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1000 Mbits/s (or 1Gbit/s) data transfer speed. This is the "1000" in 10/100/1000. The "T" refers to Twisted Pair wiring which is Cat 5e/6/6A cable. Twisted-pair cabling (Cat5 or higher level), using four bidirectional pairs, each pair supports a data rate of 250Mbps.


1000 Mbits/s (or 1Gbit/s) data transfer speed. This is the "1000" in 10/100/1000. The "T" refers to Twisted Pair wiring which is Cat 5e/6/6A cable. Twisted-pair cabling (Cat6 or higher level), using two unidirectional pairs (one pair transmit, one receive), each pair supports a data rate of 500Mbps.


100 Mbits/s data transfer speed. This is the "100" in 10/100 or 10/100/1000. The "T" refers to Twisted Pair wiring which is Cat 5e/6/6A cable.


100 Gigabit Ethernet or 100Gbp/s or 100,000,000,000 bits per second transfer rate


10 Mbits/s data transfer speed. This is the "10" in 10/100 or 10/100/1000. The "T" refers to Twisted Pair wiring which is Cat 5e/6/6A cable.


10 Gigabit Ethernet or 10Gbp/s or 10,000,000,000 bits per second transfer rate


1 Gigabit Ethernet also known as 1000BASE-T. See; 1000BASE-T or 1000BASE-TX

3R Repeater

A repeater usually built inside a media converter that captures a diminishing signal and retransmits the signal to act like a boost to give the signal more juice so it can travel a further distance if the power starts diminishing. This diminishment of the power would normally lead to distortion of the signal or loss of the signal. The 3 Rs stand for: Reamplification, Reshaping, and Retiming.


40 Gigabit Ethernet or 40Gbp/s or 40,000,000,000 bits per second transfer rate


4 Gigabit Ethernet or 4Gbp/s or 4,000,000,000 bits per second transfer rate


An electrical connector typically used for telephone connections. Commonly see ones are 4-pin (4P4C) ones for telephone connections. Sometimes referred to as RJ9, RJ10, RJ22.


An electrical connector typically used for Ethernet connections. Commonly see ones are 8-pin (8P8C) ones for Ethernet (CAT 5/5e/6/6A) cables. Also known as RJ45 or RJ-45


A cross-sectional measure of diameter of things like fiber optic strands. the symbol for microns is μm and is also known as a micrometer (pronounced the same as the tool)


Access Point

A device that uses CAT or Fiber cable to connect to a router and then broadcasts a wireless signal for wireless devices to connect to. Sometimes built-in to a router (which then makes a router a "wireless router").


Contains active components used to improve signal quality and is typically 5m or greater

Active Adapter

An adapter that not only sends the signal but converts it from one type of cable connector to another when the signal requires conversion such as with cables that are not analog to analog or digital to digital compatible

Ad Hoc

In computer networking, an ad hoc network refers to a network connection established for a single session and does not require a router or a wireless base station.


Active Direct Attach Cable. See; Active, DAC


Similar to a coupler. Allows for connecting sections of fiber or copper cables.


A type of MULTIPLEXER. See; Multiplexer. An add-drop multiplexer (ADM) is an important element of an optical fiber network. A multiplexer combines, or multiplexes, several lower-bandwidth streams of data into a single beam of light. An add-drop multiplexer also has the capability to add one or more lower-bandwidth signals to an existing high-bandwidth data stream, and at the same time can extract or drop other low-bandwidth signals, removing them from the stream and redirecting them to some other network path. This is used as a local "on-ramp" and "off-ramp" to the high-speed network.

Alien Crosstalk

A similar effect to Crosstalk but instead of the signal intereference occuring within the same cable, Alien Crosstalk is when the interference occurs between two separate cables due to them being routed too close to each other. Common examples of this are higher-voltage power cables causing unwanted interference in data cables due to being routed too close together.


A relative measure of the power level of the laser


Active optical cable that is designed to use the typical connector of a copper cable but with fiber cable inbetween the connectors to increase data speeds; typically .5m to 100m QSFP, SFP+ and 10G, 40G, 100G


An application-specific integrated circuit is an integrated circuit (IC) chip customized for a particular use, rather than intended for general-purpose use.


Attenuators or optical attenuators are devices attached in-line with an optical fiber to reduce the power being transmitted through the fiber to match that of the receiver. This can be accomplished physically by bending or wrapping the fiber but it is inadvisable because that is only temporary, not completely reliable, and leads to breakage of the fiber.



Bi-Directional. Sometimes stylized as "BX" when referring to part numbers. The first number will always be the transmit number and the second number will always be the receive number. I.e. transmit on 1550nm and receive on 1310nm. Cannot transmit and receive on same nm in single-mode. If you transmit on 1550 and receive on 1310 then that's a "Down" and if you transmit on 1310 and receive on 1550 that's an "Up". BXD = BiDi Down and BXU = BiDi Up. Typically sold in complementing pairs.

Blade Server

A blade server is a stripped-down server computer with a modular design optimized to minimize the use of physical space and energy. Needs to be in an enclosure to protect from elements, dust, etc. and is typically in an enclosure with other blade servers.


Rubber protection at the termination of the cable up a small amount of the cable sheating that helps prevent bending, and thus damage, of the cable. Available in snagless versions that help prevent the tooth on the cable connector from getting caught on something and breaking off. also known as a strain-relief boot


Cable that has no rubber sheathing at and near the termination point and thus is more susceptible to bending, and thus damaging, the cable


A cable style wherein several simplex cables are individually sheathed and then bundled together wherein they are sheathed again or where 1 cable comes out and splits off into 4 cables (or 2 but 4 is more common). Example: QSFP 40G breakout cable would usually be split off into 4 cables of 10G each.


A protective sleeve around a fiber cable either loosely attached and sometimes using a lubricating gel or tightly attached in intimate contact with the fiber cable (tightly-buffered)


Memory type that is much more stable and is typically used in critical applications


Cable Type

Cables are either copper or fiber


Converged network adapter - aka C-NIC is a computer I/O device that combines the functionality of an HBA with a NIC. It "converges" access to a SAN and a GPCN

CAS Latency

See; CL


Shortened name of Category. Refers to Category 5, 5e (5enhanced), 6, 6A (6Augmented) cables. CAT cables are UTP or STP copper cables.

Chip Select

A way to access separate DRAM sticks individually via a command pin attached to the bus that controls the RAM sticks.


The chipset in relation to NIC cards determines what it can, or cannot, do. Ex: how many ports it supports, data rates per port, features, advanced technologies

Chromatic Dispersion

Also known as Dispersion. In optics, dispersion is the phenomenon in which the phase velocity of a wave depends on its frequency.


Complex instruction set computing ("sisk") is a processor design in which single instructions can execute several low-level operations (such as a load from memory, an arithmetic operation, and a memory store) or are capable of multi-step operations or addressing modes within single instructions.


Column Access Strobe (CAS) latency, or CL, is the delay time between the moment a memory controller tells the memory module to access a particular memory column on a RAM module, and the moment the data from the given array location is available on the module's output pins.


The immediate insulation of a glass/plastic fiber or copper wire that protects it from damage. This is roughly synonymous with insulation but insulation can also be described as the sheathing that encapsulates multiple cladded fibers/wires.


A client is a piece of computer hardware or software that accesses a service made available by a server. The server is often (but not always) on another computer system, in which case the client accesses the service by way of a network. The term applies to the role that programs or devices play in the client–server model.


Cable that is used in the raised-floor or drop-ceiling areas of floors and is fire-resistant. Plenum cable can also be used as a riser and CAN replace riser cable


Cable that is used to go up or down between floors. Is typically not as fire-resistant as plenum cable and thus cannot replace plenum cable


All transceivers are coded and it is this coding that tells the network equipment about the transceiver so they can properly communicate.


In telecommunications, a collision occurs when two nodes of a network attempt to transmit at the same time.

Compact Flash

A removable version of flash memory. Example would be a larger CF card for a digital camera or a SD or MicroSD card

Computer Network

A digital telecom network which allows nodes to share resources.


When converting media or mode types such as from MMF to SMF it can be 100Base to 100Base or 1000Base to 1000Base but not differing and not 1G, 10G, etc.


Familiar ethernet cable commonly seen in houses connecting router to computer (hardwired). Cat 5, Cat 5e, Cat 6, Cat 6A, are examples of this.

Core Size

The diameter of the fiber core. MMF types use a larger core which allows for lower cost transmitter types. The larger the core, the further the signal needs to travel within the core due to the size of the waves.


Allows the connecting of 2 fiber optic cables either through the coupler via adapters or by thermally fusing the fibers together


Central processing unit - aka processor but more specifically the combination of the processor and the component that controls I/O operations. Can be used interchangeably with processor.


An side effect of electromagnetization wherein a signal transmitted on one circuit or channel of a system creates an undesirable effect in another circuit or channel of a system.


Compact Small Form-factor, Pluggable. Takes the same SFP standard and allows usage of 2 bi-directional channels per port. Decreases fiber usage per port but increases port density. It allows you to connect more cables in the an area with the same physical constraints as SFP


Coarse Wavelength-Dimension Multiplexing - takes wavelengths ranging from 1270nm - 1610nm in 20nm increments and forwards them into a Multiplexer to be Multiplexed or Demultiplexed on the other end.



Direct Attach Cable - pre-terminated cable that is ready to be plugged in and requires no additional connectors

Data Packet

See; Packet

Data Redundancy

Data redundancy is either copies of whole data or pieces of whole data such that if corruption of data in storage or being transmitted occurs then it can be reconstructed from the known good copies

Data Selector

See; Multiplexer


Digital Diagnostic Monitoring Interface. For definition see; DOM










The act of taking a multiplexed analog or digital signal and extracting it into its separate components by the receiver


The act of taking a multiplexed analog or digital signal and extracting it into its separate components by the receiver


See Demultiplex


See Demultiplexing

Desktop Memory

Unbuffered, non-ecc DIMMs, and SODIMMs.


Dual Inline Memory Module


Digital Optical Monitoring - this is when a transceiver has built-in technology to tell the switch its status: rate, temperature, etc. BUT the switch must have DOM-technology. If it does not have DOM-technology then the transceiver can send this information but the switch won't know what to do with it and will just disregard it. This is real-time status updating of operational parameters.


Dynamic Random Access Memory. Requires constant power to prevent memory losing charge and thus losing data. This is also known as volatile memory. Much more common than DRAM due to more capacitors (0 or 1 charged cells that hold data) being able to fit on a single chip.


Digital subscriber line (DSL; originally digital subscriber loop) is a family of technologies that are used to transmit digital data over telephone lines.


Double fiber cord that is used where one of the fibers is used to send signals and the other is used to receive signals. Mostly found in Single-Mode or SMF.


Dense Wavelength-Dimension Multiplexing - typically utilizes C-Band wavelengths ranging from 1530nm to 1565nm



Error-correcting code; refers to memory that can detect and correct the most common types of data corruption.


Electrically-Erasable, Programmable Read-Only Memory is a type of non-volatile memory used in computers, integrated in microcontrollers for smart cards and remote keyless system, and other electronic devices to store relatively small amounts of data but allowing individual bytes to be erased and reprogrammed.

Electrical impedence

See; Impedence


Transceiver type ER is Extended Range - approx 40km 10GBase with 1550nm over single-mode. 40km over engineered links, 30km over standard links. Requires attenuation at links less than 20km.


Enterprise Resource Planning - the integrated management of core business processes, often in real-time and mediated by software and technology.

Ethernet Frame

Ethernet Frames are the payload of Ethernet Packets

Ethernet Over Twisted Pair

Ethernet Over Twisted Pair refers to the physical cables used to connect Ethernet devices. Twisted Pair refers to CAT cables and directly correlates with 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, and 1000BASE-T.

Ethernet Packet

An Ethernet Packet is a data packet that is transmitted on an Ethernet network

Expansion module

A module for adding additional network connectivity. Typically goes in a switch.



A cable style wherein several simplex cables are individually sheathed and then bundled together wherein they are sheathed again. Suitable for short risers or plenum applications

Fast Ethernet

Similar to Gigabit Ethernet except Fast Ethernet speeds are 100Mbps or 100,000,000 bits per second.


Ferrule-channel connector. Screw-on type commonly associated with fiber connections presumably due to increased rigidity that would prevent bending or kinking of the cable at the termination point. For the definiton of FC regarding Fiber in general, see; fiber Channel.


Fiber Channel Over Ethernet - transports fiber channel directly over ethernet by replacing FC0 and FC1 of the Fiber Channel stack with Ethernet.


FDDI (Fiber Distributed Data Interface) is a standard for data transmission in a local area network. It uses optical fiber as its standard underlying physical medium, although it was also later specified to use copper cable, in which case it may be called CDDI (Copper Distributed Data Interface), standardized as TP-PMD (Twisted-Pair Physical Medium-Dependent), also referred to as TP-DDI (Twisted-Pair Distributed Data Interface). FDDI provides a 100 Mbit/s optical standard for data transmission in local area network that can extend in range up to 200 kilometers (120 mi).


A glass or plastic fiber that carries the light transmission. Light transmission is the data being transmitted. These fibers will be encapsulated with the equivalent of a conical mirror with inward-facing reflective surface to keep the light inside the fiber. This strand and reflective surface are then covered in a LSZH (or other) cladding that protects the fiber and the reflective surface.

Fiber Channel

Fiber Channel is a high-speed network technology used to connect servers to data storage area networks. fiber Channel technology handles high-performance disk storage for applications on many corporate networks, and it supports data backups, clustering and replication.


This refers to FTP as in File Transfer Protocol - is a standard network protocol used for the transfer of computer files between a client and server on a computer network.


In computing, a firewall is a network security system that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules.


Solid-state non-volatile storage. Examples would be solid-state drives where in there are no motors or spinning plates for the hard drive.

Form Factor

The physical size/dimension of the transceiver that plugs into the switch or other network equipment. Example, SFP is a smaller transceiver than other types


In terms of Fiber Optics, frequency is the visible electromagnetic wave. Example 4x10^14 Hz is red and 8x10^14 Hz is violet with all colors of the visible light spectrum occurring somewhere between 4-8 and Infrared occurring below red since it is not part of the visible light spectrum.


Foil Twisted-Pair - Cat Cables using twisted-pair standards but each individual wire is wrapped in foil. Note these are foil-wrapped but the entire bundle is not necessarily Shielded with a metal-mesh sheathing just under the insulation. If the wires are foil-wrapped and then the entire wire bundle is metal mesh shielded under the insulation hat would be labeled as S/FTP for Shielded-Foil Twisted Pair.

Full Duplex

See; Full-Duplex


A full-duplex (FDX) system, or sometimes called double-duplex, allows communication in both directions, and, unlike half-duplex, allows this to happen simultaneously. Land-line telephone networks are full-duplex, since they allow both callers to speak and be heard at the same time, with the transition from four to two wires being achieved by a hybrid coil in a telephone hybrid. Modern cell phones are also full-duplex.



Gigabits per second


Gigabit interface converter that is a standard used with Gigabit ethernet and fiber channel connections. These are hot-swappable connections

Gigabit Ethernet

Gigabit Ethernet (starting at 1G, 1Gbps, or also known as 1000Base) is capable of transmitting Ethernet Frames at 1,000,000,000 bits per second. In part numbers this will be denoted by a "G". Speeds commonly labeled as 1G, 10G, etc.


General-purpose computer network


General-purpose computer network


Gigabit Passive Optical Network - A passive optical network (PON) is a telecommunications technology used to provide fiber to the end consumer, both domestic and commercial. A PON's distinguishing feature is that it implements a point-to-multipoint architecture, in which unpowered fiber optic splitters are used to enable a single optical fiber to serve multiple end-points. The end-points are often individual customers, rather than commercial. A PON does not have to provision individual fibers between the hub and customer. Passive optical networks are often referred to as the "last mile" between an ISP and customer.


See; Transfers


Half Duplex

See; Half-Duplex


A half-duplex (HDX) system provides communication in both directions, but only one direction at a time (not simultaneously). Typically, once a party begins receiving a signal, it must wait for the transmitter to stop transmitting, before replying. An example of a half-duplex system is a two-party system such as a walkie-talkie, wherein one must use "over" or another previously designated keyword to indicate the end of transmission, and ensure that only one party transmits at a time, because both parties transmit and receive on the same frequency.


Host bus adapter. An adapter for use with network connectivity.


An Ethernet hub, active hub, network hub, repeater hub, multiport repeater, or simply hub is a network hardware device for connecting multiple Ethernet devices together and making them act as a single network segment. It has multiple input/output (I/O) ports, in which a signal introduced at the input of any port appears at the output of every port except the original incoming. A hub works at the physical layer (layer 1) of the OSI model. A repeater hub also participates in collision detection, forwarding a jam signal to all ports if it detects a collision.



Electrical impedance is the measure of the opposition that a circuit presents to a current when a voltage is applied. Measured in Ohms but the symbol is Z


See; Cladding


Interoperability is a characteristic of a product or system, whose interfaces are completely understood, to work with other products or systems, at present or future, in either implementation or access, without any restrictions.

IP address

An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication.


An Internet service provider (ISP) is an organization that provides services for accessing, using, or participating in the Internet.


Itanium "eye-TAY-nee-əm" is a family of 64-bit Intel microprocessors that implement the Intel Itanium architecture (formerly called IA-64). Intel markets the processors for enterprise servers and high-performance computing systems. The Itanium architecture originated at Hewlett-Packard (HP), and was later jointly developed by HP and Intel.



The JEDEC Solid State Technology Association is an independent semiconductor engineering trade organization and standardization body. JEDEC has over 300 members, including some of the world's largest computer companies. Its scope and past activities includes standardization of part numbers, defining an electrostatic discharge (ESD) standard, and leadership in the lead-free manufacturing transition.


A short length of cable or a connector whose purpose is to open, close, or bypass a circuit



Local Area Network - the internet network of a college campus, a library, your house, are all examples of Local Area Networks

Laptop Memory

Unbuffered, non-ecc DIMMs, and SODIMMs. Note that some high-end laptops may use AM memory.


Delay that determines how long it takes for a bit of data to travel across the network from one node or endpoint to another in multiples or fractions of seconds depends on the location of the specific pair of communicating nodes. Engineers usually report both the maximum and average delay, and they divide the delay into several parts: Processing delay – time routers take to process the packet header, Queuing delay – time the packet spends in routing queues, Transmission delay – time it takes to push the packet's bits onto the link, Propagation delay – time for a signal to reach its destination. There is a certain minimum level of delay that will be experienced due to the time it takes to transmit a packet serially through a link. Onto this is added a more variable level of delay due to network congestion. IP network delays can range from just a few milliseconds to several hundred milliseconds.


Lucent connector/Little connector/Local connector commonly used with high-density connections such as SFP, SFP+, and XFP

Line Card

A line card or digital line card is a modular electronic circuit designed to fit on a separate printed circuit board (PCB) and interface with a telecommunications access network.


Laser-Optimized Multi-Mode fiber cable - LOMM is only available in OM3/OM4


Transceiver type LR is Long Reach - approx 10km 10GBase with 1310nm single-mode


See; LR - refers to 100G QSFP28 transceivers that use 4x25G fibers rather than 4x10G fibers. Able to transmit 100G up to 2km using OS1 on 1310nm and uses MTP (same as MPO) connectors. Uses 12-fiber MTP.


Similar to RDIMM in that it uses buffering so it is stable but LRDIMM allows higher capacity memory at a cost of higher power consumption and higher latency. Often 4x the capacity of RDIMM in the same physical constraints. Current max capacity of LRDIMM modules is 128GB each. Ideally should only use LRDIMM if server architecture requires the use of >32GB memory sticks.


Transceiver type LRM is Long Reach MultiMode - approx 220m 10GBase with 1310nm


Low smoke zero halogen; a type of cable jacketing used with Fiber cables. Commonly used in military applications and airliners as if there is a fire, it won't smoke much and it won't give off harmful/toxic gasses.


MAC Address

Media Access Control address (MAC address) of a device is a unique identifier assigned to network interface controllers (NIC) for communications at the data link layer of a network segment.


Metropolitan Area Network - a city's internet network is an example of a Metropolitan Area Network

Media Converter

A network device that allows connecting two different media (refers to material not audio/video media) types for a transition from one to the other.

Media Converter Card

Rack-mount media converter cards are available in 1G, 4G, 10G, 40G for 16-slot server racks.


A type of material for which to transfer information.


Part of every computer. Temporary storage for running applications since it is solid-state and faster than going to disk. Can do multiple things at once and speeds up processes due to not needing to hit hard drive every time. Commonly referred to as RAM, DRAM, DIMM. Must be cognizant of specific processor information since some processors require the use of low-voltage or normal-voltage memory and may not POST with low-voltage memory if it requires normal-voltage memory and vice versa.

Memory POST

POST is an acronym that means Power-On Self-Test and it refers to the process when a piece of computerized equipment is first turned on wherein it checks various rudimentary functions such as the old-school screen where a computer would power up and you'd see the RAM scroll up from 0 to 2048mb as it tests the RAM. Once this POST has passed then the system will go into the next process which is loading the Operating System

Mezzanine Card

A type of expansion card that takes up more vertical space typically intended for rackmount servers


See; micron - a cross-sectional measure of diameter of things like fiber optic strands. the symbol for microns is μm and is also known as a micrometer (pronounced the same as the tool)


A cross-sectional measure of diameter of things like fiber optic strands. The symbol for microns is μm and is also known as a micrometer (pronounced the same as the tool)


Multi-Mode Fiber - higher loss lower bandwidth - typical core diameter of a multi-mode fiber is 50µm or 62.5µm.

Modal bandwith

Maximum signaling rate or maximum distance for a given signaling rate. The greater the bandwith the greater capacity of a fiber to transmit information

Modal Dispersion

A distortion mechanism occuring in MMF in which the signal is spread in time because the propagation velocity of the optical signal is not the same for all modes

Mode conditioning

A patch cable that allows a laser to be shot from a single-mode cable to a multi-mode cable but is offset so as to minimize or eliminate disturbance caused when the laser scatters into the multiple fibers of a multi-mode cable


A modem (MOdulator–DEModulator) is a network hardware device that modulates one or more carrier wave signals to encode digital information for transmission and demodulates signals to decode the transmitted information. This is the device that connects the internet to your network (probably connects to a router, switch, or firewall first).

Modular Connector

An electrical connector typically used for telephone or Ethernet connections. Commonly see ones are 4-pin (4P4C) ones for telephone connections and 8-pin (8P8C) ones for Ethernet (CAT 5/5e/6/6A) cables.


Multi-fiber Push On. This is a connector type where the fiber optic cable terminates and goes into a transceiver. Rectangular and usually a black connector.


Multi-Source Agreement - is an agreement between multiple manufacturers to make products which are compatible across vendors, acting as de facto standards, establishing a competitive market for interoperable products.

MSA Compliant

See; MSA


Mechanical Transfer Registered Jack; duplex multimode operations.


Mean Time Between Failures - the average time before a component or process fails.


MTP is a MPO-style connector but MTP specifically is a brand of MPO connector


The combining of multiple analog or digital signals over one medium to avoid using up as many scarce resources as possible.


A device that takes one of several analog or digital signals and forwards it into a single line


The combining of multiple analog or digital signals over one medium to avoid using up as many scarce resources as possible.


See Multiplex


See Multiplexing



Network-attached storage. A file server


Network address translation (NAT) is a method of remapping one IP address space into another by modifying network address information in IP header of packets while they are in transit across a traffic routing device.

Network Memory

Memory used in routers and critical applications.


Network interface controller or network interface card. Hardware component that connects a computer to a computer network. All NICs are PCI or PCI Express but not all PCI or PCI Express are NICs.


NM (Stylized as "nm") refers to nanometer measurement of wavelength (distance from top of one wave to top of the next wave) - most common ones are 850nm, 1310nm, and 1550nm


A node is either a redistribution point or a communications endpoint


Non-error-correcting code; refers to memory that cannot detect and correct for errors. May result in data corruption if 0 or 1 memory bit is flipped. Typically used in lower criticality systems such as home desktops, laptops, etc.



An optical add-drop multiplexer (OADM) is a device used in wavelength-division multiplexing systems for multiplexing and routing different channels of light into or out of a single mode fiber (SMF).


Original equipment manufacturer - the original manufacture of the network equipment in question


Optical-Electrical-Optical - A type of repeater that corrects for distortion of the optical signal by converting it to an electrical signal, processing that electrical signal and then retransmitting an optical signal.

OEO 3R Repeater

See; OEO, 3R Repeater


Industry standard multi-mode fiber cable - will have orange sheathing or cladding. Will have 62.5μm diameter core


Industry standard multi-mode fiber cable - will have orange sheathing or cladding. Will have 50μm diameter core


Industry standard multi-mode fiber cable - will have aqua sheathing or cladding. Will have 50μm diameter core


Industry standard multi-mode fiber cable - will have aqua sheathing or cladding. Will have 50μm diameter core


Cisco ONS - ONS - Optical Networking System


In fiber-to-the-premises systems, the signal is transmitted to the customer premises using fiber optic technologies. Unlike many conventional telephone technologies, this does not provide power for premises equipment, nor is it suitable for direct connection to customer equipment. An Optical Network Terminal (ONT) is used to terminate the fiber optic line, demultiplex the signal into its component parts (voice telephone, television, and Internet access), and provide power to customer telephones. As the ONT must derive its power from the customer premises electrical supply, many ONTs have the option for a battery backup, to maintain service in the event of a power outage.


Of, or relating to, fiber optic (light-based) connections

Optical Switch

Optical switch is a device that enables optical signals to be selectively switched-on and -off or switched from one channel to another.


See; transceiver


Industry standard single-mode fiber cable - will have yellow sheathing or cladding. Will have 9μm diameter core.


OSI is an effort to standardize computer networking that was started in 1977 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), along with the ITU-T.

OSI Model

Refers to Gigabit Ethernet only: The Open Systems Interconnection model (OSI model) is a conceptual model that characterizes and standardizes the communication functions of a telecommunication or computing system without regard to its underlying internal structure and technology. Its goal is the interoperability of diverse communication systems with standard protocols. The model partitions a communication system into abstraction layers. The original version of the model defined seven layers. Layer 1: Physical, Layer 2: Data Link, Layer 3: Network, Layer 4: Transport, Layer 5: Session, Layer 6: Presentation, Layer 7: Application.



A packet is a single cluster of control information (telling systems where the packet came from, where it is going, in what order it is in a series of other packets, and any applical Error-correcting codes it has) as well as user information (the data itself)


Contains no active components and is typically 5m or less

Passive Adapter

An adapter that just sends the signal the way it is from one type of cable connector to another

Patch Panel

A panel with similar or same connector types for use in connecting circuits together for diagnostic or testing purposes or for distribution. E


Peripheral component interconnect aka expansion card. Examples are cards that add USB connectivity, Serial connectivity, Modem or Ethernet connectivity, etc.

PCI Card

Peripheral component interconnect aka expansion card. Examples are cards that add USB connectivity, Serial connectivity, Modem or Ethernet connectivity, etc.

PCI Express

Peripheral component interconnect Express aka expansion card.


Peripheral component interconnect Augmented (Express) aka expansion card

PCIe 3.0

PCIe 3.0 is a higher speed PCI Express card


Passive Direct Attach Cable. See; Passive, DAC

Phase Velocity

The phase velocity of a wave is the rate at which the phase of the wave propagates in space.


A single, short section of fiber that has a pre-terminated optical connector on one end and a length of fiber on the other end for attaching to another connector or cable


Ping is a computer network administration software utility used to test the reachability of a host on an Internet Protocol (IP) network.


Cable that is used in the raised-floor or drop-ceiling areas of floors and is fire-resistant. Plenum cable can also be used as a Riser and CAN replace Riser cable but CANNOT be replaced by Riser cable. This is the type of cable you can run indoors on pipes or vents as it won't add fuel to the fire. It is not fire/flame-retardant but it is fire/flame-resistant. Will have some sort of string inside to help with structural rigidity and strength to help prevent sagging along spans or vertical travel.


Polarization Mode Dispersion - is a form of Modal Dispersion where two different polarizations of light in a waveguide, which normally travel at the same speed, travel at different speeds due to random imperfections and asymmetries, causing random spreading of optical pulses. Unless it is compensated, which is difficult, this ultimately limits the rate at which data can be transmitted over a fiber.


PoE (Power over Ethernet) is a setup where the outcoming copper cable (Cat 5e, for example) goes from the output from the wall into a splitter that separates the data and power aspects of the cable to provide a separate data cable and a separate power plug to plug into the WAP or other peripheral in order to avoid needing a separate outlet to plug in said peripheral. Typical devices that would use PoE are telephones (no power plugs in a phone but yet they still work), a surveillance camera at the end of a long driveway where there's not a power outlet there to plug it into thus you can use PoE to both transmit/receive data from the camera and to give the camera power. Standard wattage for PoE is around 15.4 Watts but ends up being just under 13 Watts due to power dissipation inside the wire.


The original IEEE 802.3af-2003 PoE standard provides up to 15.4 W of DC power (minimum 44 V DC and 350 mA) on each port. Only 12.95 W is assured to be available at the powered device as some power dissipates in the cable. The updated IEEE 802.3at-2009 PoE standard also known as PoE+ or PoE plus, provides up to 25.5 W of power for "Type 2" devices. The 2009 standard prohibits a powered device from using all four pairs for power. Both of these standards have since been incorporated into the IEEE 802.3-2012 publication.


See; PoE+


Power over Fiber - Similar to PoE. This is a technology in which a fiber optic cable carries optical power, which is used as an energy source rather than, or as well as, carrying data. This allows a device to be remotely powered, while providing electrical isolation between the device and the power supply. Such systems can be used to protect the power supply from dangerous voltages such as from lightning, or to prevent voltage from the supply from igniting explosives.


POST is an acronym that means Power-On Self-Test and it refers to the process when a piece of computerized equipment is first turned on wherein it checks various rudimentary functions such as the old-school screen where a computer would power up and you'd see the RAM scroll up from 0 to 2048mb as it tests the RAM. Once this POST has passed then the system will go into the next process which is loading the Operating System


The portion of the CPU that carries out instructions in code and performs the mathematical equations necessary to execute such code. The terms "processor" and "CPU" may be interchangable but technically the processor aspect of the CPU is the component that executes the code and performs the control functions with the rest of the CPU performing the I/O functions.


Propagation, or Wave propagation, is any of the ways in which waves travel.

Propagation Velocity

Propagation = the way waves travel. Velocity = rate of change of an object's position with respect to a frame of reference. Basically, propagation velocity is the speed of the various light waves. The transmitter can transmit different speeds of light waves so that multiple light waves can travel inside the same fiber to make it to their destionation. However, the fiber must be made larger to accomodate all the individual light waves which means each individual wave can bounce around inside the fiber tube which gives it a slightly less straight path to travel. this causes it to reach its destination slower which is why MMF is slower and cannot travel as far as SMF due to SMF having a more direct line of travel and requiring less power to travel greater distances than MMF.

Proprietary Features

Some devices give extra features or extra performance when used with OEM equipment


A jacket type for cabling or wiring; poly vinyl chloride. This is the standard for CAT cables (5e, 6, 6A)



Quad small form-factor, pluggable. Same as SFP except instead of 1x bi-directional fiber it has 4x bi-directional fibers. Same notes apply regarding SFP, SFP+, and SFP28 just with the prefix Q for Quad.



Redundant Array of Independent Data - multiple physical drives linked as one or more drives for the purposes of data redundancy or performance improvement. RAID 1 and higher protect against sector read errors in drives (HDD not SSD) and entire drive failures. Backups also help with this but if backups are stored on the same drive then this presents another problem with regards to data recovery. RAID levels go up to 6 with

RAM - see; memory

Random Access Memory


A combination of DRAM sticks that are connected to the same chip select

Rayleigh scattering

Rayleigh scattering (pronounced /ˈreɪli/ RAY-lee), named after the British physicist Lord Rayleigh (John William Strutt), is the (dominantly) elastic scattering of light or other electromagnetic radiation by particles much smaller than the wavelength of the radiation. Rayleigh scattering does not change the state of material and is, hence, a parametric process. The particles may be individual atoms or molecules. It can occur when light travels through transparent solids and liquids, but is most prominently seen in gases. Rayleigh scattering results from the electric polarizability of the particles. The oscillating electric field of a light wave acts on the charges within a particle, causing them to move at the same frequency. The particle therefore becomes a small radiating dipole whose radiation we see as scattered light. - Example: Rayleigh scattering causes the blue hue of the daytime sky and the reddening of the sun at sunset.


Registered or buffered DIMM; see Buffered.


Power and sensitivity of the transceiver to determine how far the signal can reliably travel. Reach is the capacity for a given length of cable to reliably carry the information. Example: a 100m fiber optic cable isn't very far at all for fiber and it won't have any problem carrying information as long as it has the right transceivers on both ends. A 100m copper ethernet cable would have quite a bit of latency to the point that it is practically unusable unless high-speed isn't a priority in which case there may not even be a need for an ethernet cable at all and a slower and cheaper medium can be used to send the information.


The electrical resistance of an electrical conductor is a measure of the difficulty to pass an electric current through that conductor. Measured in Ohms. Symbol is the Omega or Ω


A Reduced Instruction Set Computer, or RISC "risk", is one whose instruction set architecture (ISA) allows it to have fewer cycles per instruction (CPI) than a complex instruction set computer (CISC). Various suggestions have been made regarding a precise definition of RISC, but the general concept is that such a computer has a small set of simple and general instructions, rather than a large set of complex and specialized instructions. Another common RISC trait is their load/store architecture, in which memory is accessed through specific instructions rather than as a part of most instructions.


Cable that is used to go up or down between floors. Is typically not as fire-resistant as plenum cable and thus CANNOT replace plenum cable. Will have some sort of string inside to help with structural rigidity and strength to help prevent sagging along spans or vertical travel. Riser is typically NOT used where people are actually working so that is why it does NOT have as much fire/flame-resistant material in it. It is in areas such as: inside walls, underground, in elevator shafts, etc.


RJ stands for Registered Jack. It is a reference to telephone or Ethernet jacks.


Type of connector used with standard copper ethernet cable.


Type of connector used with standard copper ethernet cable.


Type of connector used with standard copper ethernet cable.


A router (sometimes called a Wireless Router if it has a built-in Wireless Access Point) connects a network to the internet. Routers usually have built-in modems in lower-end models or may be standalone in higher-end models to optimize their capabilities. Specialized computer-based device optimized for comunications. Example; DSL router. They use motherboards similar to servers and some high-end ones can use RDIMM or LRDIMM. Very specific memory and some can use as much as 1.5TB of memory. Routers differ from Switches in that Routers can assign IP addresses whereas Switches cannot.


Recommended Standard; refers to serial-type connections. Maybe 1% of the PCI cards we sell. Mostly used for industrial-type machines



See; FTP but with additional metal-mesh shielding. If the wires are foil-wrapped and then the entire wire bundle is metal mesh shielded under the insulation hat would be labeled as S/FTP for Shielded-Foil Twisted Pair.

Sample Rate

See; Transfers


Storage Area Network. A Computer network which provides access to consolidated, block level data storage. SANs are primarily used to enhance storage devices, such as disk arrays and tape libraries, accessible to servers so that the devices appear to the operating system as locally attached devices. A SAN typically is its network of storage devices not accessible through the local area network (LAN) by other devices.


Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) is a point-to-point serial protocol that moves data to and from computer-storage devices such as hard drives and tape drives. SAS replaces the older Parallel SCSI (Parallel Small Computer System Interface, usually pronounced "scuzzy" bus technology that first appeared in the mid-1980s.


Subscriber connector/Square connector/standard connector commonly used in data/telecom with GPON, EBON, GBIC, MADI


Synchronous dynamic random access memory. Precursor to DDR and future generations of DDR (DDR2, 3, 4,)


Copper connector type usually associated with a D-shape and pins. Most common are 9-pin and 25-pin.


A server is a computer program or a device that provides functionality for other programs or devices, called "clients".

Server Memory

Registered or load-reduced DIMMs for critical applications


A type of transceiver standard that means Small Form-factor, Pluggable.


Same as SFP but enhanced and typically supports transmission rates of 10Gb/s.


Same as SFP and SFP+ but typically supports transmission rates of 25Gb/s.


See; SFP+


Material describing the encapsulating material (PVC for CAT cables or LSZH for Fiber cables) that protects one or more cladded wires/fibers. May also be a metal-mesh material for Shielded applications in which case the sheathing would NOT be the outside layer but will instead be covered in another cover (usually PVC for CAT cables) usually referred to as Insulation.


Single fiber cord that is used as a bi-directional transfer medium where signals can be sent or received on the same strand of cable. Mostly found in Single-Mode or SMF.


Single-Mode Fiber - typical core diameter of a single-mode fiber is 9μm


Small Outline Dual Inline Memory Modules; see DIMMs. ALL SODIMM are UDIMM but not all UDIMM are SODIMM. The SO in SODIMM refers to Small-Outline. Basically, the only difference between a conventional UDIMM and a SODIMM is the physical size of the SODIMM.

Software agent

A bot (robot) that has agency (authority) to take specific, programmed actions in response to a certain type of stimulus (some sort of triggering event)


Typically used in reference to the data transmission speed of the transceiver


Splits a single signal into two duplicate signals with duplicate cable ends. It does not extend something like a monitor so you essentially have one big monitor. It merely splits the image so you have the same image on both monitors.


Transceiver type SR is Short Range - approx 300m 10GBase with 850nm LOMM


See; SR - refers to 100G QSFP28 transceivers that use 4x25G fibers rather than 4x10G fibers. Able to transmit 100G up to 100m using OM3 or OM4 on 850nm and uses MTP (same as MPO) connectors. Uses 12-fiber MTP.


Similar to DRAM except it does not exhibit volatility. Not nearly as widely used as DRAM.


Straight Tip or Bayonet Fiber Optic Connector. This is a 1/4 turn type connector similar to an FC connector

Stacking Cable

A stacking cable is a cable that allows multiple switches to be connected together and thus operated as one unit


A description for a particular application of cable. Examples are Cat5e (very commonly referred to as Ethernet cable), Cat6, Cat6A, OS1 (optical-single mode, 1 is 1st generation, 2 is 2nd generation and so on), OM1 (optical-multi mode, 1 is 1st generation, 2 is 2nd generation and so on)


Shielded Twisted Pair - refers to CAT-type cables wherein there is an extra wrapping of wire around the individual strands to help protect from electromagnetic interference from other strands or other cables. This is cabling wherein the individual wires are all wrapped together with a Shield. This is similar to, but not the same as, FTP or Foil Twisted Pair.

Structured Cabling

Building or campus cabling infrastructure that consists of a number of standardized smaller elements called subsystems. These systems are designed around telecommunications code standards to ensure that computer equipment will operate as intended when connected to structured cabling systems.


A switch, or network switch. A computer networking device that connects devices together on the same computer network by using packet switching to receive, process, and forward data to the destination device. A switch then connects to a router.



Trade Agreements Act - Is an Act of Congress that governs trade agreements negotiated between the United States and other countries under the Trade Act of 1974.


Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. The set of communications protocols used for the Internet and other similar networks. TCP provides reliable delivery of messages between networked computers. IP uses numeric IP addresses to join network segments.


A time-domain reflectometer (TDR) is an electronic instrument that uses time-domain reflectometry to characterize and locate faults in metallic cables (for example, twisted pair wire or coaxial cable). It can also be used to locate discontinuities in a connector, printed circuit board, or any other electrical path. The equivalent device for optical fiber is an optical time-domain reflectometer.


Device that transmits or receives and can connect to wireless networks via switches - allows connecting fiber optic cables or ethernet cables to various network components via PCI cards, network adapters, NICs, HBAs, etc.


In computer technology, transfers per second and its more common secondary terms gigatransfers per second (abbreviated as GT/s) and megatransfers per second (MT/s) are informal language that refer to the number of operations transferring data that occur in each second in some given data-transfer channel. It is also known as sample rate, i.e. the number of data samples captured per second, each sample normally occurring at the clock edge.


A larger bundle of fiber cables wherein individual fibers are attached to pigtails to "break-out" the fibers and take them to their corresponding components. Analogy of a tree trunk. Top has all the branches that come out with leaves. Those are the breakout cables going to various components or peripherals. The bottom is where the roots come from the ground and go up and converge into the trunk. The trunk is the section in the middle and can have 12, 24, 48, 72, etc. fibers all bundled together. The bundling helps with routing and with maintaining structural rigidity of the entire cable system mostly for vertical travels.


Similar to coax cable except it has 2 cables inside it rather than 1. Twinax is copper cable. Typically found in lengths of 1m, 3m, 5m but technically can go .5m to 100m (no further than 100m), available in QSFP, SFP+ and 1G, 10G and 40G



A rack unit (abbreviated U or RU) is a unit of measure defined as 44.50 millimetres (1.75 in). It is most frequently used as a measurement of the overall height of 19-inch and 23-inch rack frames, as well as the height of equipment that mounts in these frames, whereby the height of the frame or equipment is expressed as multiples of rack units. For example, a typical full-size rack cage is 42U high, while equipment is typically 1U, 2U, 3U, or 4U high.


Unregistered or unbuffered DIMM; see Unbuffered - usually refers to a full-size memory module


Memory type that is much less stable (and less expensive) and is typically used in noncritical applications


Universal Serial Bus - is an industry standard that was developed to define cables, connectors and protocols for connection, communication, and power supply between personal computers and their peripheral devices.

USB Video Adapter

uses a USB port to output video which allows mirroring to mutiple monitors or extending desktop so it can be viewed across multiple monitors


Unshielded Twisted Pair - refers to CAT-type cables wherein the individual wires are not shielded with an extra wrapping of wire



Wide Area Network - is a telecommunications network or computer network that extends over a large geographical distance. Wide area networks are often established with leased telecommunication circuits. Business, education and government entities use wide area networks to relay data to staff, students, clients, buyers, and suppliers from various locations across the world. In essence, this mode of telecommunication allows a business to effectively carry out its daily function regardless of location. The Internet may be considered a WAN.


Wireless Access Point - the actual device that provides the wireless connectivity. Usually connects to a router unless it is an integral part of the router itself


The distance from the top of one wave to the top of the next wave. 850nm is 850 nanometers from the top of one to the top of the next and 1310 nanometers is a longer wavelength.


Wavelength-Dimension Multiplexing, See; CWDM or DWDM. Wavelength-Dimension Multiplexing


WiFi - Wi-Fi or WiFi (Wireless Fidelity) is a technology for wireless local area networking with devices based on the IEEE 802.11 standards. Wi-Fi is a trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance, which restricts the use of the term Wi-Fi Certified to products that successfully complete interoperability certification testing. Devices that can use Wi-Fi technology include personal computers, video-game consoles, phones and tablets, digital cameras, smart TVs, digital audio players and modern printers. Wi-Fi compatible devices can connect to the Internet via a WLAN and a wireless access point. Such an access point (or hotspot) has a range of about 20 meters (66 feet) indoors and a greater range outdoors. Hotspot coverage can be as small as a single room with walls that block radio waves, or as large as many square kilometres achieved by using multiple overlapping access points. Wi-Fi most commonly uses the 2.4 gigahertz (12 cm) UHF and 5.8 gigahertz (5 cm) SHF ISM radio bands. Anyone within range with a wireless modem can attempt to access the network; because of this, Wi-Fi is more vulnerable to attack (called eavesdropping) than wired networks. Wi-Fi Protected Access is a family of technologies created to protect information moving across Wi-Fi networks and includes solutions for personal and enterprise networks. Security features of Wi-Fi Protected Access constantly evolve to include stronger protections and new security practices as the security landscape changes.

Wireless Access Point

See; Access Point


Wireless Local Area Network. Wireless version of a LAN. See; LAN



x86-64 (also known as x64, x86_64, AMD64 and Intel 64) is the 64-bit version of the x86 instruction set. It supports vastly larger amounts (theoretically, 264 bytes or 16 exabytes) of virtual memory and physical memory than is possible on its 32-bit predecessors, allowing programs to store larger amounts of data in memory.


x86 is a family of backward-compatible instruction set architectures based on the Intel 8086 CPU and its Intel 8088 variant. The 8086 was introduced in 1978 as a fully 16-bit extension of Intel's 8-bit-based 8080 microprocessor, with memory segmentation as a solution for addressing more memory than can be covered by a plain 16-bit address. The term "x86" came into being because the names of several successors to Intel's 8086 processor end in "86", including the 80186, 80286, 80386 and 80486 processors.


Is a multisource agreement (MSA), instigated by Agilent Technologies and Agere Systems, that defines a fiber-optic or wired transceiver module which conforms to the 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) standard of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.3 working group. The MSA group received input from both transceiver and equipment manufacturers during the definition process. XENPAK has been replaced by more compact devices providing the same functionality.


XFP is a 10Gigabit transceiver form-factor and is slightly larger than SFP and SFP+ and one of the reasons for this is the on-board heat sinks. Supports: SR, LR, ER and ZR


See; Crosstalk



Transceiver type ZR is also Extended Range - approx 80km (and now 120km) 10GBase with 1550nm single-mode

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