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Systems Management: Glossary

anti-virus software - a class of program that searches your hard drive and floppy disks for any known or potential viruses.

autonomic computing - self-managing computing model patterned after the human body's autonomic nervous system.

Bluebird - open source management tool that uses Internet protocols to discover and map network devices and allow system administrators to set network policies and service-level agreements.

Business Software Alliance - watchdog group dedicated to fighting software piracy.

central event handler - coordinates programming code to be executed when an event occurs

change management - systematic approach to dealing with change.

Chief Information Officer - person in charge of information technology and computer systems.

configuration management - detailed recording and updating of information that describes an enterprise's computer systems and networks, including all hardware and software components.

Desktop Management Interface - industry framework for managing and keeping track of hardware and software components from a central location.

distributed computing - computing system that involves multiple remote computers or devices.

EAI - business computing term for the plans, methods, and tools aimed at modernizing, consolidating, and coordinating the computer applications in an enterprise. Acronym for enterprise application integration.

EULA - legal contract between a software application author or publisher and the user of that application. Acronym for End Users License Agreement.

fault-tolerant - computer system designed so that, in the event that a component fails, a backup component or procedure can immediately take its place with no loss of service.

help desk - place that a user can call to get help with a problem.

infrastructure - the physical hardware used to interconnect computers and users.

integration server - facilitates interaction between diverse operating systems and applications across internal and external networked computer systems.

intrusion detection - type of security management system for computers and networks.

Management Information Base - formal description of a set of network objects that can be managed using SNMP.

management service provider - company that manages information technology services for other companies.

MIS - central or centrally-coordinated system of computer expertise and management. Stands for Management Information System.

mobile node - device whose location and point of attachment to the Internet may frequently change.

managed security service provider - Internet service provider that provides an organization with some amount of network security management, which may include virus blocking, spam blocking, intrusion detection, firewalls, and virtual private network (VPN) management.

Open Network Management System - a consortium dedicated to the development of an open source network and a systems management tool called Bluebird.

outsourcing - an arrangement in which one company provides management services for another company that could also be or usually have been provided in-house.

patch - quick-repair job for a piece of programming.

policy-based management - administrative approach used to simplify management by establishing procedures to deal with situations that are likely to occur.

self-healing - describes any device or system that has the ability to perceive that it is not operating correctly and, without human intervention, make the necessary adjustments to restore itself to normal operation.

self-management (see self-healing)

Simple Network Management Protocol - protocol governing network management and the monitoring of network devices and their functions.

systems consolidation - streamlining the information system within an organization. Sometimes involves removing hardware or redundant software applications.

systems integration - encourages free flow of information across systems by allowing business applications to talk to each other and exchange data.

systems integrator - makes sure that all the components in a computer system work with each other.

systems thinking - holistic approach to management that focuses on how a system's parts interrelate over time within the context of larger systems.

total cost of ownership - type of calculation designed to help enterprise managers assess both direct and indirect costs and benefits related to the purchase of an IT component.

upgrade - new version of a hardware or software product.

utility computing - computing resources and infrastructure management made available to the customer as needed. Customer is charge for specific usage rather than a flat rate.

VPN - provides remote offices or individual users with secure access to their organization's network.

wireless LAN - allows mobile user to connect to a local area network through a wireless radio connection.

This was last updated in June 2006

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