Networking Terms: Educating Your Clients

It is very important to educate your small business prospects and clients on key small business networking terms and buzzwords.  After all, in order to “win them over”, you need to be speaking the same language. In fact, you may even want to prepare a “cheat sheet”, based on the below definitions, to help you in your prospect and client pre-sales activities.

•    NIC (Network Interface Card) – a printed circuit board, adapter card or the underlying supporting chipset that snaps into the motherboard of a desktop PC, notebook or server and transmits and receives packets on a network; used to connect to networks including a local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), or a broadband network for high-speed cable modem or DSL-based Internet access or other dedicated Internet access service; most common NIC used by small businesses is the 10/100Mbps Ethernet adapter.

•    NOS (Network Operating System) – an OS designed for communications between networked computer systems; popular NOS’s include Apple Mac OS, Linux, Microsoft Windows NT/2000 and Novell NetWare.

•    Peer-to-Peer Network – an inexpensive alternative to a client/server network in which a PC doubles as both a workstation (used by an end user) and a server (from which resources are shared); although virtually any OS can be configured for peer-to-peer networking, peer-to-peer networks are often assembled from Microsoft’s least expensive consumer OS’s, such as Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows Me and Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition.

•    RAID (redundant array of independent disks) is technology generally used to increase a server’s reliability — by simultaneously writing data to multiple hard drives. While many people also use RAID to improve server performance, RAID eliminates a single point of hard drive failure. Years ago, you could only get the benefits of RAID through SCSI-based hard drives. Today, IDE hard drives can also enjoy entry-level RAID fault tolerance benefits.

•    SCSI (small computer systems interface) is a high-end interface for connecting both internal and external computer peripheral devices. Years ago, only SCSI-based storage devices were used in most servers.

•    Server – any computing device or peripheral on a network designed to provide shared services and resources to network users; primarily characterized by multi-user usage, as compared to a desktop or notebook PC; common servers include the file, printer, e-mail messaging and collaboration, Web, proxy and database server.

•    Wireless Ethernet – set of standards and in-progress standards that allow Ethernet networks to run without physical cabling and utilize radio waves for transmission.