Keith Bromley
Sr. Manager, Product Marketing at Ixia

Understanding Network Monitoring Terminology Can Be Easier Than You Think

April 4, 2017 by Keith Bromley

Communication is one of the simplest and hardest activities that humans engage in. At the same time, it’s one of the most important. We need to understand others as well as being understood. This is why humans invented language. It provides a common ground and methodology for communication with others. Speaking the same language removes confusion, creates consistency, and makes it easy to discuss new ideas that can help you solve your problems.

While basic language is a skill we all use every day, what about technology talk though? Do you know and understand all the technical terminology out there? I’ll admit that I have trouble at times. It seems like many people just invent, and reinvent, new names for whatever they want. Acronyms abound everywhere. All this does is cause confusion, not clarity. Sometimes this is done deliberately by some vendors to obscure shortcomings in their products by creating new definitions. At other times, new products and applications require the creation of new terminology. For instance, when I started my career in telecommunications we had terms like:  subscriber, SS7, AIN, telecommunications, etc. Once voice over IP came along, we had different names for the same (or similar) concepts like:  user, SIP, apps, and unified communications.

To help you traverse the myriad of confusing twists and turns in the network monitoring and visibility landscape, Ixia has created a new asset, called the ABCs of Network Visibility, and also a network visibility terminology webpage which houses a collection of network monitoring resources. The ABC book is a “no nonsense” lexicon that uses common terminology for network monitoring terms. This includes a definition of the term, typical use cases, and some helpful hints when you’re investigating that type of solution. The webpage contains additional assets, like books (like Network Visibility for Dummies), blogs, etc. to help you further expand your knowledge of network visibility topics.

These resources can help you understand various terms and concepts like:

  • What is a visibility architecture?
  • What do we mean by network blind spots and where do they come from?
  • What is meant by inline and out-of-band monitoring?

In the end, a proper understanding of IT terminology helps you understand the solutions available. Visit the terminology webpage I mentioned above and the Ixia Out-of-Band Visibility solutions page to see how network visibility and visibility architectures can be of help you.