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Useful links

Name: Institute for Telecommunication Sciences 
URL: http://www.its.bldrdoc.gov/projects/t1glossary2000/ (new version)  
URL: http://glossary.its.bldrdoc.gov/fs-1037/ (old version)  
This glossary exists in two versions, each of which is a comprehensive source of telecommunication terms, including
most of those used in optical networking. The newer version is being updated, sources say. 
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Name: What Is.com 
URL: http://www.whatis.com/  
A comprehensive list of information technology terms, including optical networking terms. 
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Name: Seiko Instruments 
URL: http://www.seikofiber.com/html/intro2fo/glossary.html#D_TERMS 
A decent glossary of fiber optic terms. 
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Name: University of Pisa’s Laser Glossary 
URL: http://www.ing.unipi.it/~d7384/com_ottiche/LaserGlossario.html  
List of fiber optic terms focusing on laser technology.  
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Name: Neptec 
URL: http://www.neptecinc.com/glossary.html#13  
Decent glossary of optical terms. 
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Name: Chromatic Technologies 
URL: http://www.drakausa.com/CTIglos.htm  
A basic, not-very-comprehensive glossary of optical networking terms. 
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Name: Nanoptics 
URL: http://www.nanoptics.com/Glossary.htm  
A tiny glossary that defines some unusual terms.  

 
Name: Fotec  
URL: http://www.fotec.com/glossary.htm  
Small glossary focused on fiber field work and testing. 

 
Note: The following site provides links to many different aspects of the optical industry, including manufacturers, organizations, and tutorials:  
 
http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Circuit/8070/
 

 

Additional Common Terms

ASP 
Applications Services Provider - a company that provides software applications and interfaces to multiple users from a centralized, managed facility over a shared network such as the Internet.  
 
Bandwidth 
The transmission capacity of a physical link between two devices. In digital links the bandwidth is measured in bits-per-second (bps) , or more commonly Kbps (Kilobits per second), Mbps (Megabits per second) or Gbps (Gigabits per second). Limited bandwidth has traditionally been a performance bottleneck in networked systems. Until now it has imposed severe limitations on the ability of the Internet to deliver all that we are demanding it deliver, but fiber-optic cables will ensure bandwidth abundance.  
 
 
Broadband 
This term is used loosely to refer to any kind of bandwidth above that of conventional dial-up modems (roughly 56 kbps).  
 
 
Co-location Facility 
A building constructed to house computing and communications equipment from different owners. Businesses locate equipment in these facilities in order to be physically close to other businesses' equipment with which they are interconnected.  
 
 
Ethernet 
The dominant Local Area Network technology. Originally deployed as a shared media architecture where each device shared a common bandwidth, it is now more used as an interface between an end device and a LAN switch, and between LAN switches. Interface speeds of 10Mbps, 100Mbps, and 1000Mbps have been standardized and a 10Gbps standard is under development.  
 
Fiber-Optic Cable 
A medium for transmission comprised of many glass fibers. Light-emitting diodes or lasers send light through the fiber to a detector that converts the light back to an electrical signal for interpretation. Advantages include huge bandwidth, immunity to eavesdropping, immunity to electromagnetic interference, and the ability to traverse long distances with minimal signal degradation.  
 
IP 
Internet Protocol - The basic protocol that provides a mechanism for routing data traffic across a shared network. As the name implies, it is the basis of the Internet.  
 
LAN 
Local Area Network - a system of connecting computers, printers, servers, and other data devices in an office or building so that they can communicate with each other.  
 
Managed Network 
A carefully planned system which combines a sophisticated data network with tools and devices continuously monitor, report, analyze, and diagnose the health and performance of the network, and enable the pro-active management and problem resolution of the network.  
 
MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) 
A network spanning a geographical area greater than a LAN but less than a WAN (Wide Area Network). This type of network typically spans an area from a few city blocks to a greater metropolitan region.  
 
 
Network Architecture 
Network architecture refers to the physical and logical design of a network, and the inherent ability of that design to carry data from one location to another within the bounds required for acceptable performance for the end user.  
 
Network Operations Center (NOC) 
A central location responsible for continuously monitoring and controlling all the devices which comprise a network. A NOC is one key feature of a managed network.  
 
Optical 
Of or having to do with light.  
 
Quality of service (QoS) 
The concept of applying and ensuring specific, quantifiable performance levels on a shared network. Performance can be assessed based on physical measurements of the network, the methods by which network traffic is prioritized, and on how the network is managed.  
 
Routing 
The process of moving a data packet from its local network to a remote network based on the address of the remote network. The packet may need to traverse many network nodes and links to reach its destination network. Routing is a complex process of determining which links and nodes will move the packet to its eventual destination  
 
Scalable 
The ability to add power and capability to an existing system without significant expense or overhead.  
 
Service Level Agreement 
Written description of terms, parameters, and conditions which will be used to determine that the network is meeting a guaranteed level of performance, and the consequences if that performance level is not met.  
 
Voice-over-IP
 
The process of taking a voice signal, digitizing it, and then breaking the digital data stream into packets for transmission over an IP network such as the Internet.  
 
WAN (Wide Area Network) 
A network that links distant geographical areas such as different states or different countries (as opposed to the LAN and MAN). The WAN link is typically the most expensive for a given bandwidth due to the distance that must be covered and the limited number of ways to implement a link across such distances.