memory Memory is the holding place for instructions while a user is using an application. Often, when referencing memory one is actually referring to random access memory (RAM).
mirroring In order to speed up a web site, the entire site can be copied onto a second server (i.e., mirrored) so that two servers are responding to the incoming requests. The mirrored servers are frequently updated so both have the same information at all times.
MIVA MIVA is a powerful e-commerce software program designed especially for small and medium-sized businesses.
NOC A network operations center (NOC) is a physical place where a telecommunications network is monitored, administrated and maintained.
operating system An operating system (OS) is the computer program that manages all other programs on the machine.
Perl Perl is a programming language used on UNIX systems. It is similar to C.
plug & play Plug and play is the concept that new hardware can be plugged into an existing computer and the computer will recognize the hardware and install it itself.
RAID A redundant array of independent disks (RAID) is a way of storing the same data on multiple disks in order to have redundant copies of that information.
router A router connects at least two networks, and directs packets to the next network point towards its destination.
sendmail A popular, UNIX based system for implementing the simple mail transfer protocol (SMTP) for transmitting email.
shopping cart An internet based system designed to allow an online shopper to collect items and then, when the user is ready, to purchase the chosen items.
SLA A service level agreement (SLA) is a contract between a web hosting company and its client. The SLA defines what services will and will not be provided and what is expected of both parties.
SQL Structured query language (SQL) is a standard language for interacting with a database.
streaming media With streaming media, a user sees a continuous, animated image without having to download a large file. This is achieved by sending the sequence of moving images in small packets that are displayed as they arrive.
TCP/IP Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) is the communication language of the internet.
Transfer rate The transfer rate is the speed at which data can be transferred from one device to another. It is often measured in Mbps (megabytes per second).
UNIX UNIX is an operating system written in C. It originated in 1969 at Bell Labs and was one of the first open systems.
unmanaged An unmanaged server is one where the hosting company is not responsible for monitoring, administrating or fixing the software that runs on the client’s server. The hosting company is only responsible for the hardware.
URL The uniform resource locator (URL) is the address of a file accessible on the world wide web. The file may be a web page, a CGI or any other file supported by HTTP.
web server A program that serves files to users so they can view web pages.
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