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November 09, 2016

Lost in Abbreviation: Your Data Center Acronym Roadmap

If you take a virtual tour around our website, you will find an abbreviation for every letter of the alphabet. (Well almost every letter…we haven’t found a way to use the letter “Z” yet.)

All of those abbreviations can get you a little turned around sometimes, so we’re taking you through some of the more common, and most important, acronyms used by data center providers.

ATO | Authority to Operate
A federal agency grants an organization an authorization to operate after conducting a risk assessment and determining that organization has implemented the required security controls in an IT environment.

CAPEX | Capital Expenditure
A capital expenditure is an investment an organization makes in physical assets. In a data center colocation, an organization’s assets can include cages, cabinets and other IT equipment required for data storage and computing.

CFM | Critical Facilities Management
Keeping a data center online and performing at optimal levels is highly complex and requires specialized expertise. At QTS, we complete an assessment of your data center, determine the performance efficiencies we can provide and deliver those efficiencies and savings over the life of the contract.

CSP | Cloud Services Provider
Also known as a cloud provider, a CSP offers one or several cloud computing services, including Infrastructure as a Service and Software as a Service.

DoD RMF | Department of Defense Risk Management Framework
RMF is replacing the Certification and Accreditation processes as the “unified information security framework the entire federal government.” This 6-step process was developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and creates one standard for contractors.

EHR | Electronic Health Record
These records are digitized versions of patients’ paper charts, available in real-time and available securely to authorized users.

ePHI | Electronic Protected Health Information
The storage and transmission of records containing ePHI are subject to HIPAA compliance and can include a patient’s name, Social Security number, address, fingerprints, photos and payment information.

FedRAMP | Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program
FedRAMP is a government program spanning multiple agencies, including the NIST, DHS, DOD and NSA, that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization and continuous monitoring for cloud products, services and providers.

FISMA | Federal Information Security Modernization Act
FISMA was signed into federal law in 2002 and defines various agencies’ roles in ensuring the federal government’s data is secure. FISMA compliance is required for cloud storage systems used by federal organizations.

HIPAA | Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996
Signed into law in 1996, HIPAA safeguards an individual’s ability to maintain health insurance protection between jobs and sets security and confidentiality standards for the storage and transmission of patient information.

HITECH | Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act
Signed into law in 2009, HITECH encourages the “adoption and meaningful use of health information technology” and contains several provisions strengthening enforcement of HIPAA rules and regulations.

IaaS | Infrastructure as a Service
IaaS is a cloud computing service that offers a virtualized environment across a public connection with self-provisioning capabilities.

ITIL | Information Technology Infrastructure Library
ITIL defines international best practices for organizing IT structures and services to set service, efficiency and delivery standards.

JAB | Joint Authorization Board
As the primary governing body for FedRAMP, JAB is made up of CIOs from the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and the General Services Administration and is responsible for authorizing a cloud service provider to operate.

LEED | Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
Administrated by Green Building Certification, Inc., a LEED certification recognizes best-in-class energy efficient designs, strategies and practices.

MMR | Meet Me Room
A physical room in a data center that facilitates a connection between two telecommunications companies. MMRs allow carriers to avoid local-loop charges.

OIX | Open Internet Exchange
The Open Internet Exchange Association is a network of IT organizations working to build cohesive operating standards that eliminate inconsistencies in connectivity, resiliency and security. Organizations that adopt Open-IX standards can apply for OIX Certification.

OSC | Operations Support Center
The QTS Operations Support Center comprises expert team leads, engineers, technicians and customer support representatives dedicated to addressing incident reports, customer inquiries and issues in an expedient, customer-focused manner.

PCI DDS | The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard
Mandated by major payment card organizations, the PCI DDS is a standardized set of security requirements designed to safeguard consumers’ payment information and protect against fraud.

PoE | Point of Entry
In a data center, a PoE is the location where telecommunications cables enter a facility.

PoP | Point of Presence
A PoP is the interface point where an environment connects to the rest of the Internet, typically housed at Internet exchange points and colocation centers.

SLA | Service Level Agreements
An SLA is an official contract between a customer and a service provider defining services to be rendered and performance standards. Terms agreed to in a service level agreement are guaranteed over the life of the contract.

SONET | Synchronous Optical Network
Introduced by Bellcore in the mid-1980s and now a set of American National Standard Institute standardized protocols, SONET defines interface standards for digital communication through fiber-optic transmission systems.

UPS | Uninterruptable Power Supply
UPS systems are vital to maintaining access, connectivity and computing capabilities in a data center environment. These systems not only protect equipment from large spikes of power, they also serve as a backup power supply in the event of an interruption.