Legacy Glossary

This is a glossary of older terms. While many of the definitions are unchanged, some of the definitions may be out of date and some of the terms may no longer be in use in the Data Center industry. This legacy glossary provides definitions for hundreds of information and communications technology (ICT) and data center terms and acronyms. Arranged alphabetically and searchable, the glossary explains common industry vocabulary.
1 A B C D E F G H I K L M N O P R S T U V W Z

Device for moving air by two or more blades or vanes attached to a rotating shaft.
* Airfoil fan: Shaped blade in a fan assembly to optimize flow with less turbulence
* Axial fan: Fan that moves air in the general direction of the axis about which it rotates
* Centrifugal fan: Fan in which the air enters the impeller axially and leaves it substantially in a radial direction
* Propeller fan: Fan in which the air enters and leaves the impeller in a direction substantially parallel to its axis

Fan Sink

A heat sink with a fan directly and permanently attached

Fault Tolerance

The ability of a system to respond gracefully and meet the system performance specifications to an unexpected hardware or software failure. There are many levels of fault tolerance, the lowest being the ability to continue operation in the event of a power failure. Many fault-tolerant computer systems mirror all operations. That is, every operation is performed on two or more duplicate systems, so if one fails, the other can take over


Frame check sequence


Forward error correction


An architectural term that refers to the arrangement, proportion, and design of window, skylight, and door systems within a building

Fiber Optic Cable

A cable containing one or more optical fibers as specified in IEEE 802.3, 15.3.1


A pre-defined set of files that are used within a benchmark workload. Usually a fileset has specific characteristics that are relevant to how the benchmark performs its work

Filter Dryer

Encased desiccant, generally inserted in the liquid line of a refrigeration system and sometimes in the suction line, to remove entrained moisture, acids, and other contaminants


Software that has been encoded onto read-only memory (ROM). Firmware is a combination of software and hardware. The code or data programmed into ROMs, PROMs, EPROMs, and flash memory is firmware

Float Voltage

Optimum voltage level at which a battery string gives maximum life and full capacity

Floating Point

A class of arithmetic, typically used in scientific applications. Actually much like the values displayed by a calculator, the values can range from very large down to minute fractions but only the first several digits are available. Floating point is commonly used when the values being calculated can be very large - into the billions - or else involve fractions, e.g., the number of miles from earth to the next galaxy (billions and billions) or the precise temperature of a feverish baby (101.8). Floating point is the alternative to integer. For the purposes of classification for the CPU benchmarks, SPEC classifies an application to be a floating point application if that application typically spends 10% or more of its time in calculating floating point value


A family of perfluorinated liquids from 3M offering unique properties ideally suited to the demanding requirements of electronics manufacturing, heat transfer, and other specialized applications


Amount of some quantity flowing across a given area (often a unit area perpendicular to the flow) per unit time. The quantity may be, for example, mass or volume of a fluid, electromagnetic energy, or number of particles


In information technology, a footprint is the amount of space a particular unit of hardware or software occupies. Marketing brochures frequently state that a new hardware control unit or desktop display has a "smaller footprint," meaning that it occupies less space in the closet or on a desk. More recently, the term is used to describe microcomponents that take less space inside a computer

Full Disclosure Report

The complete documentation of a benchmark's results along with the relevant system and benchmark configuration information. There should be sufficient detail and coverage for someone else to be able to reproduce the tests. Each result available on this server has such a disclosure available