The ABCs of data: A glossary of IT, broadband and data center terms

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

Data lingo can get heavy. And after reading our story (How did Columbus become an emerging data center market?), you may find yourself confused, and curious, about some of the more jargon-y terms related to data, likecolocation, latency&ISPs.We're here to help.


High-speed Internet access delivered via fiber optic or coaxial cables.

Carrier neutral

Services or facilities that allow clients to use their choice of broadband carriers.


Broadband service providers such as Time Warner Cable, AT&T, WOW, Verizon, etc.


Placing company/agency servers and computing equipment in a commercial data facility owned by a third-party. Colocation facilities provide floor space, connectivity, security and a regulated environment.


The ability to connect to networks and hardware devices for data transfer.


Internet Service Provider


Cables that use fiber-optics (light) for high-speed transmission of digital data.


The time it takes to deliver a data request over fiber lines to the end user.


Network traffic volume; power usage.


An actual room with carrier equipment that provides points of interconnection between carriers and data-center clients, or between multiple carriers.

Mission critical

Computer-based operations which are central to business functions and viability.

Point of Presence (PoP)

A physical hub for connecting a carrier to local clients.


Backup power supply, networks and/or equipment to maintain continuity of mission critical operations should a system fail.


The shared hub for the computing operations and network access of multiple users within an organization.


Uninterruptible Power Supply

-Kitty McConnell

(Source: Data Center Journal; Gartner IT Glossary;PC Magazine Encyclopedia; Interxion)