Glossary

DHCP

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a communications protocol that lets network administrators manage centrally and automate the assignment of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses in an organization's network. Using the Internet Protocol, each machine that can connect to the Internet needs a unique IP address. When an organization sets up its computer users with a connection to the Internet, an IP address must be assigned to each machine. Without DHCP, the IP address must be entered manually at each computer and, if computers move to another location in another part of the network, a new IP address must be entered. DHCP lets a network administrator supervise and distribute IP addresses from a central point and automatically sends a new IP address when a computer is plugged into a different place in the network.

 

DNS

The domain name system (DNS) is the way that Internet domain names are located and translated into Internet Protocol addresses. A domain name is a meaningful and easy-to-remember "handle" for an Internet address.
Because maintaining a central list of domain name/IP address correspondences would be impractical, the lists of domain names and IP addresses are distributed throughout the Internet in a hierarchy of authority. There is probably a DNS server within close geographic proximity to your access provider that maps the domain names in your Internet requests or forwards them to other servers in the Internet.

 

Email Server

Hardware and software that together collect and distribute files or information in response to requests sent via electronic mail.

 

File Server

Hardware and software that together provide file-handling and storage functions for multiple users on a local area network. The most common choices for file server software are Sun Microsystems' Network File System for Unix and Novell Netware for IBM PC compatibles. There is also a version of NFS for PCs called PC-NFS. Storing files on a file server saves having multiple copies stored on individual computers, thus economising on disk space and also makes administrating and updating the files easier.

 

Firewall

A firewall is a set of related programs, located at a network gateway server, that protects the resources of a private network from users from other networks. (The term also implies the security policy that is used with the programs.) An enterprise with an intranet that allows its workers access to the wider Internet installs a firewall to prevent outsiders from accessing its own private data resources and for controlling what outside resources its own users have access to.

 

Internet Sharing

The sharing of one Internet connection with more than one computer so that every computer can be connected to the Internet.

 

VPN

A virtual private network (VPN) is a private data network that makes use of the public telecommunication infrastructure, maintaining privacy through the use of a tunneling protocol and security procedures. A virtual private network can be contrasted with a system of owned or leased lines that can only be used by one company. The idea of the VPN is to give the company the same capabilities at much lower cost by using the shared public infrastructure rather than a private one. Phone companies have provided secure shared resources for voice messages. A virtual private network makes it possible to have the same secure sharing of public resources for data. Companies today are looking at using a private virtual network for both extranets and wide-area intranets.

 

Web Server

A Web server is a program that, using the client/server model and the World Wide Web's Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), serves the files that form Web pages to Web users (whose computers contain HTTP clients that forward their requests). Every computer on the Internet that contains a Web site must have a Web server program. Two leading Web servers are Apache, the most widely-installed Web server, and Microsoft's Internet Information Server (IIS). Other Web servers include Novell's Web Server for users of its NetWare operating system and IBM's family of Lotus Domino servers, primarily for IBM's OS/390 and AS/400 customers