Networking Glossary: Top 16 Networking Terms Everyone Should Know

The world of networking has a language of its own which is continually evolving as new technologies emerge, innovative ways of delivering network services are deployed, and global connectivity becomes increasingly essential.

While the list of “must-know” terms is too long to cover in a single blog, here are some to incorporate into your vocabulary as you evaluate how cloud networking can benefit your organization.

Networking Glossary

  1. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) — The practice of employees using their personal mobile devices to do their jobs, typically requiring connection to enterprise networks and accessing enterprise data and cloud applications. This trend brings with it many challenges, which are described in detail here.
  2. Firewall as a Service (FwaaS) — a firewall delivered as a cloud-based service. Unlike appliance-based firewalls that require management of  discrete firewall appliances, FwaaS is a single logical firewall in the cloud that can be accessed from anywhere.  Click here for a detailed overview of FwaaS.
  3. Hybrid Wide-Area Network (Hybrid WAN) a type of wide area network that sends traffic over two or more connection types. For example, an MPLS connection and an Internet connection. .
  4. Internet Backhaul moving large amounts of data between major data aggregation points. Although it’s expensive, organizations often use MPLS to backhaul branch traffic to their corporate data centers to secure traffic and enforce policies.  
  5. Jitter — the varied delay between packets that can result from network congestion, improper queuing, or configuration errors. See also WAN Latency.
  6. Metro Ethernet — also known as “carrier Ethernet,” is an Ethernet-based network in a metropolitan area used for connectivity to the public Internet, as well as for connectivity between corporate sites that are separated geographically.  
  7. MPLS (Multiprotocol Logical Switching)a technology for moving traffic between locations. Services based on the MPLS technology represent the traditional approach for providing predictable connectivity between locations .  
  8. NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) abstracts network functions, so they can be installed, controlled, and manipulated by software that runs on standardized compute nodes.   
  9. Network Throughput — the rate of successful message delivery. It is affected by latency, packet loss and WAN optimization.  
  10. QoS (Quality of Service) — the capability of a network to provide better service to selected traffic, including dedicated bandwidth and controlled jitter and latency.  
  11. Secure Web Gateway — a cloud-based solution that filters unwanted software/malware from user-initiated Internet traffic and enables granular and central security policy creation.
  12. SLA (Service Level Agreement) — an agreement between a service provider and the customer that describes the products or services to be delivered, and outlines scope, quality, and responsibilities.
  13. SDN (Software-defined Network) a network architecture that separates the control and data planes in networking equipment. Network intelligence and state are logically centralized, and the underlying network infrastructure is abstracted from applications.  
  14. SD-WAN (Software Defined Wide Area Network) —  an application-based routing system, rather than a traditional, packet-based network routing system. It uses SDN to determine the most effective way to route traffic to remote locations.  For a detailed overview of SD-WAN and its benefits for global business, refer to our explainer here.
  15. VPN (Virtual Private Network) — a network technology used to create a secure network over the Internet or any private network. It links two or more locations on a public network as if they are on a private network.   
  16. Latency — the time needed to reach a destination. Latency is typically measured from one destination and back (called round trip time or RTT). See also Jitter.

If you’re interested in learning more about the concepts behind these and other cloud networking terms, make sure to subscribe to our blog.

Related Topics