Windows Server Definitions

This glossary explains the meaning of key words and phrases that information technology (IT) and business professionals use when discussing Microsoft Windows Server and related software products. You can find additional definitions by visiting WhatIs.com or using the search box below.

Search Definitions
  • A

    A+ (A Plus)

    A-Plus (A+) is the name of a process, developed by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), a large trade group, that certifies individuals for knowledge about and competency in installing, maintaining, customizing, and operating personal computers.

  • Accelerated Hub Architecture (AHA) (or Intel Hub Architecture)

    Accelerated Hub Architecture (AHA) (also called Intel Hub Architecture) is an Intel 800-series chipset design that uses a dedicated bus to transfer data between the two main processor chips instead of using the Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) bus, which was used in previous chipset architectures.

  • AccessChk

    AccessChk is a free Sysinternals command-line utility that shows what access a user or group of users has to a particular service, file, folder or registry key.

  • AccessEnum

    AccessEnum is a free Sysinternals tool that offers administrators a view of the full file system and registry security settings to ensure that users have appropriate permissions to access files and directories.

  • ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface)

    ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) is an industry specification for the efficient handling of power consumption in desktop and mobile computers.

  • Active Directory

    Active Directory (AD) is a Microsoft product that consists of several services that run on Windows Server to manage permissions and access to networked resources.

  • Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS)

    Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS) is an Active Directory tool that lets administrators customize services in order to issue and manage public key certificates.

  • Active Directory domain (AD domain)

    An Active Directory domain is a collection of objects within a Microsoft Active Directory network. An object can be a single user or a group or it can be a hardware component, such as a computer or printer.

  • Active Directory forest (AD forest)

    An Active Directory forest is the highest level of organization within Active Directory.

  • Active Directory functional levels

    Active Directory functional levels are controls that specify which advanced Active Directory domain features can be used in an enterprise domain. The enterprise domain is usually comprised of domain controllers that run on different versions of the Windows Server operating system.

  • Active Directory tree (AD tree)

    An Active Directory tree is a collection of domains within a Microsoft Active Directory network.

  • Active Server Page (ASP)

    ASP is also an abbreviation for application service provider.

  • AMIBIOS (AMI BIOS)

    AMIBIOS is one of the original brands of basic input/output system (BIOS) chip and is probably the most commonly installed BIOS chip in today's personal computers.

  • ASPI driver (Advanced SCSI Programming Interface driver)

    In a personal computer, an ASPI driver is a software driver or program that uses the Advanced SCSI Programming Interface (ASPI) protocol to interface with the Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) bus.

  • autoexec.bat

    AUTOEXEC.BAT is a file containing Disk Operating System commands that are executable when the computer is booted (started).

  • AutoRun

    AutoRun is a feature of the Windows operating system that causes predetermined actions when certain media is inserted. Common media types that trigger AutoRun actions include CDs, DVDs and USB storage devices.

  • B

    backup domain controller (Windows NT)

    A backup domain controller (BDC) is a role a Windows NT computer takes on to help manage access to network resources.

  • batch file

    A batch file is a text file that contains a sequence of commands for a computer operating system.

  • binder

    In file management, a binder is a software utility that combines two or more files into a single file.

  • BizTalk

    BizTalk is an industry initiative headed by Microsoft to promote Extensible Markup Language (XML) as the common data exchange language for e-commerce and application integration on the Internet.

  • blue bomb (WinNuke)

    A "blue bomb" (also known as "WinNuke") is a technique for causing the Windows operating system of someone you're communicating with to crash or suddenly terminate.

  • blue screen of death (BSOD)

    The blue screen of death (BSOD), is the informal name given by users to the Windows general protection fault (GPF) error.

  • boot

    To boot (as a verb; also "to boot up") a computer is to load an operating system into the computer's main memory or random access memory (RAM).

  • boot partition

    A boot partition is a disk partition responsible for holding Windows system files when booting up Windows.

  • bootable floppy

    A bootable floppy is a diskette containing a back-up copy of your hard disk master boot record (MBR).

  • built-in administrator account

    The built-in administrator account is the first account created when an OS is installed on a new standalone server, member server or workstation.

  • C

    C

    C is a structured, procedural programming language that has been widely used both for operating systems and applications and that has had a wide following in the academic community.

  • canonical name

    A canonical name is the properly denoted host name of a computer or network server... (Continued)

  • carbon copy (cc)

    In e-mail, a carbon copy (abbreviated "cc," and sometimes "fcc" for "first carbon copy") is a copy of a note sent to an addressee other than the main addressee.

  • catastrophic failure

    Catastrophic failure is a complete, sudden, often unexpected breakdown in a machine, electronic system, computer or network. This may occur as a result of a hardware event such as a disk drive crash, memory chip failure or surge on the power line... (Continued)

  • CHKDSK (check disk)

    CHKDSK (pronounced check disk) is a command that displays a status report for a volume, such as a disk, and can correct any errors found in that volume.

  • Client Access Server (CAS)

    The Client Access Server (CAS) is a server role for end user connectivity within the Exchange environment.

  • client-server network

    A client-server network is a communications model in which multiple client programs share the services of a common server program.

  • clock cycle

    In a computer, the clock cycle is the time between two adjacent pulses of the oscillator that sets the tempo of the computer processor.

  • cluster log (CL)

    A cluster log (CL) is a record of cluster service activity in a server member cluster.

  • cluster name object (CNO)

    A cluster name object (CNO) is an Active Directory computer object linked with the network resource Cluster Name.

  • CNAME

    A CNAME specifies an alias or nickname for a canonical name record in a domain name system (DNS) database. (Continued...)

  • cold/warm/hot server

    In the backup and recovery of a computer server, a cold server is a backup server whose purpose is solely to be there in case the main server is lost.

  • COM+

    COM+ is an extension of Component Object Model (COM), Microsoft's strategic building block approach for developing application programs.

  • command

    In computers, a command is a specific order from a user to the computer's operating system or to an application to perform a service, such as "Show me all my files" or "Run this program for me.

  • command interpreter

    A command interpreter is the part of a computer operating system that understands and executes commands that are entered interactively by a human being or from a program.

  • command line interface (CLI)

    A command line interface (CLI) is a text-based user interface (UI) used to view and manage computer files.

  • Component Object Model (COM)

    Component Object Model (COM) is Microsoft's framework for developing and supporting program component objects.

  • compound document

    In information technology, a compound document is an organized collection of user interfaces that form a single integrated perceptual environment.

  • computer

    A computer is a device that accepts information (in the form of digitalized data) and manipulates it for some result based on a program, software, or sequence of instructions on how the data is to be processed.

  • configuration drift

    Configuration drift occurs naturally in data center environments when changes to software and hardware are not recorded or tracked in a comprehensive and systematic fashion.

  • CSV (Cluster Shared Volumes)

    CSV (Cluster Shared Volumes) is a feature in Windows Server in which shared disks are concurrently accessible to all nodes within a failover cluster.

  • Ctrl-Alt-Delete

    In a personal computer with the Windows operating system, Ctrl-Alt-Delete is the combination of keyboard keys that the computer user can press at the same time to terminate an application task or to reboot the operating system (have it shut down and restart itself).

  • D

    DCPromo (Domain Controller Promoter)

    DCPromo (Domain Controller Promoter) is a tool in Active Directory that installs and removes Active Directory Domain Services and promotes domain controllers.

  • defragmentation

    Defragmentation is the process of locating the noncontiguous fragments of data into which a computer file may be divided as it is stored on a hard disk, and rearranging the fragments and restoring them into fewer fragments or into the whole file.

  • DirectAccess

    DirectAccess is a feature introduced in Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 that uses automated IPv6 and IPSec tunnels to allow remote users to access private network resources whenever they are connected to the Internet.

  • directory

    A directory is, in general, an approach to organizing information, the most familiar example being a telephone directory.

  • Directory Services Restore Mode (DSRM)

    Directory Services Restore Mode (DSRM) is a safe mode boot option for Windows Server domain controllers.

  • DirectX

    DirectX is an application program interface (API) for creating and managing graphic images and multimedia effects in applications such as games or active Web pages that will run in Microsoft's Windows operating systems.

  • DirSync (Windows Azure Active Directory Sync)

    DirSync (Directory Synchronization) is a tool for making copies of a local directory in a hybrid cloud deployment of Microsoft Exchange.

  • disjoint namespace

    Disjoint namespace is an occurrence in Active Directory when a member computer with one Domain Name Service (DNS) primary suffix does not have the same DNS domain name as the domain of which the computers are members.

  • Diskpart (Disk Partition Utility)

    Diskpart is a command-line utility used to manipulate disk partitions in all versions of Windows and Windows Server beginning with Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

  • distributed file system (DFS)

    A distributed file system is a client/server-based application that allows clients to access and process data stored on the server as if it were on their own computer.

  • Distributed File System Replication (DFSR)

    Distributed File System Replication (DFSR) is a replication engine that organizations can use to synchronize folders for servers on network connections that have a limited bandwidth.

  • Dolly (Digital Dolly)

    Dolly, also called Digital Dolly, is a program that can quickly clone (copy) drives to drives, drives to files, files to drives, or files to files. Dolly can clone entire disk partitions in block-wise fashion. Dolly can be used to clone the operating system configuration of a computer to numerous others.

  • domain controller

    Primary domain controller (PDC) and backup domain controller (BDC) are roles that can be assigned to a server in a network of computers that use the Windows NT operating system.

  • driver development kit (DDK)

    A driver development kit (DDK) is a set of programs and related files that are used to develop a new software or hardware driver or to update an existing legacy application driver for an operating system.

  • dual boot

    A dual boot system is a computer system in which two operating systems are installed on the same hard drive, allowing either operating system to be loaded and given control.

  • dynamic link library (DLL)

    A dynamic link library (DLL) is a collection of small programs that can be loaded when needed by larger programs and used at the same time.

  • Dynamic Quorum

    Dynamic Quorum is the ability of a cluster to recalculate a quorum as it maintains a working cluster.

  • E

    EDRAM (enhanced dynamic random access memory)

    EDRAM (enhanced dynamic random access memory) is dynamic random access memory (dynamic or power-refreshed RAM) that includes a small amount of static RAM (SRAM) inside a larger amount of DRAM so that many memory accesses will be to the faster SRAM. EDRAM is sometimes used as L1 and L2 memory and, together with Enhanced Synchronous Dynamic DRAM, is known as cached DRAM. Data that has been loaded into the SRAM part of the EDRAM can be accessed by the microprocessor in 15 ns (nanoseconds).

  • Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)

    Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) is a system of transferring money from one bank account directly to another without any paper money changing hands.

  • enhancement

    In an information technology product, an enhancement is a noteworthy improvement to the product as part of a new version of it.

  • enterprise

    In the computer industry, an enterprise is an organization that uses computers.

  • ExBPA (Exchange Best Practices Analyzer)

    The Exchange Best Practices Analyzer (ExBPA) is a tool that helps administrators to gauge the health of their Exchange Server environment.

  • Exchange 2013 data loss prevention (Exchange 2013 DLP)

    Exchange 2013 data loss prevention is a feature in Exchange Server 2013 that allows administrators to manually enforce message content rules within their Exchange 2013 organization.

  • Exchange Administration Center (EAC)

    The Exchange Administration Center (EAC) is a Web-based management console for managing Exchange Server 2013 environments.

  • Exchange Autodiscover service

    The Exchange Autodiscover service helps Exchange administrators set up and sustain server settings for computers that run Microsoft Outlook, as well as settings for supported mobile devices.

  • Exchange Deployment Assistant

    The Exchange Deployment Assistant is a Web-based tool that helps administrators plan Exchange Server upgrades and installations.

  • Exchange Management Console (EMC)

    The Exchange Management Console (EMC) is a graphical user interface that allows administrators to manage the configuration of their Exchange organizations.

  • Exchange Online

    Exchange Online is the hosted version of Microsoft's Exchange Server messaging platform that organizations can obtain as a stand-alone service or via an Office 365 subscription.

  • Exchange Remote Connectivity Analyzer (ExRCA)

    The Exchange Remote Connectivity Analyzer (ExRCA) is a Web-based tool that helps Exchange administrators identify and troubleshoot connectivity issues in their deployments.

  • Exchange Server 2013 Service Pack 1 (SP1)

    Exchange Server 2013 SP1 is a service pack for Exchange Server 2013 that includes a number of new and updated Exchange Server 2013 features and capabilities.

  • Exchange staged migration

    The staged Exchange migration process transfers data and mailboxes from one Exchange server to another, either on-premises or in the cloud.

  • Exchange Web Services (EWS)

    Exchange Web Services (EWS) is an application program interface (API) that allows programmers to access Exchange items such as calendars, contacts and email in Exchange Server 2007 and higher.

  • extended desktop

    Extended desktop is a feature in a computer that allows a user to extend viewing capabilities by using two or more monitors at the same time.

  • F

    failover cluster

    A failover cluster is a group of servers that work together to maintain high availability of applications and services.

  • fatal exception

    In a computer error message, a fatal exception indicates an exceptional situation requiring that the program responsible for the situation be closed.

  • favicon (favorite icon)

    A favicon (for "favorite icon") is a customized image that Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 (and above) uses, if it is available, as an icon to go with a user-specified bookmarked site on the Links bar at the top of a Web browser window.

  • File Server Resource Manager (FSRM)

    File Server Resource Manager is a features set in the File and Storage Services server role that helps admins classify and manage stored data in file servers for data management.

  • floating point unit (FPU)

    A floating point unit (FPU), also known as a math coprocessor or numeric coprocessor, is a specialized coprocessor that manipulates numbers more quickly than the basic microprocessor circuitry. The FPU does this by means of instructions that focus entirely on large mathematical operations.

  • FOPE (Forefront Online Protection for Exchange)

    FOPE (Forefront Online Protection for Exchange) is a discontinued cloud service for organizations using Exchange Server or Exchange Online.

  • fragmentation

    In some operating system's file systems, a data file over a certain size is stored in several "chunks" or fragments rather than in a single contiguous sequence of bits in one place on the storage medium, a process that is called fragmentation.

  • G

    general protection fault (GPF)

    General protection fault (GPF, sometimes seen as general protection error) the name of an error caused when an application program (for example, Microsoft Word or the Netscape Web browser) tries to access storage that is not designated for its use.

  • geo-replication

    Geo-replication is a type of data storage replication in which the same data is stored on servers in multiple geographic locations.

  • global catalog (Active Directory)

    A global catalog is a data storage source containing partial representations of objects found in a multidomain Active Directory Domain Services (ADDS) forest.

  • Global Update Manager (GUM)

    Global Update Manager is a cluster component in the Windows Cluster Architecture.

  • gold code

    In software development, gold code is the final, ready-to-manufacture (that is, replicate onto media) version of the software.

  • gpresult

    Gpresult is a command-line tool that shows the RSoP (Resultant Set of Policy) for a user or computer based on applied Group Policy settings.

  • Group Policy

    Group Policy is a hierarchical infrastructure that allows a network administrator in charge of Microsoft's Active Directory to implement specific configurations for users and computers. Group policy is primarily a security tool, and can be used to apply security settings to users and computers.

  • Group Policy Editor (GP Editor)

    Group Policy Editor is a tool that helps administrators manage policy settings in Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-ins.

  • Group Policy Management Console

    The Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) is an interface that enables Active Directory administrators to manage Group Policy Objects (GPOs) from one console. 

  • Group Policy Object (GPO)

    Microsoft’s Group Policy Object (GPO) is a collection of Group Policy settings that defines what a system will look like and how it will behave for a defined group of users.

  • Group Policy Preferences

    Group Policy Preferences are a set of extensions, introduced in Windows Server 2008, that increase the functionality of Group Policy Objects.

  • GUID (global unique identifier)

    A GUID (global unique identifier) is a term used by Microsoft for a number that its programming generates to create a unique identity for an entity such as a Word document.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchServerVirtualization

SearchCloudComputing

SearchSQLServer

SearchEnterpriseDesktop

SearchVirtualDesktop

Close