Word of the Day - GURU advisor

Cross Platform

The term Cross Platform describes those products or systems that work properly on different platforms or operating systems. Synonyms of Cross Platform are Multiplatform and Platform Indipendent.

Cloud DR


The term Cloud DR identifies these backup and restore strategies applied to IT infrastructures, which include the use of the Cloud as repository for additional copies, thus guaranteeing the complete availability for the restore procedures in case of failover.

Scareware


The term Scareware defines a category of harmful software that misleads users to visit infected Web sites. Usually it appears as a pop-up window or a fake Web page warning the user about the presence of PC infections and providing one (or more) links to visit in order to remove the supposed infection. The main goal of scareware is to steal personal information from the victim.

Service Desk


The term Service Desk defines, in general, the communication service made available by a company providing services to its own clients. Service Desk corresponds to SPOC (Single Point of Contact) between a provider and its own users, suppliers and partners, provides information and manages warnings about faults and issues.

SLA


SLA stands for Service Level Agreement and identifies the contractual tools which define service and intervention metrics that must be respected by a provider when assisting a client. An example of SLA is intervention time in case of needing, per failure typology and period of the year (week-ends, night, holidays, etc..). In this context the use of dedicated PSA software is suggested.

PSA


PSA stands for Professional Service Automation Software and defines a family of platforms for the management and control of duties and resources, also including scheduling and time-tracking capabilities. They also include several features about archiving management, notification (more on the administrative side rather than technical) and invoicing.

Patch Management


The term Patch Management defines that class of software used to check and distribute patches and updates to one or more administered computers. Such platforms help to monitor the update status of the machines, can send alerts, select certain updates for every specific case and, when needed, force installations.

RMM

RMM stands for Remote Monitoring and Management and defines the set of software that can be used to control and monitor IT infrastructures, also remotely. This set of tool helps to collect information and keep under control hardware and software assets of a certain client (for instance, in a MSP context), and includes tools for remote control and monitoring with automated notification system.

Outsourcing


Outsourcing is a practice used by companies in which a third party is enrolled to perform certain activities related to the main business. In the IT world, this approach can help to reduce costs and improve efficiency in those situations where the making of an on-premises infrastructure require more resources than the ones available.

Workstation

 

Workstation is the basic IT entity inside a company or organization. For instance, in a MSP context, a workstation (being it a computer workstation,a server or a mobile device) is fundamental in order to determine the support plan, the size of the company and related prices.

AlphaGo

 

AlphaGo is a software developed by Google DeepMind in order to play Go, the board game, and it’s the first software to beat a human on a standard-dimension “gaming field” and with equal conditions. Apart from the gaming side, the project AlphaGo (started in 2014) belongs to a wider research project about deep learning techniques applied to a computer.

Command Language


The term Command Language defines computer-interpreted languages, which request a command-line structure. Languages of this kind are usually interpreted on-the-fly and doesn’t require compiling. A term of comparison might be MS-DOS prompt with respect to the C language: the former can be used “live”, the latter requires an adequate compiling before being executed.

Cloning


In the IT world, the term cloning refers to the process where a perfect copy of a digital entity is created, like a disk image, a softwares’ copy, and so forth, and making the copy indistinguishable from the original. One of the most useful applications of cloning is data and operating systems (that can be started in a completely transparent manner on the destination host) transfer on different hardware supports, with the aid of dedicated software for the creation of images.

Apache Spark

 

Apache Spark is an open source framework developed by AMPlab and then donated to the Apache Foundation. It’s used for data analysis and it’s part of a wider set of tools that includes Apache Hadoop and the Hadoop Distributed File System. One of the main applications is in the implementation of Artificial Intelligence, specifically for automated learning algorithms, thanks to the speed of data transfer and consultation.
The available version is 1.6.0 (beginning of 2016), actually.

USE method

The USE method is a system analysis strategy used to perform a complete check of the health state of the system (which is not necessarily an IT system) and identify bottlenecks or misbehaviours. This method, formalized by Brendan Gregg, is the acronym of Utilization, Saturation and Errors.
The USE method is based on the creation of a checklist of resources to check in a precise and structured manner so that efficiency of diagnostics operations can be maximized.

VPS

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server and defines a virtual machine offered with an “as-a-Service” approach by an hosting provider. In the Cloud sphere, a VPS is an useful solution for online services without the burden of an on-premises server, be it physical or virtual, including its configuration and management.
In practice it’s a instance or an operating system, commonly a Linux distro, with a dedicated virtual hardware and a Web control interface available to the user.

According to computational needs, available VPS in the market can be either very cheap (a few euros a month) or extremely expensive.

iDRAC

Integrated Dell Remote Access Controller is the management console for Dell servers.
Like HP’s iLO, it’s a remote control interface with dedicated resources and network port (albeit the latter is not dedicated in every case) used to access to the server also when it’s powered off. Management console is accessible both from the Web and from the command line.

At the moment the most recent version is iDRAC 8.

HP iLO

 

integrated Lights-Out is the proprietary management software integrated onto HP, now HP Enterprise, servers. The presence of iLO on HPE servers allows for a complete control of the server: it can power on, power off and reset it as well as offering a basic configuration set and check on the hardware status.
iLO is usually installed on a dedicated chipset equipped with a dedicated management network port, which works out of band and can be used to connect to iLO also if the server is powered off. The Advanced configuration panel offers a console for the visualization of the “virtual” screen and for the usage of virtual media to hook ISO images. The main management interface is available via Web, but some basic configurations can be performed during the boot phase of the server itself.

The current version of iLO is v4.

FLOPS

FLOPS stands for Floating Point Operations Per Second and defines the number of floating point operations that a computer can perform in a second. IBM defined FLOPS as “the method used to code real numbers within the finite precision limit of a computer”.
Using a floating point, extremely large numbers can be represented inside a computer’s registries.

In modern IT, in particular in the field of super-computers and GPU computing, FLOPS, calculated in Tera FLOPS, are the reference unit used for the definition of computing performance.

FSB

FSB stands for Front Side Bus, the bus (a bus is a communication channel) that transports data from the CPU and the northbridge. The northbridge is the part of the chipset that manages “quick” peripherals like RAM and AGP or PCI-express channels; in practice, FSSB physically connects RAM memory with the processor.
CPU’s working frequency is calculated by multiplying the Front Side Bus frequency times an internal multiplicator factor.

BGP

BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) is a routing information exchanging protocol between gateways called “edge routers” which connects Autonomous Systems. This protocol can also be used by routers inside an AS, but in this case it’s known as IBGP (internal BGP).
BGP is based on IP networks tables (aka routing tables) which provide information about reachability of networks of different Autonomous Systems: BGP is based on path-vector and routing decisions are taken according to the policies of each network.
Current version is BGP-4.

AAA

AAA stands for Authentication, Authorization and Accounting and defines a software protocol, or a collection of protocols, that implements some users authentication, authorization and accounting capabilities inside, for instance, of a company network infrastructure. These elements are fundamental in order to control access to resources and to possible classified information, and to produce reports.
Notable examples are Radius, Diameter and TACACS +.

Autonomous system (AS)

In a networking context, an Autonomous System (AS) is a set of routers and networks working under control of a single and well-defined administrative unit (for instance, a Provider).
In a local context, a company’s internal network can be defined as an AS, and on a global scale geographical WANs can be considered as AS managed by a provider. In this scenario, two kinds of routers exist: internal routers exchanging information about the creation of routing tables, and edge routers which communicate with other Autonomous Systems.

Each AS is globally identified by a 16 or 32 bits ID, in practice a block of public IP addresses.

CMOS

CMOS stands for Complementary Metal-Oxyde Semiconductor, a technology about the production of transistors with semiconductors. Transistors are the key element of modern micro-processors and, in general, of most micro-chips. Semiconductors usually used are made of silicon and germanium, which are specifically crafted in order to control the electricity flow across them.
Main limits of the usage of semiconductors of this kind are the temperature increase related to the frequency and the physical limits reached as the production process grows smaller.

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