Glossary of terms

This page features the common acronyms, terms and concepts you may come across during your engagement with Megaport or an industry expert.

Term Definition
802.1q IEEE 802.1Q is the networking standard that supports virtual LANs (VLANs) on an Ethernet network. The standard defines a system of VLAN tagging for Ethernet frames and the accompanying procedures to be used by bridges and switches in handling such frames. Also informally known as ‘dot1q’.
API Application program interface (API) is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. An API specifies how software components should interact and APIs are used when programming graphical user interface (GUI) components. The Megaport API allows customers and partners to integrate directly into our platform for automation and service creation (see
ASN An autonomous system number (ASN) is a collection of connected Internet Protocol (IP) routing prefixes under the control of one or more network operators on behalf of a single administrative entity or domain. ASN refers to Autonomous System Number and is a unique numerical ID allocated to each AS for use in BGP routing.
AWS / Amazon Web Services Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a secure cloud services platform, offering compute power, database storage, content delivery and other functionality to help businesses scale and grow.
AWS Direct Connect AWS (Amazon Web Services) Direct Connect is a network service that allows customers to establish a dedicated network connection between one of Amazon’s Direct Connect locations and the customer’s data center or colocation environment. Megaport is an AWS Direct Connect partner
Azure Azure is a Microsoft service. It is an open, flexible, enterprise-grade cloud computing platform accessed via Microsoft’s ExpressRoute service.
BGP Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) is a standardised routing protocol designed to exchange route and reachability information among autonomous systems (AS) on the Internet.
CDN A content delivery network (CDN) is a system of distributed servers (network) that deliver webpages and other Web content to a user based on the geographic locations of the user, the origin of the webpage and a content delivery server. Examples: Akamai, Cloudflare.
Cloud Computing Cloud computing is a general term for the delivery of hosted services over the internet.
Colo Shorthand for Co-location – The renting of space for housing computer equipment, usually in buildings specially designed to support a high density of computers and network connections, often called data centres, but also known as tele-houses or carrier hotel facilities.
CSP / Cloud Service Provider A cloud service provider is an organisation that offers one or more components of cloud computing to businesses or individuals. Typical cloud services are Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Demarc Demarcation point. Generally a floor/rack/port assignment for an optical port. See LOA for further details.
Data Centre (DC) A data center is a large group of networked computer servers typically used by organisations for remote storage, processing, or distribution of large amounts of data.
DCO Data Centre Operator.
DF Dark Fibre (DF) is essentially optical fibre infrastructure that is not in use. It is considered as capacity that has been laid in addition to that required at the initial time of service provisioning for expansion, growth or resale. It is no longer considered ‘Dark’ once signals are traversing it (lit).
DNS The Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical decentralised naming system for computers, services, or any resource connected to the Internet or a private network. It associates various information with domain names assigned to each of the participating entities.
dot1q See 802.1q: IEEE 802.1Q is the networking standard that supports virtual LANs (VLANs) on an Ethernet network. The standard defines a system of VLAN tagging for Ethernet frames and the accompanying procedures to be used by bridges and switches in handling such frames.
DX Abbreviation for ‘Direct Connect’ – the method for accessing Amazon Web Services (AWS) public/private peering.
Elastic Interconnection Elastic connectivity is a term used to define a connection that provides businesses the flexibility to vary connectivity service requirements based on demand. Megaport Customers can provision an elastic interconnection for as short as a day or as long as they need, for as small as 1 Mbps to as much as 10 Gbps.
ExpressRoute Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute lets customers extend their on-premises networks into the Microsoft cloud over a dedicated private connection. Megaport is a Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute Partner.
ER Abbreviation for ‘ExpressRoute’ – the method for accessing Microsoft Azure public/private peering.
EVPL Ethernet Virtual Private Line. EVPL allows for service multiplexing at the UNI (unlike EPL). This capability allows more than one EVC to be supported at the UNI where the EPL does not allow this. Second, an EVPL need not provide as much transparency of Service Frames as with an EPL (Definition: MEF).
Flux Capacitor The Flux Capacitor is the core component of Doctor Emmett Brown’s time traveling DeLorean (and the Jules Verne Train).
FQDN Fully Qualified Domain Name.
FRR Fast reroute (FRR) is a MPLS and IP resiliency technology to provide fast traffic recovery upon link or router failures for mission critical services. Upon any single link or node failures it is possible to recover impacted traffic in the order of tens of milliseconds.
GCI Google Cloud Interconnect (previously Google Carrier Interconnect).
GCP Google Cloud Platform.
GSA Global Services Agreement. Megaport standard terms. Linked from Also see ‘SLA’ which is a component of the GSA.
Hybrid cloud Hybrid cloud is a cloud computing environment which uses a mix of on-premises, private cloud and third-party, public cloud services with orchestration between the two platforms.
IaaS Infrastructure as a Service refers to online services that abstract the user from the details of infrastructure like physical computing resources, location, data partitioning, scaling, security, backup. According to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), IaaS is the most basic cloud-service model for providers offering cloud computing infrastructure.
IETF Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) develops and promotes voluntary Internet standards, in particular the standards that comprise the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP). IETF has no formal membership or membership requirements. All participants and managers are volunteers with their work usually funded by their employers or other sponsors.
IPSEC Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) is a protocol suite for secure Internet Protocol (IP) communications that works by authenticating and encrypting each IP packet of a communication session.
ITIL Information Technology Infrastructure Library, a set of practices for IT Service Management (ITSM)
IX An Internet exchange (known as IX or IXP for a given Internet Exchange Point) is a physical infrastructure through which Internet service providers (ISPs) and Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) exchange Internet traffic between their networks (autonomous systems). MegaIX is the Megaport IX product, AMS-IX is the partner IX product offered in some geographies via cloud ‘Tile’.
Jitter Jitter is a variation in packet transit delay (RTT/RTD/PTD, latency) caused by queuing, contention and serialisation effects on a path through the network.
Layer 1 Layer 1 (L1) of the OSI model conveys the bit stream (electrical impulse, light or radio signal) through the network at the electrical and mechanical level. It provides the hardware means of sending and receiving data on a carrier, including defining cables, cards and physical aspects. A fibre optic cable/SFP terminations would be considered Layer 1, as well as the physical Megaport.
Layer 2 Layer 2 (L2) of the OSI model is the data link layer. This provides node-to-node data transfer (a link between two directly connected nodes). Most Megaport virtual services (VXCs) operate at this layer. It is divided into Media Access Control (MAC) layer (controls how devices in a network gain access to medium and permission to transmit), and Logical Link Control (LLC) layer (responsible for identifying Network layer protocols and then encapsulating them and controls error checking and frame synchronization).
Layer 3 Layer 3 (L3) of the OSI model is the Network Layer. It translates logical network address into physical machine address (IP addressing). Layer 3 routers analyse traffic based on address details and forward appropriately, requiring knowledge of the details generally exchanged in BGP sessions for routing table exchanges.
LAG Link aggregation groups (LAG) are used to describe various methods for using multiple parallel network connections to increase throughput beyond the limit that a single link (one connection) can achieve. In general for link aggregation, physical ports must reside on a single switch/router.
LR An optical interface standard for ‘SFP’s that can deliver 10Gbps over roughly 10km. Our standard for delivery of 10Gbps ports. See “LX” for 1Gbps equivalent. Uses 1310nm wavelength.
LSP A label-switched path (LSP) is a path through an MPLS network.
LX An optical interface standard for ‘SFP’s that can deliver 1Gbps over roughly 10km. Our standard for delivery of 1Gbps ports. See “LR” for 10Gbps equivalent. Uses 1310nm wavelength.
MD5 Sometimes known as an MD5 hash or ‘BGP key’. The MD5 algorithm is a widely used cryptographic function producing a string of 32 hexadecimal digits. This is used as a password or key between routers exchanging BGP information.
Megaport A Megaport is the high speed ethernet interface that connects to the Megaportâ„¢ fabric. Bandwidth options between Megaports range from 1 Mbps to 10 Gbps.
Megaport SDN Megaport’s neutral, SDN-based global network comprising of cloud service providers, network service providers, and data centre operators, accessed via the Megaport Portal or API.
Meet-me room A “meet-me room” (MMR) is a place within a data centre, colocation centre or carrier hotel, where telecommunications companies can physically connect to one another and exchange data without incurring local loop fees. Services provided across connections in an MMR may be voice circuits, data circuits, or Internet protocol.
Microsoft ExpressRoute Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute lets customers extend their on-premises networks into the Microsoft cloud over a dedicated private connection. Megaport is a Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute Partner.
MP1 Megaport’s Australian Stock Exchange code
MPLS Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) is a type of data-carrying technique for high-performance telecommunications networks that directs data from one network node to the next based on short path labels rather than long network addresses, avoiding complex lookups in a routing table.
Multi-cloud Multicloud is the use of multiple cloud computing services in a single heterogeneous architecture. For example, an enterprise may use multiple cloud providers for infrastructure (IaaS) and software (SaaS) services. One of Megaport core value propositions is enabling multi-cloud connectivity.
Net Neutrality The principle that Megaport enables access to all service providers without favouring or blocking others
NNI A network-to-network interface (NNI) is an interface between two networks. Technically used as distinct from UNI to define an interface between provider networks but sometimes used interchangeably between provider and customer network handoffs (Definition: MEF).
OSI The Open Systems Interconnection model is a model that characterises and standardises the communication functions of a telecommunication or computing system. Most Megaport products are ‘Layer 2’ (or L2) with some of the OSI constructs pushing into Layer 3 (L3) where IP addressing information is exchanged, known as an L2/L3 service.
PaaS Platform as a Service vendors offer a development environment to application developers. The provider typically develops toolkit and standards for development and channels for distribution and payment. In the PaaS models, cloud providers deliver a computing platform, typically including operating system, programming-language execution environment, database, and web server without the need to manage any of the underlying operating system or host architecture.
Peering A process by which two Internet networks connect and exchange traffic. This allows these 2 Internet networks to directly exchange traffic between each other’s customers, without having to pay a third party to carry that traffic across the Internet
PLR Packet Loss Rate/Packet Loss Ratio.
PTD Packet transfer delay (one way latency measure).
Q-in-Q 802.1Q tunneling (aka Q-in-Q or 802.1ad) is a technique used by OSI layer 2 providers for customers. 802.1ad provides for both an ‘inner’ and an ‘outer’ tag whereby the outer (sometimes called S-TAG for service provider) can be removed to expose the ‘inner’ (C-TAG or customer) tags which segment the data.
Risers (Generally vertical) shafts through which cable baskets are routed. Otherwise known as ‘verticals’.
RS A Route Server provides a mechanism for the establishment of BGP routing exchanges in an Internet Exchange (IX or IXP). It simplifies the process of maintaining many peering partners across a fabric and also contributes to the network visibility and manageability. Route servers are generally deployed in pairs to allow for maintenance windows and general redundancy to support IX stability. Some offer a Looking Glass (LG) functionality which is utilised to view which peers maintain which routes and allow troubleshooting on network routing choices.
RTT Round trip time (return path latency measure).
RU Rack Units – a unit of measurement mainly used to describe the height of rack-mounted computer equipment (especially servers and routers) and the racks into which they are fitted. One “u” is 1.75 inches or 4.445 centimetres. For example, 42RU indicates a 1.87m height cabinet.
SaaS In the Software as a Service (SaaS) model, users gain access to client application software. Cloud providers manage the infrastructure and platforms that run the applications. SaaS is sometimes referred to as “on-demand software” and is usually priced on a pay-per-use basis or using a subscription fee.
SDN Software-defined networking (SDN) is an approach to computer networking that allows network administrators to manage network services through abstraction of higher-level functionality.
SI Systems integrator.
SLA A service-level agreement is a part of a standardised service contract where a service is formally defined. Particular aspects of the service – scope, quality, responsibilities – are agreed between the service provider and the service user. Referred to as ‘GSA’ in Megaport terms (Global Services Agreement).
SMOF Single mode optical fibre. As distinct from MMOF (multi mode optical fibre) which is less expensive but can only run shorter distances without signal degradation.
TCP/IP Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) is a set of rules/protocols governing communications among all devices on the Internet. More specifically, TCP/IP dictates how information should be packaged (packetised), sent, and received, as well as how to traverse connected networks to reach its ultimate destination.
Transit Commodity Internet capacity. As distinct from IX routes (specific), transit capacity (a generally paid service) indicates the general default route for Internet traffic when routes are otherwise unknown at a settlement free peering exchange.
VLAN A virtual LAN (VLAN) is a partitioned and isolated computer network at the data link layer (OSI Layer 2) on a single physical interface (eg a port) used to subdivide a network. LAN is an abbreviation of local area network.
VPLS Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS) is a way to provide Ethernet-based multipoint to multipoint communication over IP or MPLS networks. It allows geographically dispersed sites to share an Ethernet broadcast domain by connecting sites through pseudo-wires.
VPN A virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network or internet. It enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. VPNs can provide functionality, security and/or network management benefits to the user.
VXC A Virtual Cross Connect is a direct Ethernet connection between two Megaports allowing high speed, private connectivity. VXCs are provisioned within minutes allowing rapid deployment of services.
XCON (or XC) Abbreviation for Cross Connect, a connection scheme between cabling runs, subsystems, and equipment using patch cords or jumpers that attach to networking equipment (either active or passive, though generally active such as router/switch unless at an MMR).

©2019 Megaport. Megaport, Virtual Cross Connect, VXC and MegaIX are registered trademarks of Megaport (Services) Pty Ltd ACN 607 432 646.

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