Frequently Used Acronyms in IT
Stands for “Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black.” Your printer uses these four colors to create color images. Combinations of these colors are used to generate other colors (like red, green or brown), and the values are expressed as a percentage of the full color. So when you see a value for CMYK such as 85, 10, 100, 10 (the color green), what you are seeing is 85% Cyan, 10% Magenta, 100% Yellow and 10% Black.
Stands for “Customer Relationship Management.” The term has grown to encompass both technical and non-technical efforts in developing and monitoring customer service strategies. However, when used in the technology world we are typically referring to a database or software application used to identify, acquire and retain customers. Commonly used applications include Oracle, Salesforce.com and Microsoft CRM.
Stands for “Cascading Style Sheets.” Style sheets are commonly used in web design and are lines of code read by web browsers in order to format the layout of web pages. It defines the font style, font size, colors, tables and other features you see on a website.
Stands for “Domain Name System.” We use DNS so we can go to www.neterasol.com rather than going to 184.108.40.206 in our web browsers. Both combinations will take you to the same page, but with domain naming we can interact with more meaningful titles. When www.neterasol.com is entered, your computer sends a request to the DNS server, locates the proper IP address, and then attempts to connect with that IP number.
Stands for “Enterprise Resource Planning.” It refers to an information system containing modules which can be modified or altered to work with a variety of proprietary tools or programming languages. An ERP system can include manufacturing, shipping, purchasing, warehousing, accounting or even human resources software.
Stands for “Gigabyte” and is equal to one billion bytes. Gigabytes are a unit of measurement typically used to measure storage capacity. Many DVD, hard drives, solid state drives and RAM chips will measure in GB (frequently referred to as “gig”).
Stands for “Hyper-Text Markup Language.” This language is used in the creation of all web pages and has a specific set of rules and syntax. HTML describes the page format and includes what is displayed on the webpage.
Stands for “Hyper Text Transfer Protocol.” All website addresses begin with http:// and it is the protocol used to transfer data over the World Wide Web. The data it is transferring to you is the HTML page (Hyper-Text Markup Language), containing the website contents and format.
Stands for “Hyper Text Transport Protocol Secure.” It is the exact same as HTTP; however, it uses a secure layer to transfer data for security purposes over the World Wide Web. Many websites asking for your contact, billing or banking information use an HTTPS connection in order to encrypt your information, so if others were to intercept that data on the web they could not read it.
Stands for “Internet Protocol.” It is the method by which data is sent from one computer to another across the Internet. Each computer on the Internet has at least one IP address that is unique to it. Data gets broken down into packets and sent in various directions across the Internet, the only thing that tells it where to go or where it came from is the IP address. Where the data gets directed once it is received is controlled by TCP.
Stands for “Local Area Network,” and is limited to a relatively small area. Networks can be ethernet-based or wireless and provide devices with a shared line/link. Most businesses have a shared local area network, but many homes are now implementing the technology as family members can access data on each other’s computers. (LAN is often pronounced as “lan,” similiar to “land” without the “d.”)
Stands for “Megabyte” or one million bytes. A megabyte is a unit of measurement for files, typically larger files containing photos or music for example. (MB is often referred to as “meg”.)
Stands for “Operating System.” Every device (desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone) has an operating system that allows other programs to function. Commonly used systems include Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android and iOS. Each of these operating systems uses a graphical interface, some intended for touchscreen . When purchasing and installing software applications it is important that the user ensure the program will run on their OS and properly install or download the supported version.
Stands for “Redundant Array of Independent Disks,” and often pronounced as “raid.” Often when building a server for a company the technician will use multiple disks, rather than a single disk, for storing data. Using multiple disks, acting as one large disk, often helps increase efficiency, improve access time, and provide data protection.
Stands for “Random Access Memory” and is often pronounced just as it is spelled, “ram.” RAM chips are installed on the motherboard of your computer, and when a program is opened it loads from your hard drive into RAM. We don’t run all of our programs straight from our hard drives, because we would like the programs to open and respond quickly – so we use RAM. If you open and run several programs on your computer routinely and experience lag time, increasing the amount of RAM in your computer could be a more cost-effective solution than upgrading your entire personal computer.
Stands for “Red, Green and Blue.” Unlike printed images which use CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) to render colors, your computer monitors use red, green and blue hues of light to form the colors you see. The highest intensity of these three colors creates a white light, while the absence creates black. Each color can have a value between 0 and 255. A value of 146, 39 and 143 for example is the color purple.
Stands for “Read-Only Memory.” It behaves just as it sounds, you can access and read the data but it cannot be changed. Computers all have ROM chips installed which allows your computers to boot before other systems load. Your BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) is what reads the instructions on your ROM chip when you turn your computer on. Unlike RAM (Random Access Memory), ROM never loses its data even when the power is off.
Stands for “Software as a Service.” SaaS is a growing part of cloud computing, whereby the user can access a software application over the internet rather than installed on their computer. An example of cloud software is Microsoft’s Office 365 which provides Word, Excel and PowerPoint programs in a web version. The benefit of subscribing to software as a service includes updates without having to download files, as well as a central online storage location. A reliable internet connection is needed to keep the programs running, so ensure you have plenty of bandwidth in your home or business office.
Stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” Part of a Webmaster’s role is to optimize your website’s presence in search engines like Google.com and Bing.com, the two most powerful and frequently used engines. This can be accomplished using a variety of techniques including keyword phrases, relevant page titles and site links to name a few. Search engines are frequently updating their algorithms on how results are ranked, so SEO is not something to tackle once and then leave unattended.
Stands for “Structured Query Language.” This language is used for accessing information in a database and is commonly used in web development for dynamic sites. Many large and complex database products are written using SQL (pronounced “sequel”).
Stands for “Server Message Block” or “Small to Mid-sized Business” depending. In many IT news publications SMB is used in reference to business size. However, there is also another definition referring to the Windows-based network protocol which allows systems to share files as long as they are on the same network. The server message block protocol can be very useful in an office running Windows, Mac OS and Linux platforms that need to share files, printers, and digital copiers.
Stands for “Solid State Drives.” These drives are storage devices sometimes used to replace hard disk drives. It is relatively newer technology utilizing flash memory with no moving mechanical parts. This in turn increases data speed, eliminates the need to defragment, and reduces the chance of a mechanical failure.
Stands for “Terabyte” or one trillion bytes. Terabytes are a unit of measurement and are typically used in measuring the capacity of large storage devices. Servers, internal hard drives and now external hard drives can be measured in TB.
Stands for “Transmission Control Protocol.” TCP is intrinsically linked to IP (Internet Protocol). When you send or request something over the internet you are actually generating packets of data. If the IP defines the address of the sender and recipient for all these different packets, it is TCP that puts these packets back into their proper order for you to view.
Stands for “Uniform Resource Locator.” A website’s specific address is called a URL. The URL does not contain any spaces or certain special characters, and slashes are used to denote the path to the file. For example, http://www.neterasol.com/services/managed-services tells you that you are going to the host www.neterasol.com and then to a subdirectory of “services” then “managed-services” to retrieve the web page content.
Stands for “Universal Serial Bus.” The USB is a commonly used computer port for keyboards, printers, mice, storage drives, cameras and more. There are different specifications to USBs, some transfer data faster than others (1.1, 2.0 or 3.0).
Stands for “Virtual Private Network.” If a business would like a “private” portion of a wide area network in order to transfer or access information securely and with encryption, they will use a VPN. Some employees may use this connection if accessing their work computer from home, or in the transferring of files from one location to another.
Stands for “Wide Area Network.” WANs are typically made up of much smaller LANs (Local Area Networks) and cross over much longer distances using telephone lines, fiber-optic cables and satellites.
Stands for “Wi-Fi Protected Access.” This security protocol requires an encryption key in order for data to be transferred. If your laptop or smartphone has ever been prompted for a WPA key in order to access the internet you have seen this protocol in action.