Use this page as a guidance to learn industrial/agency terminology and acronyms.

Terms and Definitions

Term Definition
AKT (Authentication Key Token)  A hardware security device issued to NCCS users which generates a sequence of numbers used to form part of a one-time-use passcode.
Computational Project (Formerly known as a "Sponsor Code Account") A five-character code representing a PI's research effort.
DIMM (Dual inline memory module) A circuit board with a 64-bit path to the memory module.
Division Code A three-character code which groups Computational Projects by the organization under which their PIs work.
Division Representative  An individual who facilitates interaction between the division and the NCCS.
Login shell  Software interface through which users authenticate to access NCCS computing systems.
LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) is an application protocol for querying and modifying directory services running over TCP/IP. LDAP is used by the NCCS for access authentication to NCCS computing resources. Currently an LDAP password is necessary for access to the NCCS Linux Network (discover) Cluster, the NCCS SGI Altix 3700 BX2 (palm/explore) Cluster and the NCCS Portal Web-pages.
LSF (Load Sharing Facility) - The batch queueing system used on halem.
man page Short for manual page, a page of online documentation for every command, utility, and library function in UNIX systems, viewable by issuing the command man command.
Passcode  A combination of two sequences of numbers that you use to log in to an NCCS system. The first sequence is your four-digit NCCS Personal Identification Number (PIN), and the second sequence is your NCCS Authentication Key Tokan (AKT) tokencode, which changes every thirty or sixty seconds (depending on your AKT). Together these two sequences of numbers form a one-time-use passcode.
PIN (Personal Identification Number) Four-digit number assigned to you by NCCS User Services to be used in combination with the tokencode on your AKT to login to NCCS systems or alone to access restricted web pages.
Principal Investigator (PI)   (Formerly known as a "Sponsor") An individual to whom NASA funding sources have allocated computing resources on NCCS systems for research.
RAID (Redundant array of inexpensive disks) A category of disk drives that use two or more disks in combination for fault tolerance and performance.
SSH Keys A pair of cryptographic keys, designated as public key and private key, that are used to enable passwordless ssh on NCCS systems. The private key is generally kept secret, while the public key may be widely distributed.
Tokencode The sequence of numbers on an Authentication Key Token (AKT) which changes every thirty or sixty seconds (depending on your AKT).
User An individual with access to NCCS resources.
Userid A user's three- to eight-character code that uniquely identifies him or her on NCCS computing systems.
X11 (X Window System)  Windowing system for bitmap displays that provides the basic framework for a GUI environment: drawing and moving windows on the screen and interacting with a mouse and keyboard. In an X11 environment, the traditional local client vs. remote server relationship may be reversed.


Term/Acronym Definition
API Application Programming Interface
BIOS Basic Input Output System
BMC Baseboard Management Controller
CISTO Computational and Information Sciences & Technology Office
CFM Cubic Feet per Minute
CSC Computer Sciences Corporation
CT Capabilities Tests
Cu Copper
DDR IB Double Data Rate (16 Gbps) Infiniband
DIMM Dual In-line Memory Module
ECC Error-correcting Code Memory
ELT Effectiveness Level Testing
EIDE Enhanced Integrated Disk Electronics
EPO Emergency Power Off
FC Fibre Channel
FDR IB Fourteen Data Rate (56 Gbps) Infiniband
ft Feet
Gb Gigabit
GB Gigabyte
GbE Gigabit Ethernet
Gbps Gigabits Per Second
GEOS Goddard Earth Observing System
GFE Government Furnished Equipment
GISS Goddard Institute for Space Studies
GMAO Global Modeling and Assimilation Office
GPFS Global Parallel File System – from IBM
GPM Gallons Per Minute
GSFC Goddard Space Flight Center
GUI Graphical User Interface
HBA Host Bus Adaptor
HCA Host Card Adaptor
HPC High Performance Computing
HPCC High Performance Computing Challenge
IB Infiniband
IBC International Building Code
ILO Integrated Lights Out
IPMI Intelligent Platform Management Interface
JCSDA Joint Center for Space Data Assimilation
KVA Kilovolts Amperes
KVM Keyboard-Video-Mouse
KW Kilowatt
LAN Local Area Network
lbs Pounds
Mb Megabit
MB Megabyte
MbE Megabit Ethernet
MDS Metadata Server
MPI Message Passing Interface
MUS Machine Unit Specification
NCCS NASA Center for Computational Sciences
NAS-PB NASA Advanced Supercomputing Parallel Benchmarks
NIC Network Interface Card
NSD Network Storage Device
OEM Original Equipment Manufacturer
OFED Open Fabrics Enterprise Distribution
O/S Operating System
PBS Portable Batch System – resource management software from Altair
PF Petaflop
PGI Portland Group, Inc.
PO Purchase Order
PSI Pounds per Square Inch
PUE Power Usage Effectiveness
QDR IB Quad Data Rate (36 Gbps) Infiniband
RAM Random Access Memory
RAS Reliability, Availability, and Serviceability
RDMA Remote Direct Memory Access
RFP Request for Proposal
RFQ Request for Quote
RHEL Red Hat Enterprise Linux
RMA Return Material Authorization
rsh Remote shell
SAS Serial Attaches SCSI
SATA Serial Advanced Technology Attachment
SCSI Small Computer System Interface
SCU Scalable Compute Unit
SEN Science and Engineering Network
SLES SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
SNMP Simple Network Management Protocol
ssh Secure shell
TCO Total Cost of Ownership
UPS Uninterrupted Power Supply
VLAN Virtual Local Area Network