SCL Cluster Cookbook
Glossary

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See also the Cornell Theory Center's Glossary of Supercomputing Terms.

ATM Asynchronous Transfer Mode; a circuit-based cell-switched network of terminals (e.g., computers) and network switches to provide a local or wide area network. Uses copper cables for short-distance connections or fiber optic cable for longer distances. Current LAN implementations operate at 155Mbps.
bps Bits Per Second; the number of individual one-bit pieces of information that can be transmitted in a single second. Each byte of information typically consists of eight bits. Mbps = million bits per second, Gbps = billion bits per second.
FDDI Fiber Distributed Data Interface; a fiber optic token ring local area network operating at 100Mbps.
NIC Network Interface Card; the printed circuit board that is inserted into a computer system's backplane to connect physically the computer to the network.
Repeater A network repeater (also known as a hub) operates at the OSI layer 1, which means that (in Ethernet) it simply filters and amplifies the electronic signals from a sender and distributes the signal to all the other attached ports.
Switch A network switch routes packets between its ports at the OSI layer 2, which means that (in Ethernet) the switch decides where incoming packets go based on the NIC's 48-bit address. Upon receipt of a packet, a switch forwards a packet to its destination port.
UTP Unshielded Twisted Pair; generic name for low-voltage copper cable in which each pair of conductors is twisted around each other to provide immunity to stray electro-magnetic interference. Four-pair (8 conductor) cables are typically used for phone and data communications applications, including Ethernet and Fast Ethernet. Typical ratings are Category 3 (10Mbps) and Category 5 (100Mbps).


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