Glossary of IT Terms

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Access Control/ACL

Method of restricting access to a service. Access control can be used to manage access from various levels such as network, system, application and file. Authentication is typically required first.



(Access Control List)

A list of names which controls access privileges a user has to a particular area of service in a system.


Active Directory(AD)

 A Windows based directory service used to manage permissions and user access to various network resources.


 A collection of files that are used to free space for the hard disk (storage device). This term can also describe a collection of historical records, as well as the place where they are stored; a Digital Archive.


Method of verifying the identity of the individual or system trying to gain access to a service. An example of authentication used at Marist College is CAS (Central Authentication Service).


Giving an individual or system access to a service based on authentication of their identity.

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An integrated system used in higher educational that includes modules for business functions such as Student, Financial, Human Resource and Alumni.  

Blade Center

A rack-mounted piece of equipment that holds multiple thin electronic circuit boards. These boards are known as Blade Servers.

Blade Server

A specialized server that is installed in a Blade Center.


(Web Log)

An online personal journal.

Business Continuity

The preparation and testing of procedures that protect business processes, also provides the necessary measures to recover technology.

Business Intelligence

Software that has been created to analyze business data in order to understand their strengths and weaknesses.

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High speed memory that improves computer performance by storing data.


(Central Authentication Service)

A single sign-on protocol for the web. Its purpose is to permit a user to access multiple applications while providing their credentials (such as userid and password) only once.


A device that connects to a server on a network to obtain information.  

Cloud Computing

Using internet based (cloud) programs and services without having to purchase or install software locally.


A group of computers that are linked together and work together as a single computer. A cluster can also be a unit of disk space that is made for file storage.


(Change Management Process)

The process of creating changes in a system.


An arrangement that has the ability for users to work together over the internet in real time.

Content Manager

Provides digitalized content such as imaging, Web content management, content integration, and digital asset management across multiple applications and databases.


A segment of data that contains information about a user sent from a server to a browser and back to a server each time a Web page is requested.


Converting information to/from an unintelligible form(ciphertext). A good example of use would be for transmission over a public network.


(Cascading Style Sheets)

An extension to HTML that allows certain styles, such as color, font, and size of elements in an Internet document.


(Comma Separated Value)

A text-based file format in which each data element is separated by a comma and each data record ends with a line return. CSV files can be easily imported into an application such as a spreadsheet or database.


(Campus Wide Identification)

A unique number given to each member(i.e. Faculty, Staff, Student) of the Marist Community, used for identification purposes.

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A program that is summoned explicitly, but waits for some conditions to occur, the process services requests as they arrive without human intervention.


(Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol)

A method used for retrieving IP addresses and assigns those addresses to computers on a network when they first access the network.


Digital Signature

An electronic signature that authenticates the signer of a document.

Disaster Recovery

An activity designed to recover IT or business systems that is caused by a disruption in the system.


(DeMilitarized Zone)

A restricted area between a private network(intranet) and the public network (internet). This is to protect direct access to the private network.


(Domain Name System)

A system that identifies every computer as a point in a network over the internet. This translates domain names (computer/website identifier) to IP addresses.


A group of computers that are administered under the same methods.

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Business transactions that are done electronically over the internet.


 (electronic Discovery)

Process of securing electronic information to be used as evidence for litigation purposes.


Placing information into a coded form in order to hide from potentially unauthorized users.


(Electronic Personal Health Information)

Any information identifying an individual that is related to the individual’s past, present, and future health situation, this information is received across the internet.


(Enterprise Resource Planning)

An integrated system used for various business functions of an organization. Banner is a good example of a higher educational ERP which includes student and alumni models, as well as financial and human resource models.


(Enterprise Service Bus)

An application that allows access for other applications and services and is made to be the main source of messaging and integration of an enterprise.


A type of technology that is used for local area networks (LAN) and supplies internet access.


(Evolution Data Optimized)

Cell phone technology which allows communication of data wirelessly through radio signals.

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(Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)

A Federal Law passed in 1974 which protects the privacy rights of student education records.


A part of the computer system that blocks unauthorized users access and allows authorized communications to occur.


A file format used for delivering graphics and animations across the Web.


Computer software that is offered for free over the internet.


(File Transfer Protocol)

A method of moving files between two computers or between a single computer and the web server (software that provides websites).

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(Google mail)

A free e-mail service hosted by Google.


(Global Positioning System)

A satellite navigation system used to determine a geographic location, velocity and time.
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A programming scheme that is used to provide quick access to data that is classified by a key.


(Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act)

A law that provides standards to govern the privacy and security of health information.


(Hardware Management Console)

IBM technology that is used to configure and manage partitioned systems on IBM mainframe or others such as IBM System p series.  This includes virtual systems.


(HyperText Markup Language)

The standard language in which Web pages are written. HTML tags are used to describe the format and display of a Web page.  


(HyperText Transfer Protocol)

Standard method for transferring documents that take users to relevant websites across the internet.


A device that is used to connect computers in a network.

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(Innovative Learning Environment and Research Network)

An online course management system.


(Internet Message Access Protocol)

A standard method for remotely retrieving e-mail from a server.

 Instant Messaging(IM)

Also called IM. Communication between two or more people in a real-time private online session. An example of an IM software product is AOL Instant Messenger.


 The global network of smaller networks and computers that contain and transport information which can be displayed on the Web. 

Internet Protocol(IP)

A communications protocol that provides a standard set of rules for transmitting data through the Internet. 


(Intrusion Prevention System)

A network security device that watches over the computer network and looks out for malicious behavior, in which the device can react to and prevent.


(Innovative Technology Education Around Marist)

A team of Academic Technology and Help Desk staff and students supporting desk side iLearn training.

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A standard method of compressing images, such as photographs. The most common file extensions for files saved in this format are .jpg and .jpeg.

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A security system that authenticates users using passwords and secret keys.


The central piece of most operating systems that is responsible for security, resource allocation, as well as other computer procedures.

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(Local Area Network)

A network of devices that covers a small geographic area(e.g. room, building, campus) and interconnects in order to share information and resources.


(Lightweight Directory Access Protocol)

An open application protocol used to access a directory listing.  LDAP is used to manage information about, and privileges associated to, authorized users.


An open source operating system which is a variation of Unix. Linux comes in various flavors such as Red Hat, CentOS, Ubuntu, SuSe and Debian.  

Load Balancer

Technique that balances traffic evenly between two or more servers to ensure optimal performance.


(Logical Partition)

A single isolated computing system that contains its own resources, such as memory, processors, and input/output devices.  A LPAR will operate as its own independent system.


An internet-based information portal that gives users access to services and information.  A good example is myMarist.

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(Malicious Software)

Encompasses all software designed to compromise data, degrade resources and steal information. Malware includes viruses, spyware, Trojans, worms, etc.

Marist Account

Account used to access online services at Marist. The format is typically firstname.lastname, however some accounts may include a number after the last name. An example might be Jill.Jones or John.Smith2.


Information about data. For example, metadata may describe the properties of an image displayed on a Web page.


Computer software that works at an intermediate level between an application program and a network.  This allows the two components to communicate with each other.


(Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions)

An internet standard in which people can include non-plain-text documents such as images in e-mail messages.

Multi Thread

The ability to have multiple processors (controls data) work on a single system, this is designed to boost overall performance of the system.

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(Network Access Control)

An approach to network security that attempts to unify computer security systems such as antivirus, user or system authentication, and network security enforcement.


A system using hardware and software to connect devices and transfer information for the purpose of sharing among multiple systems.


Any computer that is hooked up to a network.

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(Original Equipment Manufacturer)

 A company that produces equipment, such as hardware, that is to be sold under another company’s product.

Open Source

Computer source code (programming code used to design websites or web documents) which is made freely available to the general public.


 A relational database management system by Oracle Corporation.


(Open Source Development Labs)

A non-profit organization that was made to enhance the Linux operating system for use in different enterprises.

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Method for increasing memory space available by transferring the data to a secondary storage device.

PCI Compliance

Obedience to a set of security standards that were developed to protect card information throughout the process of a financial transaction.


The illegal process of attempting to acquire private information(i.E. username, password, credit card) through seemingly trustworthy electronic communication. 


(Personal Identification Number)

A password that is typically 4 numbers long and usually entered through a phone or ATM that protects others from accessing various accounts.


Software installed in an existing application to enhance or extend its capabilities.


(Power Over Ethernet)

A system used to pass electrical power and data safely through Ethernet cabling.


(Post Office Protocol 3)

A standard procedure used to retrieve e-mails from a remote location across a TCP/IP connection (set of protocols which are meant to receive data from one device in the network to another).


A website that provides various useful links to other Web sites throughout the Internet.


(Plain Old Telephone Service)

A basic wire telecommunication system.

Private Key

A key that can be used to encrypt/decrypt data, that is only known between the exchanging parties.


Process of providing users with access to data and authorization to certain systems.

Proxy Server

A computer system which acts as a mediator between a work station and the Internet in order to ensure security.


(Program Temporary Fix)

A piece of code that is meant to fix a specific defect.

Public Key

A key that can be used to encrypt/decrypt data and can be made widely available to the public.

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Moving an infected file, such as a virus, into an area where it cannot cause any more harm.

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(Resource Access Control Facility)

An IBM software product that is made for large system security and gives access and control over certain operating systems.


Multiple interchangeable components such as a multiple computers that work as one on a single function to reduce failure.


Creating and maintaining a duplicate database on a separate computer or server.


(Return on Investment)

The amount of profit made from an investment, this is calculated before taxes and after depreciation of currency.


An electronic device that forwards data from one computer network to another.


(Recovery Point Objective)

The maximum amount of data that can be lost in the event of a computer interruption.


(Rich Site Summary)

An XML-based format that allows for distributing updates to continually changing Web content.   Many news sites and blogs offer an RSS feed which can be obtained by using a Feed Reader. 


(Recovery Time Objective)

The maximum amount of time that can pass before the lack of business function can hurt a business entity.

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(Secure MIME)

A standard for public key encryption services of MIME messages. 


(Software as a Service)

A model of software deployment where the vendor develops applications and hosts/operates them over the Internet, this software is paid for instead of being owned.


(Storage Area Network)

A network of storage disks that can be accessed by multiple servers. SANs provide increased capacity and improved performance.


A computer which serves information by providing access to other devices(clients) on a network.


An mobile phone that offers advanced capabilities such as Internet access, e-mail and running applications. 


(Short Message Service)

A communication service such as a text message available through a wireless network.


(Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)

A standard method for sending e-mail, this allows e-mails to be sent between different servers.


(Simple Network Management Protocol)

The method for governing network management and observing network devices and the functions of those devices.

Social Networking Site

A Web site which allows users to interact with each other and share information. Examples of popular sites are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


(Service Oriented Management)

Operational Management that provides distinguished service delivery during an operation.


An unsolicited electronic message. Often times spam is sent as bulk e-mail. Although mostly used for advertising, spam can include harmful phishing scams.


In terms of e-mail, spoofing is faking the sender address so it appears to be coming from a source other than the one it is actually from. Used by spammers to trick the recipient into opening the e-mail.  


Unwanted software that takes information from a computer without the user’s knowledge. Spyware can be capable of stealing personal information or monitoring Web browsing activity.


(Structured Query Language)

A language used to access and modify information in a database.


(Secure Shell)

Set of rules used to connect between computers that ensures a secure connection.


(Single System Image)

A cluster of machines that seems to be on a single system.


(Secure Sockets Layer)

A protocol that enables secure coded transmission of data across the Internet.


A portion of a network that is an independent network segment and shares a network address (unique code assigned to every device in a network), but is differentiated by a subnet number.


To keep information the same in two different locations. An example of this would be to sync e-mail between a server and a mobile device.

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(Total Cost of Ownership)

The cost of owning and using a piece of equipment like a computer, this cost includes all pieces, like hardware, software, maintenance, training, and tech support that may be needed while in use.


(Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)

A set of communications protocols used for transmitting data over the Internet.


An experience of being present at an event, while actually being at a remote location. The experience is achieved using advanced technology such as high-definition video resolution and high-quality audio. Marist TelePresence is based on Cisco’s TelePresence System.


A standard terminal emulation protocol used to connect remotely to another device over the Internet.


(Transport Layer Security)

A protocol that ensures secure communication of information over the Internet. TLS is based on SSL.


Describes the way devices are connected to each other on a network.


Software that assures the protection of critical data and network organization by detecting and reporting changes.


A software program that appears legitimate, but when executed, does something unknowingly illegitimate. Unlike a virus, it does not reproduce itself.


(Tivoli Storage Manager)

A data backup and recovery software solution by IBM that uses archiving and space management tools.

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Unified Communications (UC) 

The integration of real-time communication channels (e.g. instant messaging, presence awareness, telephony) and non-real-time communication channels (e.g. e-mail, voicemail), allowing for redirection to a preferred media. For example, receiving a voicemail message as a text message.   

Unified Messaging(UM)

Integrating various methods of electronic messaging(e.g. e-mail, SMS, fax, voicemail) into a single interface. VoiceRite is a good example of a Unified Messaging system in which a voicemail message can be delivered in an e-mail.


A trademarked computer operating system capable of running on workstations and servers. Today UNIX is popular among (but not limited to) Web servers. UNIX has several different variations, an example of which is Linux.


 (Uniform Resource Locator)

Address identifying the path to a specific Web site or particular file. The URL usually consists of the access protocol (http) followed by the domain name (


A standard type of connection to attach peripherals to a hardware device. A USB cable or device plugs into a USB port.

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A software program or code, when executed, can have negative effects on a computer. A virus can attach to an application or file, can reproduce itself and can spread across networks.


Virtualization software from VMware, Inc., that allows more than one copy of an operating system, to run in the same machine.


(Virtual Network Computing)

A system that makes it possible for a computer to connect to, and remote control another computer on the Internet.


(Voice over Internet Protocol)

Technology that allows for digital telephone service over the Internet. 


(Virtual Private Network)

A secure private connection that is established in public network, allowing access in a protected manner.


(Virtual Tape Library)

A backup/recovery solution that uses disk technology for high performance, yet emulates the tradition tape methodology.

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(Wide Area Network)

A network of information and resources shared over a wide geographic area. The ultimate example of a WAN is the Internet.

Web Browser

An application used to access content on the Web.  Some common browsers include Internet Explorer(IE), Firefox, Chrome and Safari.


A Web site that allows its visitors to create and edit information on the site. A popular example is Wikipedia.


 The transmission of radio signals(electromagnetic waves), through the air, without the use of wires.


A series of tasks required to complete a business process. Workflow can include automatic routing of documents for required approvals.


A software program that is capable of reproducing itself, thus using up computer resources such as memory and hard disk space. Worms typically involve hidden files that go unnoticed until resources are degraded.


(Windows Server Update Services)

Software from Microsoft that provides the ability for IT administrators to deploy the newest updates to Microsoft products(i.e. Windows, Office, etc.)


(World Wide Web)

A service consisting of Internet resources that can be searched and accessed using a Web browser. The most common example is a Web page.

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(Extensible HyperText Markup Language)

A language that incorporates HTML and XML for developing Web pages.


(EXtensible Markup Language)

An open standard language used to describe the contents of data elements on a Web page through the use of XML tags.


A monitoring system that includes checks, alerts and documentation for networks, servers and applications. 

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A Web site used to share videos for private or public viewing.

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A high performance enterprise operating system from IBM that is secure and used to build and deploy Internet and Java-enabled applications. 

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