Web Glossary part three: Infrastructure tier

This is the last in my three-part Web Glossary series.  As I previously explained, in compiling this I pulled information from various and sundry sources across the Web including Wikipedia, community and company web sites and the brain of Cote.

The idea behind the glossary is to help our teams get a better understand of the wild and wacky world of the Web and Web developers as we move forward with our Web|Tech vertical.  I figured I might as also share it with a few friends.

Today’s focus, having worked our way down from the top, is the infrastructure tier (with a short catch-all bucket at the end , “Misc.”)


General Terms

  • DevOps:  The goal of the DevOps movement is to drive out inefficiency in web shops by bridging the gap (and lessening conflict) between traditional development activity and operations activity.  It seeks to address this issue by providing tools and practices to bring these two groups closer together and provide for greater automation of processes.  Key tools in this effort are Opscode’s Chef and Puppet lab’s Puppet which automate the set-up and management of infrastructure.
  • PUE: Power Usage Effectiveness is a measure of how efficiently a computer data center uses its power; specifically, how much of the power is actually used by the computing equipment (in contrast to cooling and other overhead).   PUE is the ratio of total amount of power used by a computer data center facility to the power delivered to computing equipment.  The closer to 1.0, the better the PUE.
  • Distributed management: refers to the setup, provisioning, maintenance and management of the scale-out infrastructure (either physical or virtual) that has historically been characteristic of web firms and is increasing typical within traditional enterprise customers.  This includes players like Chef and Puppet for provisioning and configuration, New Relic and Splunk for monitoring and management, and Loggly/Eucalyptus/OpenStack/ VMware for management monitoring.


  • CrowbarCrowbar is a Dell-developed open source software framework designed to speed up the installation and configuration of open source cloud software onto bare metal systems.  By automating the process, Crowbar can reduce the time needed for installation from days to hours.  The software is modular in design so while the basic functionality is in Crowbar itself, “barclamps” sit on top of it to allow it work with a variety of projects.  There have been barclamps built for OpenStack, Hadoop, CloudFoundry and Dreamhost.
  • Ubuntu:  The most popular desktop linux distribution.  On the server side they are supporting OpenStack and have an offering called the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud.   Backed by the commercial company Canonical.
  • Puppet: a configuration management tool designed to automate the set up and management of infrastructure.  A key DevOps tool.  It is produced by Puppet labs
  • Chef: a configuration management tool designed to automate the set up and management of infrastructure.  A key DevOps tool.  It is produced by Opscode, who hosts a cloud-based version of Chef called the Opscode Platform.
  • Nagios: a popular open source computer system and network monitoring software application. It watches hosts and services, alerting users when things go wrong and again when they get better.
  • Ganglia: an open source scalable distributed monitoring system for high-performance computing systems such as clusters and grids.


  • LAMP stack:  Open source stack that provides a viable general purpose web server.  The name comes from the first letters of its components: Linux, Apache web server, MySQL and PHP (or Perl or Python).   LAMP has become a de facto development standard and is an excellent example of how open source software has made its way into enterprise environments through unofficial channels.
  • Apache Software Foundation: A decentralized group of developers that produce open source software under the Apache license.  Notable projects include: Apache web server, Hadoop, CouchDB, Cassandra, Tomcat, Subversion
  • Nginx: an open source web server that recently has been gaining considerable traction
  • Recipes:  They encapsulate collections of software resources which are executed in the order defined to configure a system.

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…

One Response to Web Glossary part three: Infrastructure tier

  1. […] George (@Barton808) completed his series with Web Glossary part three: Infrastructure tier on […]


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