Understanding Important Terms

The following list of important terms and concepts as well as definitions is important for understanding Netvisor One features and determine the best configuration to meet your needs.




An Access Control List is a list of rules that are used to filter network traffic and apply certain actions to it.

Adaptive Cloud Fabric

A number of Netvisor ONE-powered switches that operate and are managed as a single holistic entity is referred to as Adaptive Cloud Fabric (Fabric in short).


An Application Programming Interface is a method to interact with Netvisor ONE switches (typically in a programmatic way) that is functionally equivalent to and has a similar scope as the CLI.


The Address Resolution Protocol is an IETF standard protocol used to discover the link layer address, such as a MAC address, associated with a given IPv4 address.


An Autonomous System is a collection of connected IP routing prefixes under the control of one or more network operators on behalf of a single administrative entity or domain.


Bidirectional Forwarding Detection is a UDP-based protocol that provides fast detection of Layer 3 peer failures. It is used in conjunction with routing protocols to accelerate convergence in IP networks.


The Border Gateway Protocol is a popular standard routing protocol used to exchange routing and reach-ability data among autonomous systems.


A Bridge Protocol Data Unit is a frame that carries information about the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP).


The Command Line Interface is a method to interact with Netvisor ONE switches through user-entered commands, which can be executed on an individual switch, on a cluster, or on a fabric.


A pair of adjacent Netvisor ONE-powered switches acting as one logical unit at Layer 2 for high availability.


Class of Service: a 3-bit Ethernet field defined by the IEEE 802.1p standard. It’s used to define and apply eight possible levels of QoS to the traffic.


cgroups  (abbreviated from control groups),  is a Linux kernel feature that limits, accounts for, and isolates the resource usage (such as CPU, memory, disk I/O, network) of a collection of processes. 


Data Center Interconnect is a category of technologies, including those leveraging the VXLAN packet encapsulation, meant to enable the remote interconnection of data centers for improved scalability, performance and reliability or fault tolerance.


The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol is a network management protocol used in IP networks to dynamically assign an IP address and other network configuration parameters to each DHCP client device (host or network node) from one or more DHCP servers.


The Differentiated Services Code Point is a 6-bit value in the 8-bit Differentiated Services (DS) field in the IP header. It’s used for packet classification purposes for QoS and other applications.


Equal-Cost Multi-Path is a routing strategy in which next-hop packet forwarding to a single destination can occur over multiple best paths.


End User License Agreement (or software license agreement) is the contract between the licensors and purchaser, establishing the purchaser's right to use the software.


The Forwarding Information Base is the (software or hardware) IP forwarding table used by a switch or router to forward IP packets to their destinations.


A firewall is a network security system that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security policies.


An IP routing protocol suite for Linux and Unix platforms and include protocol daemons for BGP, IS-IS, LDP, OSPF, PIM, and RIP. FR Routing (FRR) is used for connecting hosts, virtual machines, and containers to the network for network switching and routing, advertising network services, and internet peering.

In-band Interface

An internal interface facing the Netvisor ONE kernel used as a fabric-control port when building a fabric over any IP network.

In-band IP Address

The IP address of the switch on a production or management network for administration and inter-switch communication.


The Internet Control Message Protocol is a supporting protocol in the Internet Protocol (IP) suite. It is used by network devices, including routers, to send error messages and operational information. With IP version 6, ICMPv6 expanded its capabilities to support additional functions such as Neighbor Discovery Protocol (NDP) and Multicast Listener Discovery (MLD).


An Intrusion Detection System is a device or a software application that monitors the network infrastructure and/or the end devices for malicious activity or policy violations.


The Internet Group Management Protocol is a communications protocol used by hosts and adjacent routers on IPv4 networks to establish multicast group memberships.

Insight Analytics

Insight Analytics is a Network Performance Management (NPM) add-on module to UNUM.


An Intrusion Prevention System, also known as intrusion detection and prevention system (IDPS), is a network security appliance that monitors the network and/or the end devices for malicious activity. The main functions of an IPS are: to identify malicious activity, to log information about this activity, to report it and also to attempt to block it.

Jumbo Frames

Jumbo frames, or jumbos in short, are Ethernet frames with more than 1500 bytes of payload.


Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) is a protocol for the collective handling of multiple physical ports that can be seen as a single logical transmission channel (also called trunk, port channel, link aggregation group or link bundle) for network purposes such as traffic load balancing and link redundancy. It was defined in the IEEE 802.3ad standard, later incorporated into 802.3 and later moved to IEEE 802.1AX-2008.


Link aggregation is a technology used to combine multiple connections in order to increase the aggregate bandwidth beyond what a single connection can sustain, and to provide redundancy in case of link failure. A Link Aggregation Group (LAG) bundles a number of physical ports together to create a single high-bandwidth data path, so as to implement traffic load sharing and link redundancy. Other terms used to describe this technology include port trunking, port channel, link bundling, channel bonding "and–with" servers–NIC bonding and NIC teaming. The link aggregation process is supported by a dynamic protocol called Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP).


The Link Layer Discovery Protocol is a standard link layer protocol (IEEE 802.1AB) used by network devices to advertise their identity, capabilities and neighbors on an IEEE 802 local area network.

MAC Address

The medium access control (MAC) is a sub-layer of the data link layer in IEEE 802 LAN/MAN standards.


A Management Information Base is a database used for managing the entities in a computer network. MIBs are typically used with Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP).


Multicast Listener Discovery is a process used by IPv6 routers to discover multicast listeners on a directly attached link, much like the Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) is used in IPv4.


The Multiple Spanning Tree Protocol is a protocol introduced by the IEEE 802.1s standard and later incorporated into IEEE 802.1Q-2005, to extend the Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol to support multiple STP instances for load balancing and to introduce various other protocol enhancements.


The Maximum Transmission Unit is the size of the largest protocol data unit (PDU) that can be transmitted in a single network layer or data link layer transaction.


Neighbor Discovery (Protocol) is an IPv6 node discovery process that has similar (and improved) functionalities compared to IPv4’s ARP. It is based on the ICMPv6 standard protocol.


NetFlow is a feature of Cisco routers and switches that provides the ability to collect IP network traffic statistics and to export them to a collector device.

Netvisor ONE

Netvisor Open Networking Edition (ONE) is Pluribus’ enterprise-class Network Operating System built for Open Networking hardware, which supports an extensive range of networking services: from the more basic ones such as Layer 2 and Layer 3 switching for both IPv4 and IPv6 protocols, to the more advanced ones such as data center interconnect (DCI) through VXLAN support and in-depth traffic analytics.


Network File System is a distributed file system protocol that enables a user on a client computer to access files over a computer network much like local storage is accessed.


Open Shortest Path First is a standard routing protocol that falls into the category of interior gateway protocols (IGPs), operating within a single autonomous system.


The Open vSwitch Database Management Protocol is an SDN configuration protocol. It is used, for example, to interface with a SDN controller such as OpenDayLight or VMware NSX.

Out-of-band Interface

A dedicated out-of-band port on Netvisor ONE switches, used either as a management-only interface or as a fabric-control port to form the fabric and exchange fabric information over the out-of-band management network.


In the VXLAN context, this term refers to all the elements built on top of the generic IP transport infrastructure in order to offer higher-level transport functionalities and services.


Protocol-Independent Multicast is a family of standard multicast routing protocols for IP networks that enable one-to-many and many-to-many forwarding of data over a LAN, WAN or the Internet.


Quagga is a network routing software suite providing implementations of Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Routing Information Protocol (RIP), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) and IS-IS for Unix-like platforms.


QinQ is a technique (also known as stacked VLANs, or Q-in-Q) that can apply an extra VLAN tag on top of the standard 802.1Q tag (hence the term of VLAN stacking).


Quality of Service refers to traffic prioritization and resource reservation control mechanisms that can provide different priorities to different applications, users, or data flows, and that can guarantee a certain level of performance to each data flow.


The Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable module is a compact, hot-pluggable transceiver used for data communications applications. QSFP+ is an evolution of QSFP to support four channels carrying 10 Gigabit Ethernet that can be combined to form a single 40 Gigabit Ethernet link.


Router Advertisement is a type of ICMPv6 message used for the Neighbor Discovery (ND) process.


Representational State Transfer (REST) is a software architectural style that defines a set of rules to be used for creating web services. Web services that conform to the REST architectural style are called RESTful.


The Routing Information Base is the IP routing table created by a switch or router by collecting routing information from multiple sources including configuration (static routes), dynamic routing protocols (RIP, OSPF, BGP), etc.


The Routing Information Protocol is an old distance-vector routing protocol that employs the hop count as a routing metric. It has two versions, RIPv1 and RIPv2, for IPv4 while RIPng is an extension of RIPv2 with support for IPv6.


A Return Merchandise Authorization is usually referred to the process of returning a product to receive a replacement or repair (and implicitly following the associated network administrator procedures).


The Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol was introduced as standard IEEE 802.1w to provide significantly faster spanning tree convergence after a topology change compared to regular STP, while maintaining full backward compatibility with it.


The Secure Copy Protocol is a network protocol based on the BSD RCP protocol that supports secure file transfers between devices on a network. Security (authenticity and confidentiality of the data in transit) is based on the Secure Shell (SSH) protocol.


Software-Defined Networking is defined by the Open Networking Foundation as an emerging architecture that is dynamic, manageable, cost-effective and adaptable, making it ideal for the high-bandwidth, dynamic nature of today's applications.


The enhanced Small Form-factor Pluggable module is a compact, hot-pluggable transceiver that supports data rates of up to 16 Gbit/s and is therefore used for 10 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces.


The SSH File Transfer Protocol is an IETF network protocol that provides file access, file transfer and file management over any reliable data stream. It was designed as an extension of the Secure Shell protocol (SSH) version 2.0 to provide secure file transfer capabilities.


IPv6 State-Less Address Auto-Configuration is the process by which IPv6 hosts can configure themselves automatically when connected to an IPv6 network using the Neighbor Discovery Protocol function via ICMPv6 router discovery messages.


Simple Network Management Protocol is an IETF standard protocol for collecting and organizing information about managed devices on IP networks and for modifying that information to change a device’s behavior. SNMPv1 is the original version of the protocol, while SNMPv2c and SNMPv3 are more recent versions that feature improvements in performance, flexibility and security.


Secure Shell is a cryptographic network protocol that enables network services to operate securely over an insecure network. Typical applications include remote command-line login and remote command execution.


In a bridged network the Spanning Tree Protocol (IEEE 802.1D and IEEE 802.1Q-2014 standards) is used to turn a redundant physical topology into a loop-free, tree-like logical forwarding topology by setting one or more ports to blocking state, so as to prevent bridging loops.


Syslog is a standard technology for message logging which logically separates the software that generates the messages, the system that stores them, and the software that reports them.


Transport Layer Security is a cryptographic protocol designed to provide communication security over a computer network with the aim of guaranteeing privacy and data integrity between two or more communicating computer applications.

Traffic Flow

Also known as packet flow or network flow, is a sequence of packets from a source device to a destination (a unicast destination, a multicast group, or a broadcast address).


In the VXLAN context, this term refers to the generic IP transport infrastructure used to ensure IP reach-ability among all Virtual Tunnel Endpoints (VTEP) in the network that create the overlay.


Pluribus Unified Management, Automation and Analytics Platform is a multi-functional web management portal that enhances the intrinsic automation of the Adaptive Cloud Fabric architecture.

vCenter Server

vCenter Server is the centralized management utility for VMware. It is used to centrally manage hypervisors (ESXi), storage, virtual machines, and all dependent components (such as network and security).


Pluribus’ mechanism used to filter fabric-wide data center switching traffic on a granular flow level, and to apply security/QoS (Quality of Service) actions or forwarding decisions on each defined flow.


A Virtual IP is an IP address that does not correspond to an actual physical device but to a virtual forwarding entity (for example for redundancy purposes). In this document’s context it’s the IP address used by VRRP instances and by VTEPs.


Virtual Link Aggregation Group is a Netvisor ONE multi-chassis link aggregation technology to bundle two or more links together when the links belong to two different chassis (behaving as a single virtual chassis/cluster).


A Virtual LAN is a logical broadcast domain that is identified by using a specific frame tag format (defined by the IEEE 802.1Q standard) and is isolated at the data link layer in a computer network.


Virtual Link Extension is a Netvisor ONE technology that enables the creation of Layer 1 pseudo-wires that can emulate a direct connection between devices on top of an IP transport network.


A Virtual NETwork is a partition of the fabric. A vNET is defined by a group of network objects that can operate independently and have dedicated resources. This is how Netvisor ONE provides multi-tenancy support and in-depth network segmentation (beyond VLANs and VRFs).


In VXLAN parlance, each segment is identified through a 24-bit segment ID called the “VXLAN Network Identifier” (VNI). This allows up to 16M VXLAN segments to coexist within the same administrative domain.


“Virtual ports” are software Layer 2 entries associated to all ports a Pluribus switch performs MAC address learning on.


Virtual Routing and Forwarding is a technology that allows multiple routing spaces to coexist on the same switch. It complements the vRouter construct, offering a highly scalable solution for multi-tenant environments.


An object used to provide routing between subnets, VLANs and/or vNETs. The vRouter runs in a dedicated operating system container.


Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol is a networking protocol that provides redundancy of routing paths by creation of virtual routers, which are an abstract representation of multiple routers (i.e., master and backup routers) acting as a group.


A VXLAN Tunnel Endpoint is the entity responsible for encapsulating / de-encapsulating VXLAN packets.


VTEP High Availability refers to a mechanism designed to ensure redundancy of the VTEP entity.


Virtual Extensible LAN is a standard UDP-based packet encapsulation technology defined in RFC 7348. VXLAN’s Ethernet-in-UDP encapsulation is used to implement the overlaying of virtualized Layer 2 networks over Layer 3 networks.


Wireshark is a free open source packet analyzer. It is used for network troubleshooting and analysis, and for software and communications protocol development.


Zero Touch Provisioning is a network device capability that enables it to be provisioned and configured automatically, reducing the overhead required for a complete network deployment.