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What does stateful vs. stateless mean in a networking context?

When it comes to understanding state from a networking perspective, knowing the difference between stateful vs. stateless firewalls is a crucial starting point.

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Definitions
  • domain name system (DNS)

    The domain name system (DNS) is a naming database in which internet domain names are located and translated into internet protocol (IP) addresses.

  • Address Resolution Protocol (ARP)

    Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) is a procedure for mapping a dynamic Internet Protocol address (IP address) to a permanent physical machine address in a local area network (LAN).

  • 5G

    Fifth-generation wireless (5G) is the latest iteration of cellular technology, engineered to greatly increase the speed and responsiveness of wireless networks.

Browse Networking Topics

Campus LAN

As enterprises continue to invest in campus LAN environments, adding new software and networking components will allow them to handle an ever-growing amount of traffic. Read expert advice, along with the latest news, about the technologies being used to retool campus area network design. See why campus LANs are now supporting more complex applications and services.

Recent Definitions

  • network operating system (NOS)

    A network operating system (NOS) is a computer operating system (OS) that is designed primarily to support workstations, personal computers and, in some instances, older terminals that are connected on a local area network (LAN).

  • mesh network topology (mesh network)

    A mesh network is a network in which the devices -- or nodes -- are connected so that at least some, and sometimes all, have multiple paths to other nodes.

  • local area network (LAN)

    A local area network (LAN) consists of computers and peripherals that share a common communications line or wireless link to a server. LANs are typically located within a distinct geographic area in an office or other facility.

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Data Center

Learn about data center networking considerations, including evolving data center network architectures and components, emerging data center network protocols and standards, and converged data center and storage networks.

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  • SDN controller (software-defined networking controller)

    An SDN controller is an application in a software-defined networking (SDN) architecture that manages flow control for improved network management and application performance.

  • load balancing

    Load balancing is a technique used to distribute workloads uniformly across servers or other compute resources to optimize network efficiency, reliability and capacity.

  • data center interconnect (DCI)

    Data center interconnect (DCI) is a segment of the networking market that focuses on the technology used to link two or more data centers so the facilities can share resources. There are many options for DCI connectivity and selecting the right one depends upon a wide range of variables, including the location of the data centers, the distance between data centers, bandwidth and availability requirements, the capabilities of local service providers and security concerns.

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Infrastructure

Advancements in enterprise hardware and network protocols are allowing network pros to take advantage of new technologies to design and implement logical and physical LANs that contribute to business success. In our network infrastructure section, find out what you need to know to design your enterprise local area network infrastructure, including 10/100/100 Ethernet and switching technology, green networking initiatives, PoE, VLANs, and information on IP addressing, subnetting, TCP/IP and network routing protocols.

Recent Definitions

  • domain name system (DNS)

    The domain name system (DNS) is a naming database in which internet domain names are located and translated into internet protocol (IP) addresses.

  • 5G

    Fifth-generation wireless (5G) is the latest iteration of cellular technology, engineered to greatly increase the speed and responsiveness of wireless networks.

  • attenuation

    Attenuation is a general term that refers to any reduction in the strength of a signal.

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Network management

Enterprises must be able to accurately track network performance to ensure users can access the applications they need. Find out about the latest trends shaping network monitoring software and tools, including expert advice about the steps companies should take to best manage their networks.

Recent Definitions

  • streaming network telemetry

    Streaming network telemetry is a real-time data collection service in which network devices such as routers, switches and firewalls continuously push network health data and interface measurements to a centralized collector.

  • network configuration management (NCM)

    Network configuration management is the process of organizing and maintaining information about all of the components in a computer network.

  • intent-based networking (IBN)

    Intent-based networking (IBN) is a form of network administration that incorporates artificial intelligence (AI), network orchestration and machine learning (ML) to automate administrative tasks across a network.

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Network Security

Here you'll find network security resources for selecting and implementing security devices and maintaining secure networks. Find out how to design a secure network perimeter, where to locate a firewall and whether you need network access control.

Recent Definitions

  • bogon

    A bogon is an illegitimate IP address that falls into a set of IP addresses that have not been officially assigned to an entity by an internet registration institute, such as the Internet Assigned Number Authority (IANA).

  • payload (computing)

    In computing, a payload is the carrying capacity of a packet or other transmission data unit. The term has its roots in the military and is often associated with the capacity of executable malicious code  to do damage. Technically, the payload of a specific packet or other protocol data unit (PDU) is the actual transmitted data sent by communicating endpoints.

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Networking careers

Learn about networking certification and career resources to help engineers, managers, and architects and specialists hone their networking skills. Read about the most popular certifications, including Cisco's CCNA, CCNP, CCIE certifications, and learn how SDN, automation and other technologies are changing the way networking pros design and manage today's networks.

Recent Definitions

  • NetOps

    NetOps, also referred to as NetOps 2.0, is a networking approach that encompasses the use of DevOps tools, methods and techniques to create an agile, scalable and programmable infrastructure capable of delivering business-critical applications and services rapidly and efficiently.

  • network engineer

    A network engineer is a technology professional who has the necessary skills to plan, implement and oversee the computer networks that support in-house voice, data, video and wireless network services.

  • Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE certification)

    Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE certification) is a series of technical certifications for senior networking professionals who design, build, implement, maintain and troubleshoot complex enterprise networking infrastructures.

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SDN

Software-defined networking architecture offers a new way to oversee network control, cloud connectivity and application performance. Explore SDN's benefits and disadvantages and catch up on the latest news and trends while learning about SDN's part in the networking industry's broader move to software-based networking.

Recent Definitions

  • segment routing

    Segment routing is a computer networking process used by networking and traffic engineering professionals that organizes collections of information, or packets, to follow a linear set of instructions.

  • SD-branch

    SD-branch is a single, automated, centrally managed hardware platform and framework that supports SD-WAN, routing, integrated security and LAN/Wi-Fi functions.

  • SDN controller (software-defined networking controller)

    An SDN controller is an application in a software-defined networking (SDN) architecture that manages flow control for improved network management and application performance.

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Telecom networks

Learn about traditional and emerging telecommunications networking technology, including core, access and metro network infrastructure for global, national and regional wired and wireless service provider networks. Beyond network infrastructure, find expert advice on telecom business issues and network operations.

Recent Definitions

  • Synchronous Optical Network (SONET)

    Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) is a standard for synchronous data transmission on optical fibers.

  • PSTN (public switched telephone network)

    PSTN (public switched telephone network) is the world’s collection of interconnected voice-oriented public telephone networks.

  • carrier cloud

    A carrier cloud is a cloud computing system, or network of servers that store data in a way that it is easily accessible from multiple locations, that is owned and operated by a traditional telecommunications service provider.

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WAN

Wide area network connections allow companies to access and share corporate resources among distributed sites. Discover more about available WAN technologies and services and how organizations can use them to aptly meet business requirements. Learn about factors such as the number of company sites, location, security and bandwidth needs when assessing WAN requirements.

Recent Definitions

  • load balancing

    Load balancing is a technique used to distribute workloads uniformly across servers or other compute resources to optimize network efficiency, reliability and capacity.

  • Network as a Service (NaaS)

    Network as a service (NaaS) is a business model for delivering enterprise-wide area network services virtually on a subscription basis.

  • hybrid WAN

    A hybrid WAN is a wide area network that sends traffic over two or more connection types. Hybrid WANs permit dynamic traffic engineering across both private and public domains, using a variety of connectivity options to make the best use of network resources.

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  • time-based one-time password (TOTP)

    A time-based one-time password (TOTP) is a temporary code, generated by an algorithm, for use in authenticating access to ...

  • Security Operations Center (SOC)

    A security operations center (SOC) is a command center facility for a team of IT professionals with expertise in information ...

  • incident response team

    An incident response team is a group of IT professionals in charge of preparing for and reacting to any type of organizational ...

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  • disaster recovery team

    A disaster recovery team is a group of individuals focused on planning, implementing, maintaining, auditing and testing an ...

  • cloud insurance

    Cloud insurance is any type of financial or data protection obtained by a cloud service provider. 

  • business continuity software

    Business continuity software is an application or suite designed to make business continuity planning/business continuity ...

SearchStorage

  • storage class memory (SCM)

    Storage class memory (SCM) is a type of NAND flash that includes a power source to ensure that data won't be lost due to a system...

  • Hadoop as a service (HaaS)

    Hadoop as a service (HaaS), also known as Hadoop in the cloud, is a big data analytics framework that stores and analyzes data in...

  • blockchain storage

    Blockchain storage is a way of saving data in a decentralized network which utilizes the unused hard disk space of users across ...

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