IT Operations Definitions

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

Search Definitions
  • A

    Agile operations (AgileOps)

    Agile operations, or AgileOps, is a digital business operating model that builds on Agile methodologies and DevOps techniques to help organizations adapt to change quickly and efficiently.

  • agile test automation pyramid

    The agile test automation pyramid is a graphical strategy guide for implementing automated software testing.

  • AIOps (artificial intelligence for IT operations)

    Artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps) is an umbrella term for the use of big data analytics, machine learning and other AI technologies to automate the identification and resolution of common IT issues.

  • Alpine Linux

    Alpine Linux is a small, security-oriented, lightweight Linux distribution based on the musl C standard library and BusyBox utilities instead of GNU.

  • Amazon Elastic Container Registry (Amazon ECR)

    Amazon Elastic Container Registry (Amazon ECR) is an Amazon Web Service (AWS) product that stores, manages and deploys Docker images, which are managed clusters of Amazon EC2 instances.

  • AMD (Advanced Micro Devices)

    Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is a semiconductor company, known for designing and developing computer processors and graphics technologies.

  • AMD Virtualization (AMD-V)

    AMD-V (AMD Virtualization) technology refers to a set of hardware extensions and on-chip features for the AMD family of x86 microprocessors.

  • Ansible

    Ansible is an open source IT automation platform from Red Hat.

  • Ansible playbook

    An Ansible playbook is an organized unit of scripts that defines the tasks involved in managing a system configuration using the automation tool Ansible.

  • application containerization (app containerization)

    Application containerization is a virtualization technology that works at the operating system (OS) level. It is used for deploying and running distributed applications in their own isolated environments, without the use of virtual machines (VMs).

  • Application Performance Index (Apdex)

    Application Performance Index, also known as Apdex, is an open standard intended to simplify reports of application performance.

  • application release automation (ARA)

    Application release automation (ARA) is a process that automatically packages and deploys an application, or application updates, through the stages of development to production.

  • B

    bare-metal hypervisor (Type 1 hypervisor)

    A bare-metal hypervisor, also known as a Type 1 hypervisor, is virtualization software that has been installed directly onto the computing hardware.

  • bare-metal provisioning

    Bare-metal provisioning is the process of installing an operating system (OS) or Type 1 hypervisor directly on a computer's hard disk.

  • blue/green deployment

    A blue/green deployment is a change management strategy for releasing software code.

  • Boot2Docker

    Boot2Docker is a minimalist Linux distribution with the sole purpose to run Docker containers. It was depreciated and is no longer recommended for use.

  • branching

    Branching is the practice of creating copies of programs or objects in development to work in parallel versions, retaining the original and working on the branch or making different changes to each.

  • C

    chaos engineering

    Chaos engineering is the process of testing a distributed computing system to ensure that it can withstand unexpected disruptions.

  • ChatOps

    ChatOps, sometimes known as conversation-driven collaboration or conversation-driven DevOps, is the use of chat clients, chatbots and other real-time communication tools to facilitate software development and IT operations tasks.

  • Chef (software)

    Chef is an open source systems management and cloud infrastructure automation platform.

  • Citrix XenServer

    Citrix XenServer is an open source server virtualization platform based on the Xen hypervisor.

  • Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF)

    The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) is an open source software foundation that promotes the adoption of cloud-native computing.

  • cloud orchestration (cloud orchestrator)

    Cloud orchestration is the use of programming technology to manage the interconnections and interactions among workloads on public and private cloud infrastructure.

  • COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language)

    COBOL (Common Business-Oriented Language) is a high-level programming language for business applications. It was the first popular language designed to be operating system-agnostic and is still in use in many financial and business applications today.

  • compliance automation

    Compliance automation, also known as automated compliance, is the practice of using technology -- such as applications with artificial intelligence features -- to perform and simplify compliance procedures.

  • composable infrastructure

    Composable infrastructure is a framework that decouples device resources in order to treat them as services.

  • configuration file

    A configuration file, often shortened to 'config file,' defines the parameters, options, settings and preferences applied to operating systems (OSes), infrastructure devices and applications in an IT context.

  • container image

    A container image is an unchangeable, static file that includes executable code so it can run an isolated process on IT infrastructure.

  • container repository

    A container repository is a collection of related container images that provide different versions of an application.

  • containers (container-based virtualization or containerization)

    Containers are a type of software that can virtually package and isolate applications for deployment.

  • containers as a service (CaaS)

    Containers as a service (CaaS) is a cloud-based service that provides a secure environment for running containerized applications.

  • continual service improvement

    Continual service improvement (CSI) is a method to identify and execute opportunities to improve IT processes and services, and to objectively measure the effects of these efforts over time.

  • continuous delivery (CD)

    Continuous delivery (CD) is an approach for software delivery in which development teams produce and test code in short but continuous cycles to improve software quality.

  • continuous deployment

    Continuous deployment is a strategy for software development and releases in which every code change is automatically run through a pipeline of tests and inspections before being pushed into production.

  • What is configuration management? A comprehensive guide

    Configuration management (CM) is an information governance and systems engineering process to ensure consistency among physical and logical assets in an operational environment.

  • What is container management and why is it important?

    Container management refers to a set of practices that govern and maintain containerization software. Container management tools automate the creation, deployment, destruction and scaling of application or systems containers.

  • D


    Datadog is a monitoring and analytics tool for information technology (IT) and DevOps teams that can be used to determine performance metrics as well as event monitoring for infrastructure and cloud services.

  • declarative programming

    Declarative programming is a method to abstract the control flow for logic required for software to perform an action. Instead, it involves stating what the task or desired outcome is.

  • dependency hell

    Dependency hell is a negative situation that occurs when a software application is not able to access the additional programming it requires to work.

  • DevOps 2.0

    DevOps 2.0 is the extension of DevOps practices through the entire organization, beyond development and IT ops.

  • DevOps as a Service

    DevOps as a Service is a delivery model for a set of tools that facilitates collaboration between an organization's software development team and the operations team.

  • DevOps certification

    DevOps certification is a formalized testing program intended to ensure that applicants have achieved an appropriate level of skills and knowledge for working in the converged areas of software development and IT operations.

  • DevOps engineer

    A DevOps engineer is an IT professional who works with software developers, systems operators and other production IT staff to oversee code releases and deployments.

  • DevSecOps

    DevSecOps (development plus security plus operations) is an approach that combines application development, security, operations and infrastructure as code (IaC) in an automated continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline.

  • disaggregated server

    A disaggregated server is a server whose components and resources are divided into subsystems.

  • distributed applications (distributed apps)

    Distributed applications (distributed apps) are applications or software that run on multiple computers within a network at the same time and can be stored on servers or cloud computing platforms.

  • distributed tracing

    Distributed tracing, also called distributed request tracing, is a method for IT and DevOps teams to monitor applications, especially those composed of microservices.

  • Docker

    Docker is an open source software platform used to create, deploy and manage virtualized application containers on a common operating system (OS), with an ecosystem of allied tools.

  • Docker Engine

    Docker Engine is the underlying client-server technology that supports the tasks and workflows involved in building, shipping and running containerized applications using Docker's components and services.

  • Docker image

    A Docker image is a file used to execute code in a Docker container.

  • Docker Swarm

    Docker Swarm is a container orchestration tool for clustering and scheduling Docker containers.

  • What is DevOps? Meaning, methodology and guide

    The word 'DevOps' is a combination of the terms 'development' and 'operations,' meant to represent a collaborative or shared approach to the tasks performed by a company's application development and IT operations teams.

  • E

    early adopter

    An early adopter refers to a person who embraces new technology or tries a new product before most others.

  • Elastic Stack (ELK Stack)

    The Elastic Stack is a group of open source products from Elastic designed to help users take data from any type of source and in any format, and search, analyze and visualize that data in real time.

  • event stream processing (ESP)

    Event stream processing (ESP) is a software programming technique designed to process a continuous stream of device data and take action on it in real time.

  • event-driven application

    An event-driven application is a computer program written to respond to actions generated by a user or system.

  • F

    friendly name

    A friendly name is a term used to refer to a device, application file, certificate or other IT asset instead of its technical name.

  • function as a service (FaaS)

    Function as a service (FaaS) is a cloud computing model that enables cloud customers to develop applications and deploy functionalities and only be charged when the functionality executes.

  • G


    Git is an open source distributed version control system that is available for free under the GNU General Public License version 2.

  • GitHub

    GitHub is a web-based version control and collaboration platform for software developers.

  • GitOps

    GitOps is an operational framework that applies DevOps practices, such as continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) and version control, to infrastructure automation.

  • Go programming language

    Go, also called Golang or Go language, is an open source programming language that Google developed.

  • golden image

    A golden image is a template for a virtual machine, virtual desktop, server or hard disk drive.

  • Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE)

    Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) is a managed Kubernetes service for containers and container clusters running on Google Cloud infrastructure.

  • guest operating system (guest OS)

    A guest operating system is the operating system installed on either a virtual machine (VM) or partitioned disk. It is usually different from the host operating system.

  • guest virtual machine (guest VM)

    A guest virtual machine (VM) is the software component of a VM, an independent instance of an operating system (OS), called a guest OS, and its associated software and information.

  • H

    hardware emulation

    Hardware emulation is the use of one hardware device to mimic the function of another hardware device.

  • hardware security

    Hardware security is vulnerability protection that comes in the form of a physical device rather than software that's installed on the hardware of a computer system.

  • hardware virtualization

    Hardware virtualization, which is also known as server virtualization or simply virtualization, is the abstraction of computing resources from the software that uses those resources.

  • hardware-assisted virtualization

    Hardware-assisted virtualization is the use of a computer's physical components to support the software that creates and manages virtual machines (VMs).

  • HashiCorp

    HashiCorp is a software company that provides a suite of modular DevOps infrastructure provisioning and management products.

  • host virtual machine (host VM)

    A host virtual machine is the server component of a virtual machine the underlying hardware that provides computing resources to support a particular guest VM.

  • hypervisor

    A hypervisor is software that facilitates running multiple virtual machines (VMs) with their own operating systems on a single computer host's hardware.

  • I

    immutable infrastructure

    Immutable infrastructure is an approach to managing services and software deployments on IT resources wherein components are replaced rather than changed.

  • infrastructure as code (IaC)

    Infrastructure as code, also referred to as IaC, is an IT practice that codifies and manages underlying IT infrastructure as software.

  • IT automation

    IT automation is the use of instructions to create a repeated process that replaces an IT professional's manual work in data centers and cloud deployments.

  • IT incident management

    IT incident management is a component of IT service management (ITSM) that aims to rapidly restore services to normal following an incident while minimizing adverse effects on the business.

  • IT incident report

    An IT incident report is documentation of an event that disrupted the normal operations of an IT system or had the potential to do so as well as how the situation was handled.

  • IT monitoring

    IT monitoring is a process that gathers metrics on the operations of an IT environment.

  • IT operations (IT ops)

    The term IT operations (IT ops) describes the many processes and services an IT department manages and maintains within an organization.

  • IT operations management (ITOM)

    IT operations management (ITOM) is a strategic approach to managing an organization's information technology needs.

  • IT performance management

    IT performance management is the supervision of an organization's IT infrastructure to ensure key performance indicators, service levels and budgets comply with the organization's goals.

  • IT service delivery

    IT service delivery is the way a corporation provides users access to IT services, such as applications, data storage and other business resources. IT service delivery covers design, development, deployment, operation and retirement.

  • IT service management (ITSM)

    IT service management (ITSM) is a general term that describes a strategic approach to design, deliver, manage and improve the way businesses use IT.

  • IT systems management

    Systems management is the administration of the information technology (IT) systems in an enterprise network or data center.

  • What is IT/OT convergence? Everything you need to know

    IT/OT convergence is the integration of information technology (IT) systems with operational technology (OT) systems.

  • K


    Knative is an open source project based on the Kubernetes platform for building, deploying and managing serverless workloads that can run in the cloud, on premises or in a third-party data center.

  • Kubernetes

    Kubernetes, also referred to as K8s for the number of letters between K and S, is an open source platform used to manage containerized applications across private, public and hybrid cloud environments.

  • Kubernetes node

    A Kubernetes node is a logical collection of IT resources that runs workloads for one or more containers in a Kubernetes cluster.

  • Kubernetes operator

    A Kubernetes operator is a method for application packaging and deployment that extends Kubernetes' capabilities to manage more complex, stateful workloads.

  • Kubernetes pod

    Kubernetes pods are the smallest deployable computing units in Kubernetes, an open source system for container scheduling, orchestration and management.

  • Kubernetes scheduler

    The Kubernetes scheduler is a component of the open source Kubernetes container orchestration platform that controls performance, capacity and availability through policies and topology awareness.

  • Kubernetes volume

    A Kubernetes volume is a directory containing data accessible to containers in a given pod, the smallest deployable unit in a Kubernetes cluster.

  • L

    legacy system (legacy application)

    A legacy system is any outdated computing system, hardware or software that is still in use. Legacy systems include computer hardware, software applications, file formats and programming languages.

  • Linkerd

    Linkerd is an open source network proxy installed as a service mesh for Kubernetes.

  • live migration

    Live migration refers to the process of moving a virtual machine running on one physical host to another host without disrupting normal operations or causing any downtime or other adverse effects for the end user.

  • log analytics

    Log analytics is the assessment of a recorded set of information from one or more events, captured from a computer, network, application operating system (OS) or other IT ecosystem component.

  • LXD (Linux container hypervisor)

    LXD is an open source container management extension for Linux Containers (LXC).

  • M

    management information systems (MIS)

    Management information systems (MIS) is a department within an enterprise responsible for controlling the hardware and software systems that the organization uses to make business-critical decisions.

  • mean time to detect (MTTD)

    Mean time to detect (MTTD) is a measure of how long a problem exists in an IT deployment before the appropriate parties become aware of it.

Software Quality
App Architecture
Cloud Computing
Data Center