Glossary

Look up common used abbreviations

A

10/100

An Ethernet port that is capable of operating in bandwidth increments both the 10Mbps and 100Mbps range.

Access

The physical line which delivers COLT services to your premisis.  Access lines use a variety of technologies and physical media including copper lines and fibre optic cables.

Any-to-Any

A data network that allows you to send and receive information to and from any other point on the network.

Availability

A measure of the reliability of a data network, usually expressed as a percentage of time that the network should be up and running.

B

Backbone

The core COLT network over which traffic is aggregated.

Bandwidth

a rate of data transfer, throughput or bit rate, measured in bits per second.

Black List

A basic access control mechanism that allows everyone access to an application or service, except for those on the black list.

BRI

An ISDN line consisting of two 64 kbit/s "bearer" channels and one 16 kbit/s "Delta" channel . The bearer channels are used for voice or user data, and the Delta channel is used for any combination of data, control/signalling and X.25 packet networking.

Business Packs

Special COLT product bundles that combine managed IT services such as Business email and PC Backup with business grade Internet access.

C

Call Analyser

A reporting and analysis tool that enables you to create reports that cover all your billed and rated telephony traffic.

Call Diversion

The ability to redirect telephone calls to an alternative number based on pre determined criteria.

Calling Line Identification

A telephony feature that ransmits a caller's number to the party receiving the call.  Also referred to as 'Caller ID'.

CAPEX

Capital expenditure.  Investment in fixed assets or enhancements to fixed assets that will deliver future revenue or benefits.

Carrier

Communications company that provides local, long distance or value added services.

Carrier Pre-Select

A service where a telephone subscriber has their telephone line provided by one company, can choose to have calls automatically routed across a different telephone company's network without needing to enter a special code or equipment.

Carrier VoIP

Where IP telephony traffic is carried across dedicated a carrier telephony network in native IP.  It eliminates the need for IP telephony users to convert to or from traditional digital or analogue technology.

CLI

Calling Line Identification.  A telephony feature that transmits a caller's number to the party receiving the call.  Also referred to as 'Caller ID'.

Client

An application that accesses a remote service or server on another computer system e.g. A web browser is a client that accesses a web server.

Cloud

A computing technology that can deliver dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources and applications over a shared network (often over the Internet) e.g. COLT Managed Business Email.

COLT Total

A COLT service that provides telephony services and business grade internet access over a single converged connection for greater efficiency and cost saving.

Connectivity

The presence of a data or telephone connection between two points.

Content Filtering

A technique where information such as web traffic is blocked or allowed based on analysis of its content, (rather than its source or other criteria).

Converged

This is where a single service or access is used to carry both telephony and data traffic (such as Internet).

Copper

Refers to traditional telephone lines that use twisted pairs of copper wires.

D

Database

A collection of information organized in such a way that a computer program can quickly select desired pieces of data. You can think of a database as an electronic filing system

Demarcation device

This is a piece of equipment that marks the end of your provider's network.  There are a variety of demarcation devices available, some of which provide features which help management of the service being provided.

DSL

Digital subscriber line.  DSL is used to provide broadband services and can be delivered as an asymmetric (ADSL) service, where upload speed is lower than download speed.  Symmetric services (SDSL) have the same upload and download speeds.

Dual Entry

Where two access lines are delivered in to a building to increase service resilience.

DWDM

Dense Wave Division Multiplexing - a technology used for transmitting high bandwidth signals over fibre optic connections.

E

e-commerce

Short for Electronic Commerce.  Conducting business over the Internet using electronic transactions.

EFM

Ethernet over the First Mile. A relatively new technology for transmitting symmetrical, high bandwidth signals over traditional copper lines using Ethernet.

Enterprise VoIP

Where Voice Over IP is employed to transmit telephony over an internal business network.  Calls to external parties need to be routed over a carrier network, either in native VoIP (where available) or af.

E-PN

Ethernet Private Network - Colt's innovative Ethernet networking service combines the high performance bandwidth of Ethernet with any-to-any networking.

ESCON

Enterprise System Connection.  An IBM fibre optic connection technology for connecting mainframe computers.

Ethernet

A networking technology originally designed for use on LANs but now used for flexible high performance WAN networking.

Ethernet Private Network

Colt's innovative Ethernet networking service combines the high performance bandwidth of Ethernet with any-to-any networking.

Exchange Server

A widely used messaging and collaborative software product developed by Microsoft.

F

Fibre

Short for Fibre Optic.Optical networking for high performance networking.

Fibre Channel

A serial data transfer architecture developed by a consortium of computer and mass storage device manufacturers.

FICON

Short for Fibre Connection, or Fibre Connectivity, IBM’s fibre optic channel technology that extends the capabilities of its previous fibre optic channel standard, ESCON.

Firewall

A system designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network.  Firewalls are frequently used to prevent unauthorized Internet users from accessing private networks connected to the Internet.

Footprint

The area covered by a provider's network.

Freephone

A telephony service where callers can call without paying.  The cost of the call is covered by the receiving party.

G

Gbps

Gigabits per second.  Used to describe the throughput of very high performance networks.

Guaranteed bandwidth

Bandwidth provided to customers that is dedicated for that customer's use without being contended with other users.

H

High Availability

Services that are designed to operate with very few outages.  High availability services are typically described in percentage uptime such as 'four nines' (99.99%) availability.

HTTPS

Short for Secure Sockets Layer, a protocol for securely transmitting private data over a network, usually via the Internet.

Hub-and-Spoke

A networking topology where a number of individual network sites or nodes are connected to a single central switch or hub.

I

ICT

Information and Communication Technology.

IMAP4

Version 4 of the Internet Message Access Protocol that allows an e-mail client to access e-mail on a remote mail server.

IN Geo

A Colt Intelligent Networking service that allows a customer to set up geographic numbers which route to a main number that is in a different location, e.g.. A local phone number in Paris that routes to a call centre located in Britain.

Infrastructure

Capital assets and tools used to deliver ICT services or solutions.

Interactive Voice

A suite of telephony services which allow customers to provide advanced phone services such as IVR or freephone.

Interface

In networking this is used to describe the  wires, plugs and sockets that hardware devices use to communicate with each other.

IP

Internet Protocol.  The technology upon which the Internet operates. IP specifies the format of packets, also called datagrams, and the addressing scheme.  IP is frequently also used in non Internet networking.

IP Access

The name of Colt's Internet access service.

IP PBX

Short for Internet Protocol Private Branch Exchange.An IP based private telephone network used to make and receive telephone calls within a building or enterprise and to route them externally.

IP Voice

Telephony that utilises IP.Also referred to as Voip.

IPX

Short for Internetwork Packet Exchange, a networking protocol used by the Novell NetWare operating systems.

ISDN

Abbreviation of Integrated Services Digital Network, an international communications standard for sending voice, video, and data over digital telephone lines or normal telephone wires. ISDN supports data transfer rates of 64 Kbps.

ISO

International Organization for Standardization.

IT

Information Technology.

ITIL

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library.  A set of concepts and policies for managing Information Technology services, developments and operations.

IVR

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) product, interactive technology that allows customers to access a company’s database via a telephone touchtone keypad or by speech recognition, after which they can service their own enquiries by following the instructions.

J

Jitter

A measure of the variability over time of a piece of information (e.g. a data packet) across a network.  Jitter is a significant consideration in delay sensitive applications such as VoIP.

K

KB

Kilobyte a unit measurement of data storage, equal to 1000 bytes.

L

Label Switch Path

A path established through a MPLS network for transmitting data from one point on the network to another.

LAN

Local Area Network.  A computer network set up over a single office or building.

Latency

The amount of time that it takes for a piece of information to travel from one point on a network to another, usually expressed in milliseconds.

Leased lines

A symmetric communications line connecting two points (also called a Private Circuit' or 'Data Line') which can be used to transmit voice or data traffic.

Load Balancer

A device used to distribute traffic evenly across two or more computers, network connections or other resources in order to get optimal performance.

Logically Separated

Traffic that is separated from each other by networking protocols even though it may pass over the same physical infrastructure or connections.

LSP

Label Switched Path.  A path established through a MPLS network for transmitting data from one point on the network to another.

M

Mail Server

A computer and software used to centrally manage email (and usually collaboration and other messaging applications), accessed via a mail client or web browser for web mail e.g. Microsoft Exchange Server.

Managed Application Services

Hosted applications that customers can subscribe to on a per user basis to reduce costs and increase flexibility.

MAPI

Short for Messaging Application Programming Interface, a system built into Microsoft Windows that enables different e-mail applications to work together to distribute mail.

MB

Megabyte.  A unit measurement of data storage, equivalent to 1,000,000 bytes.

Mbps

Megabits per second. A measurement of data throughput equivalent to 1,000,000 bits per second.

MEF

Metro Ethernet Forum.  A non-profit international industry consortium, dedicated to worldwide adoption of Carrier Ethernet networks and services.

Metro Ethernet Forum

A non-profit international industry consortium, dedicated to worldwide adoption of Carrier Ethernet networks and services.

Middleware

Software that connects two otherwise separate applications and is used to describe separate products that serve as the glue between two applications.

MPLS

Short for Multiprotocol Label Switching.  A networking technology used to deliver private any-to-any networking.

MS Exchange

Microsoft Exchange. A widely used messaging and collaborative software product developed by Microsoft.

MS Office

Microsoft Office.  A suite of desktop productivity applications, including Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

MS Project

A Microsoft application used for project management.

N

Networking

Linking together two or more computer systems.

non-geographic

Telephone numbers that are not associated with a specific geographic area.

O

on-demand

A type of service where features or software are provided to the customer through a network (such as the Internet) as a service.

OPEX

Operational Expenditure.  An on-going cost for running a product, business or system.

Optical network

A telecommunications network that uses light as the transmission medium.

OS

Operating System.  A system that controls the interaction between a computer user and the hardware and software.  Examples include: Microsoft Windows, Linux, Unix Mac OS X.

P

PBX

Private Branch Exchange.  A private telephone network used within a building or company to make and receive telephone calls within an enterprise and to route them externally.

Peering

A relationship between two or more Internet Service Providers in which they create a direct link between each other and agree to forward each other's traffic directly across this link instead of using the standard Internet backbone.

Point-to-Multipoint

Point-to-Multipoint.  A communications network that provides a path from one location to multiple locations.

Point-to-Point

A communications network that provides a path between two fixed locations.

POP3

A version of Post Office Protocol.  A networking standard used to send messages across a network.

Port

An interface on a device (such as a switch or router) to which you can connect a device or network connection.

Premium Rate

Telephone numbers for telephone calls during which services are provided, and for which prices higher than normal are charged to the caller.

Private Networking

A network which is not visible to others who are not included in the network.  Private networks can be established across the Internet, however private networks provided by communications providers offer much greater security, reliability and performance.

Protected

A network connection which uses two or more physical paths through a network to ensure that the service remains in operation even if one of the paths is interrupted.

Protocol

A set of rules which is used by computers to communicate with each other across a network.

PSTN

Public Switched Telephony Network.  A network of the world's traditional switched telephone networks.

PTT

A postal, telegraph, and telephone service - used to describe an incumbent telephone operator that is or was formerly owned by a national government.

R

Real time replication

Where data is written to one database while being virtually simultaneously written to another copy of the same database.

Redundant

A service which has a secondary (or more) backup to ensure continuity should the primary service fails.

Router Based Firewall

A firewall service that resides on a router which sits at a customer's premises.

RPC

Redundant Power Supply.

S

SAN (Storage Area Network)

An architecture to attach remote computer storage devices to servers in such a way that the devices appear as locally attached to the operating system.

Server Virtualisation

the partitioning a physical server into smaller virtual servers, each residing on the same piece of physical equipment.

SDH

Synchronous Digital Hierarchy.  Standardized multiplexing protocols that transfer multiple digital bit streams over optical fibre using lasers or light-emitting diodes.

SDSL

Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line.  A form of DSL broadband where the upload speed is the same as the download speed.

Shared Cost

A telephone calling charge for calling a particular international phone number where the cost of the call is partially, but not entirely, paid for by the recipient.

SharePoint

A collaboration application produced by Microsoft.

SLA

Service Level Agreement.  Details the service and support features that come with your communications services, such at time to repair and availability measurements.

SMTP

Short for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, a protocol for sending e-mail messages between servers.

STM-1

A standard rate of transmission in SDH networks of approximately 155 Mbps.

STM-16

A standard rate of transmission in SDH networks of approximately 2.5Gbps Mbps.

STM-4

A standard rate of transmission in SDH networks of approximately 622 Mbps.

Storage Area Network

An architecture to attach remote computer storage devices to servers in such a way that the devices appear as locally attached to the operating system.

Switch

A computer networking device that connects network segments.

Symmetrical Bandwidth

Bandwidth that is the same in both the upload and download directions.

T

TDM

Time Division Multiplexing - a technology used in traditional digital telephony networks, now being superseded by VoIP.

Telephony

The general use of equipment to provide voice communication.

Topology

the design of the physical  interconnections  the elements of a computer network.  Popular topologies include star (hub and spoke), meshed, tree and bus.

U

ULL

Unbundled Local Loop.  Where a telecommunications provider installs equipment in an incumbent operator's network facilities in order to make use of the local copper access lines.

Unbundled Local Loop

Unbundled Local Loop.  Where a telecommunications provider installs equipment in an incumbent operator's network facilities in order to make use of the local copper access lines.

V

Virtual Server

A server (usually a Web server), that shares computer resources with other virtual servers. It is not a dedicated server as the entire computer is not dedicated to running the server software.

Virtualisation

to create a virtual version of a device or resource, such as a server, storage device or an operating system where the framework divides the resource into one or more separate environments.  Often used to refer to server virtualisation.

Visio

A Microsoft application used for planning and designing complex diagrams such as IT systems and flow charts.

VLAN

Short for Virtual LAN.  A network of computers that behave as if they are connected to the same wire even though they may actually be physically located on different segments of a LAN.

VOIP

Voice over Internet Protocol.A general term for a family of technologies for delivering voice communications over IP networks

W

WAN

Wide Area Network.  A communications network that connects sites across cities, regions or even between countries.

Wave Division Multiplexing

(wavelength-division multiplexing - WDM) is a technology which multiplexes multiple optical carrier signals on a single optical fibre by using different wavelengths (colours) of laser light to carry different signals.

WCA

The World Communication Awards.  The World Communication Awards were established in 1999 and recognise excellence amongst global telecom operators.

WDM

Wavelength-Division Multiplexing.  A technology which multiplexes multiple optical carrier signals on a single optical fibre by using different wavelengths (colours) of laser light to carry different signals.

Web Hosting

A service that allows organizations to make their own website accessible via the World Wide Web.

World Communications Awards

The World Communication Awards were established in 1999 and recognise excellence amongst global telecom operators.

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