Understanding the Jargon

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In the web hosting industry, there is a lot of jargon that can be confusing to navigate – and to make matters worse, many web hosts use the same terms to talk about different things. Because our customers are the most important part of our business, we want to make sure you understand what we’re talking about. Below you can find definitions for our most common hosting acronyms to help you make a more informed decision regarding your hosting needs.

A+B Power:
Server reliability is further enhanced by plugging each power supply into a different circuit breaker.

Bare Metal Backups:
These are disk-based backups that greatly increase the speed of complete system recovery from a catastrophic failure. Unlike traditional backups, there is no need to partition the drive and install an operating system.

Cloud Scaling:
The ability to easily create or destroy server images using the Liquid Web Storm® Platform in order to add additional space or computing power.

Content Delivery Network:
A large distributed system of servers deployed in strategically located nodes, all over the world, to facilitate faster delivery of content to end users.

Continuous Backups:
Backup completed by our Liquid Web Guardian agent, these files are kept in a journal of disk changes. These incremental backups know what sectors on the disk have changed before the backup operation even starts.

Dedicated Servers:
Our dedicated servers offer customers their own private hardware, as well as their own network and storage space. They are completely customizable and give the customer full control of their environment. Because the equipment is only used by your own applications, they are completely isolated and won’t suffer from slow speeds because of any “noisy neighbors.”

Disaster Recovery:
A plan that prepares for recovery or continuation of technology infrastructure is vital to an organization after a disaster, be it natural or man-made.

The capability to switch over automatically to a redundant, or standby, computer server in the instance of the original server’s failure.

Fault Tolerant:
A system that can continue its main operation, possibly at a reduced level, instead of failing completely, when some part of the system fails.

Full Management:
Fully managed plans at Liquid Web include 24/7 phone, email and chat support, full hardware and software management, a 100% uptime service level agreement, full control panel support, and Beyond Scope Support for 3rd party applications.

Hot Swappable:
A server that is “hot-swappable” allows Liquid Web to replace hardware components without significant interruption to the system.

Hybrid Hosting:
Our Hybrid Hosting packages allow customers to provision our powerful Managed Dedicated Servers together with our flexible Storm® Servers. They provide paramount durability, easy scaling and the ability to pay for only what you use with the cloud servers. Hybrid Hosting environments often include dedicated servers hosting databases and Storm servers hosting websites or other front-end applications.

Load Balancing:
Distributing data across a network of servers in order to ensure that a single Web server does not get overloaded with work.

Off-Site Backups:
Off-site backups are stored at a location away from the main location of your hosting services as part of a disaster recovery plan. This creates geographical redundancy, ensuring that a back up will be available no matter what happens to your original data.

PCI Compliance:
A fully-managed scanning service at Liquid Web that verifies your compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) Council. The PCI DSS Council requires that your organization takes all the necessary steps to protect sensitive customer data and provides a set of standards for your infrastructure and server setup.

Server Clustering:
Grouping together servers, either loosely or tightly, so they work together and can be viewed as a single system.

Server Hardening:
The process of securing a server by reducing its surface vulnerability. There are a number of methods by which this can be done, but overall, the more your server does, the larger a vulnerability surface it has.

Storm® Dedicated (Bare Metal) Servers:
Our bare metal, Storm® Dedicated servers allow you to take advantage of the scalability and flexibility of the cloud but still provide you with the power of dedicated hardware with transparent technical specifications of our available servers.

Storm® SSD:
Storm® SSD Servers utilize solid state technology and have unmatched I/O performance. They load fast, perform rapid queries and create a low server load.

Storm® VPS:
Our Storm® Virtual Private Servers provide the control and customizability of a dedicated server, the affordability, flexibility, and scalability of the cloud. For Storm® VPS servers, we create multiple virtual private servers on one Storm® Server.

Utility Billing:
Utility billing, our “pay-as-you-go” service, makes creating and destroying Storm® Servers on demand even easier, allowing you to only pay for what you use.

It is our hope that this list of 22 brief definitions for the most frequently asked about the most common hosting acronyms that we use at Liquid Web provides some insight past all the industry jargon. Breaking through the fog of technical vernacular can be difficult for those unfamiliar with the industry, so we are always here to help. We believe in complete transparency when it comes to working with our customers and would be happy to explain any of the industry “jargon” we use. Our Heroic Support® and Sales teams are, of course, available to help 24/7/365.

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