Networking is the glue that holds everything together. From the early days of passing information between computers to the development of the modern Internet, things have advanced significantly. It is difficult to imagine a household, never mind a business, without the ability to pass data from one device to another!
Simply put, servers are really powerful computers that are given the task of supplying data and/or services to many users. With a concentration of services and data in one point, it's easier to both manage and protect your core business IT components.
Software used to actively detect and remove anything it considers to be a threat to your security. Traditionally, this was called antivirus but there are many more threats now than simply viruses and this term better addresses that. Examples of antimalware would be Sophos, Bitdefender and Eset.
A specific antimalware component designed to analyse threats based on patterns of behaviour rather than working from a set virus definition source. Examples here would be detecting if a file or files got encrypted and if the style of behaviour was uncharacteristic of the system where it happened. This software should allow an instant message to alert the user, stop the action in its tracks and allow a rollback of the changes that happened.
Antispam can be software or a packaged service to reduce the amount of unsolicited emails your business receives. This is a very serious threat nowadays with the increase of malicious material being sent due to the fact it has been monetised and is used to fund some criminal organisations.
Auto Failover Connection
A connection or connected device that allows your business to automatically revert to another connection should your main connection go down. This is an incredibly powerful feature if uptime is key to your business.
A process whereby your business data, services or functions are protected by being replicated to another device or location. Should your business experience any loss whether that be by criminal activity, negligence or just a simple mistake, a backup can be restored to bring your feature back.
A way of operating an IT business where you wait for your customer to call and report problems and then get paid to fix them. Arguably, this business model thrives and chaos and failure because the more time you spend fixing problem - the more money you make.
BYOD (Bring You Own Device)
As mobile technology has become more of a consumable thing, more personal devices have started to appear on business networks. By adopting a BYOD policy you are recognising that this might be a reality in your business but you are protecting yourself as a business from what dangers might lurk in allowing unmanaged devices to connect.
Cloud is a term used to describe storage of data or use of services using the Internet. The cloud can exist in many forms beyond your four walls but is essentially a massive collection of servers and network infrastructure that is all interconnected. The reason the word cloud is used is because in the early days of network engineering, it seemed like the best way to describe the massive gray area of devices that existed outside their control. Rather than showing the complexities of this in various ways, they settled on a simple diagram of a cloud like structure to represent everything outside of their area of network responsibility.
As you might well imagine, with is a term used to describe any backup you are utilising over the cloud. Many companies have packaged up such services into software that offers to store a copy your data somewhere far away from your business for disaster recovery purposes. Ultimately, your data would end up being on somebody else's server in a remote location so due diligence is required before you choose a supplier.
Cloud security is usually antimalware or security services that can be controlled from a web server rather than a fixed location onsite. This provides you with the ability to control one or multiple devices from a control panel that is delivered as a website so it's easily available to you.
In a similar way to cloud backups, this provides you with the option to store your data in its primary form in the cloud. It differs from cloud backups in that you are using the cloud as you main storage rather than as a system for hosting a second copy (or backup). Services like Dropbox and Box.com offer this as well as built in features for backups and retaining previous versions of your files. Ultimately, your data would end up being on somebody else's server in a remote location so due diligence is required before you choose a supplier.
This is when you have your own IT equipment but you choose to locate it in somebody else's premises. This is particularly useful for business that suffer with poor connections onsite but have a lot of remote workers dialling in to share resources. It also helps with compliance in some respects because you could choose to home your server in a high security data centre which would also provide incredibly fast links in to your resources.
Despite not being an official term, this is something Stability and some other companies used to describe something between using in house IT staff and outsourcing. We have many customers that combine us with their own internal IT teams so this is the best way to describe that style of service offering in our opinion.
A dashboard is a central point where you collect data to make decisions based on what you want to achieve. Much like the dashboard in a car, you would also use a dashboard to adjust settings if the data you are getting is not on target with your intensions. An example of a dashboard would be our operations centre dashboard where we collect all our critical customer alerts and make real-time graphs. If somebody's backup sends a fail alert we know to then assign a technician to that call with a high priority. Another example would be with Microsoft Excel when you have multiple sheets with data all reporting back to a central dashboard so you can summarise your data to keep track of key performance indicators (KPIs).
A data centre is usually a building containing a secure room or rooms that facilitate the operation of multiple cloud servers and services. When we talk about cloud computing, the actually physical location of the servers are ordinarily in a data centre. Data centres are typically located where there is availability of high speed connections and things like redundant power sources to maintain high levels of uptime.
This is a system used to map names to IP addresses so that resources online can be easily identifiable to people. Without DNS, websites would simply be a series of numbers which would make the Internet a much less user friendly resource.
DR (Disaster Recovery)
DR is a combination of services and processes that allow you to strategically think about how your business would continue under certain scenarios. Examples here would be loss of a server due to failure, vandalism of a site or virus infection. Stepping through this can often help to save businesses that are unfortunate enough to suffer and the more detail put into the planning of this, - the better.
Encryption is when you scramble the contents of your files or computer equipment so it's garbled to the naked eye. The system can decrypt the contents if you have a copy of the key to unlock the process. There are varying levels of encryption (making the system harder to break) and it is something that can be applied at various levels from individual files to entire systems.
In the same way you can host a server in the cloud, you can also choose to host your computers. This allows you to have an entire computer profile (so settings and data). This means no matter which device you use to connect, you always get the same computer experience and makes your computer available over the Internet. This is especially popular when used in conjunction with thin clients which means reducing cost and overhead of your onsite infrastructure.
Traditionally, you would host your server onsite and all your computers would connect using your local network (LAN). Nowadays with improved Internet connection speeds, you can choose to host your servers in the cloud which reduces your onsite cost and dependency. It's not always the best way to do things which is why you need to explore all the positives and negatives of hosting servers in the cloud. Benefits are to share higher speeds which suits your business if you have a lot of mobile users and better physical security depending on how good the data centre your supplier is using is.
This term is used to describe a set of services that are delivered using both onsite and cloud solutions. This is often the best form of delivery as it allows you to benefit from the best of both worlds, ie high speed delivery of services whilst retaining ownership of your data.
IAAS (Infrastructure As A Service)
IaaS is an element of cloud computing used to describe when a service provider is offering full infrastructure services that are delivered through the cloud. This could be a business that is having servers, desktops and antimalware all hosted from a single supplier without having anything other than end client devices (ie laptops or tablets). This allows full distribution of a computer network and shared facilities to a single point for a fixed monthly fee.
This is a term used to describe how a business adopts, delivers and controls the IT strategy as part of the business plan.
LAN (Local Area Network)
Your LAN is all of your connected devices within your physical premises. Anything beyond your four walls is usually outside your LAN and will usually have a completely different network address.
Anything we refer to as being legacy will usually mean it's either really old or is no longer recognised or supported as a current product of the developer.
A lockdown policy is a set of rules assigned to a system to restrict access or flow of data for security purposes. This can also be applied for efficiency purposes as it removes certain features from a network that can cause unnecessary use of resources.
In the realm of IT suppliers, a managed service is a way of delivering the service to meet targets for a fixed monthly fee. The traditional mode of operation for IT suppliers was break-fix which relied on a call from a customer to report problems after they had happened. Managed services offer a more strategic way of dealing with problems by reducing risk and addressing things based on automated alerting systems. They key difference is that break-fix is a reactive service whereas a managed services is pro-active.
This is a very broad term used to describe the connection between computing devices to share information. This is the core to pretty much all of today's technology including cloud and the Internet itself.
NGN (Next Generation Networks)
A next generation network is the ability to combine the many components and complexities of a network into a single manageable entity. A good way to describe this would be a network that not only offers, but separates the use of different connections and delivers to both phones, business users and guests. Network administrators can implement BYOD policy over this technology safe in the knowledge that they can easily reduce the risk and maintain the performance to the business side of the network.
Office 365 is the new way of delivering Microsoft's Office software and email as part of a monthly subscription. Microsoft still currently offer a traditional pay per license model too.
OS (Operating System)
An operating system is the software that allows all of the hardware components in a computing device to interact and provide a user with a way to use it. Examples for operating systems are Microsoft Windows and Mac OSx (ie Yosemite or El Capitan).
A process whereby a business decides to use external contractors or consultants to fulfil internal roles and responsibilities. The most popular forms of business to business outsourcing are services like finance, IT and HR.
This is a process whereby businesses that hold customer payment details are required to complete a checklist to ensure they meet a minimum Elements. The relevance to IT is that your infrastructure must be secure and must pass periodic tests in order to maintain a "PCI compliant" status.
A penetration test is when you agree for somebody to try and break into your network or hosted resources to provide you with a weakness report. This methodology differs from firm to firm but will usually mean a launching a number of simulated attacks to put your network to the test. The report that they then present to you will outline all the key threats your network is susceptible to.
A term used to describe how you secure the physical surroundings of your key IT equipment. This can often be a server room which would usually have an access system, sufficient locks and CCTV. This can also include things like an environmental monitor to produce alerts based on temperature or moisture too.
Remote assistance is when you obtain support from a remote operator who will access your computer or device using remote access software. This allows you to get help from your supplier despite being geographically separated - all you need to ensure if that you have Internet connectivity.
SAAS (Software As A Service)
SaaS is when you pay monthly for use of a software package that is delivered over the Internet. Rather than paying a fixed amount for a installation DVD or download and installation it, you pay the subscription and access the software that is hosted in the cloud.
SAN (Storage Area Network)
A SAN is a device or devices that combine to provide you with a mass storage device for your servers, services and data. A SAN will usually be connected to a host or a server via a high speed connection to provide a fast and secure storage area for your network.
SIP is a facility to allow phone systems to communicate over a dedicated section of network traffic. This allows a tunnel (or trunk) to be made in which SIP communications can occur and so provides a virtual area in which the phone communications can happen. SIP technology is replacing a lot of the traditional ISDN lines and gives businesses with the facility of using existing connections to handle phone traffic as well as data.
SLA (Service Level Agreement)
An SLA is document that contains the commitments and key deliverables of a business to business service based relationship. An SLA will be signed by representatives of both businesses and will usually specify a review date and expiry. An SLA will usually be combined with terms and conditions of business and forms the legal side of the relationship.
A thin client is a stripped down computer that relies on a connection up to a bigger computer or server to actually fulfil its role. Thin clients are a way to reduce cost overhead as they are cheaper and less prone to failure - meaning less support costs. A thin client would typically connect to a cloud service that provided a remote desktop. A thin client is incredibly flexible and is a good way to facilitate a hot desk office environment.
VPN (Virtual Private Network)
A VPN is a secure tunnel created to transfer data between points on over the Internet. Business usually have two kinds of VPNs. A site to site VPN is when two physical offices are connected over the Internet to allow the secure sharing of data and resources between sites. Mobile VPN is when an individual connects in to the office to share resources at the office.
This is the business network outside of your immediate physical premises (ie outside your "four-walls"). If your business had a LAN in one location and another LAN elsewhere, they could be connected by a VPN and would then both form the business WAN. When discussing your business network, the LAN is everything inside an individual premises whereas the WAN would encompass all the sites that were interconnected.
A website has to exist in a physical location in one way shape or form. Website hosting is a service that provides you with a location for your website to exist. Websites are hosted on servers in the cloud and it is typically a service your web developer or IT support company would offer.
WLAN is the wireless portion of your internal network or LAN. WLAN represents everything your LAN would apart from the fact it's wireless as opposed to a physical wire.
About Stability IT
We are a technician led company who understand business. We specialise in providing IT services - it's the heart and soul of our business. We don't offer these IT services as a "foot in the door" or "add-on" to expand our revenue stream. These services are provided as part of packages which we have developed to provide our customers with exactly what they need in the most efficient delivery method. We also provide on demand (pay per hour) services to make sure we can adapt to any customer IT requirement and budget.
We are built by reputation, not by a sales team.