Geek Speak is the jargon used by those immersed in computers and the world of information technology.  As you use your computer and related technology, the terms used may seem like a foreign language.  Let us help you understand a little bit more with these definitions.

24/7 Monitoring

  • A process combined with software that provides a 24/7 view of the health of all covered systems.

Anti-Virus

  • An Anti-Virus program is the computer’s way of taking a Vitamin C pill.  It helps the immune system, but doesn’t block all illnesses!
  • Anti-virus software is something that prevents viral infection. Modern defensive software is properly termed anti-malware.  A virus is simply software that replicates itself.  There are very few computer viruses out there anymore.  What we see today are mostly trojans, software that tries to pass itself off as something else safe.  This can be a document, or a picture, or a link to a website.

Bandwidth

  • A performance measurement of a connection. Usually used to reference the speed of an Internet connection.

Battery Backup/UPS

  • A battery backup, or uninterruptible power supply (UPS), is primarily used to provide a backup power source to important servers and desktop computer hardware components.

Break-Fix Provider

  • A Break-Fix provider is an alternative for a MSP provider. Break-Fix providers work on an hourly basis, and specific contracts.  They operate very similarly to an Electrical or Plumbing contractor.  They can be useful for small scale work, and special projects.  The problem is a lack of ongoing investment.  Break-Fix Providers are not incentivized to plan long term for the customer.  They are also incentivized to ensure each contract is as expensive as possible, resulting in inefficient resource outlays.

Certifications

  • Industry specific credentials provided by the leaders in their respective fields.

Cloud Hosting

  • The cloud is a fancy word for Internet. In many ways if you read the word cloud you should understand it as someone else’s computer.  Cloud Hosting specifically refers to using a cloud provider to host a product.  This can be used for many purposes such as operating a website, email service, or even running a desktop!

Contracts

  • Contracts that define service with a monthly recurring charge and responsibility.

CPU

  • Central Processing Unit, this refers to the primary chip inside a computer that does most of the thinking. It has been also used to describe the computer itself.

Custom Build

  • A computer built from off the shelf components.
  • We engineer machines to match specific needs in circumstances where a tier 1 OEM such as Dell doesn’t provide a good matching product.  Most of the time it’s more cost effective to customize a Dell platform to match the customer’s needs.

Data Storage

  • This can refer to both the process of storing data, as well as the physical or virtual media used to store the data.

Desktop

  • A computer designed to be immobile. This is the least expensive, most powerful, and most easily adapted and repaired platform available for any PC.

Ethernet

  • Ethernet is the formal name for the network interfaces on desktops and laptops.

Hard Drive (Platter or SSD)

  • A hard drive is a device inside your computer that provides semi-permanent long-term storage of information. There are several options on the market today.
  • The traditional hard drive, which uses rotating platters to store information. This type of disk suffers from mechanical fault risks and operates on principles very much like old record players.  Optical disks such as a DVDROM work on similar principles as well.  This technology uses a disk of some type that rotates, and a head is used to read and if possible write information to the media.   This technology is characterized by mechanically complex devices that fail on relatively short intervals.  However, during its operational lifespan a hard disk of this type can write as much data as it can and will never fail.  What disables this technology is the inevitable mechanical failures that plague any complex system with this many moving parts.  These failures come on due to age and time, and often manifest as intermittent or incremental performance problems.
  • The solid-state drive, or SSD which replaces the rotating platters with far faster and more reliable NVRAM. This type of drive eliminates most possible forms of mechanical fault and replaces them with faults common with RAM.  These faults are typically easier to spot during manufacturing, so fault rates once the product reaches the market are far lower, and the odds of having a fault relative to a mechanical drive are substantially reduced.  However, faults in an SSD are almost always catastrophic.  Care must be taken to protect the data.  Faulty SSDs can happen without any apparent warning.  And will almost certainly require the assistance of a data recovery service to get any information back that may have been lost.

Hardware

  • Physical components that run software.
  • Examples are: hard drive, memory, CPU, motherboard, optical drive.

Help Desk

  • Most of the time this is technical in nature, and different organizations usually have some form of it to assist users with anything imaginable.

Infrastructure

  • Think toilets, the parts of a facility that are critical to its operation but often not given conscious thought. Digital Infrastructure includes servers, desktops, network equipment, and all connective cabling in between.  Problems in this realm are often extremely expensive to repair, even more so when costs of unproductive employees are considered.

Input

  • A device that accepts input is known as an input device such as a keyboard, mouse, or touch screen.

IT Life Cycle Management

  • Organization of software and hardware technical assets to prevent downtime due to age.

IT Support

  • Technical services designed to ensure electronic and digital assets function properly and users are well trained in their appropriate use.

Laptop

  • A computer designed to be mobile. This is the most expensive, least powerful, and least flexible platform available for any PC.  Often not worth the investment, careful consideration must be made before purchasing a laptop.

Memory/RAM

  • Random Access Memory – Short term, high speed memory storage used by computers for temporary and extremely rapid access of information. This is usually measured in gigabytes.  All computers, even a basic flip phone has some amount of it.  But whatever is using it, what’s stored in RAM is gone as soon as the power is shut off.

Motherboard

  • The system board inside a computer that contains the system bus chip, memory interfaces, and CPU interface. Typically, it’s the largest board inside a computer.

MSP

  • MSP stands for Managed Service Provider.
  • An MSP is a specialized IT service company that provides preventative maintenance and technical services with a regular monthly fee.  This financial configuration protects the customer, because the IT provider is forced to complete the work with as few resources as required while also doing so competently.
  • Intouch Technology operates as a Hybrid MSP, capable of both ongoing service and maintenance as well as break-fix.

Network

  • Refers to the connective hardware and software that enable systems to communicate.

Network Security

  • Methods and procedures used to secure a network.

NVRAM

  • Non-volatile Random Access Memory. This is a form of memory that can store data beyond a power off state.  Usually slower and more expensive than RAM.

Off-site Backup

  • A backup that happens in a different location as the business.

Off-site Support

  • Work performed from a remote location by the MSP supporting the company.

On-site Backup

  • A backup that happens in the same location as the business.

On-site Support

  • Work performed at the customer's location.

Patch Tuesday

  • An informal term that refers to Microsoft’s update schedule. It is usually the second and sometimes fourth Tuesday of every month.
  • Security and System Updates are very important for every computer. If your computers do not have the most recent updates, then your computer is at risk for problems. Systems that are not kept up to date with patches and updates are more likely to get infected. Updates provide you with the most recent programming for your protection. We can install programs that you need, clean and defragment your systems, as well as offer other ways to service your needs.

Performance Optimization

  • A process that maximizes the performance of a system. This can be a desktop, server, laptop, or network.

Project Management

  • Organization of projects required for the future health and integrity of an enterprise.

Remote Access

  • Remote Support-We are continually developing newer, better methods to support you remotely. These include simple support phone calls, as well as innovative remote login features. With your approval, we can implement these on your workstations and servers so that our technician can log in remotely and fix it immediately.
  • Remote Desktop-A user can access their office station from a remote location.  It can be on the other side of the room, or on the other side of the planet.
  • Remote Server-A server that's being accessed via remote access technology, very similar to remote desktop.
  • Remote Desktop Protocol-A network communications platform designed by Microsoft to allow remote operation of computer systems.  There is the Remote Desktop Client, software found on all Microsoft platforms.  The Remote Desktop Service, which is found on both Microsoft Windows Professional based desktops as well as Microsoft Servers.  The RDP protocol is at the heart of it all, providing secure, fast, and easily scalable access to any properly configured asset over a near infinite distance thanks to the Internet.

Security

  • A process that protects something. This can refer to physical places, such as homes or offices, as much as it can a network or computer.

Security Analysis

  • A process performed to determine the exposure of a digital asset to threats.

Server

  • A system that hosts a service. This can even be a desktop!  It’s simply a system that performs a task that someone uses.

Software

  • Programs used on the computer to complete tasks.

Switches

  • Switches or also called Network Switches is a highly specialized network device that connects Ethernet enabled devices to each other.

Untangle

  • Untangle provides a powerful suite of Internet management applications for small-to-medium businesses and education institutions. The Untangle Server is a multi-function firewall and network managing tool.  It simplifies and consolidates the many network and security products that businesses need at the gateway to the Internet.  Untangle includes these applications and more: Web Filter, Virus Blocker, Ad Blocker, Attack Blocker, Phish Blocker, Spyware Blocker, Firewall, QoS, Intrusion Prevention, Protocol Control, OpenVPN, and Reports.  The Report Manager is a great tool to be able to see where employees have been on the internet while the Protocol Control allows you to block online games, Instant Messenger and other websites to promote greater employee productiveness.
  • For more information, visit our partner at www.nexgenappliances.com.

UTM

  • Unified Threat Management, it’s a blanket term that references many technologies intended to protect users from various threats from many sources. This can be hackers, malware, or even simple user ignorance.  No business can safely operate without a UTM in today’s climate.

Virtualization

  • Virtualization provides the ability for computers to run other computers within itself.  So, for example a single physical server can run not only itself, but other servers too.  With proper engineering this is the gateway to huge savings in computer hardware, and power bills.  Done improperly it becomes the gateway to great pain and tribulation.  Ever seen the movie Inception?  This is the computer technological equivalent.

Virus Removal/Spyware Removal

  • A process designed to remove malware from a computer.
  • We don’t perform this service very frequently anymore.  Systems need to be trusted, and a machine once infected cannot ever really be trusted again.  Which is why when we’re asked to do this, while we’re cleaning the system we perform a security analysis, so we can educate the user on the risks associated with continuing to use the repaired equipment.

Windows Updates

  • Security and System Updates are very important for every computer user. If your computers do not have the most recent updates, including your software, then your computer is at risk for many problems. Systems that are not kept up to date with patches and updates are more likely to get infected. Updates provide you with the most recent programming for your protection. We can install programs that you need, clean and defragment your systems, as well as offer many more ways to service your needs.