Droplets Glossary

DigitalOcean Droplets are Linux-based virtual machines (VMs) that run on top of virtualized hardware. Each Droplet you create is a new server you can use, either standalone or as part of a larger, cloud-based infrastructure.

This glossary defines the core concepts behind Droplets to help build your mental model of how Droplets work and understand what the documentation is referring to when it uses certain terminology.

A container distribution is a Linux-based operating system optimized for handling containerized applications.
A central processing unit, also called a processor or CPU, is an essential piece of computer hardware that executes the instructions from a computer program.
Distributed Denial-of-Service, or DDoS, is a cyberattack method that attempts to disrupt the traffic of a targeted server, service, or network by overwhelming the target with more traffic than it can handle.
A hop is the travel of a packet from one network to another, in order to get to a target destination.
A hypervisor is a virtual machine monitor (VMM) that allows multiple operating systems to run simultaneously on one host computer.
Linux is group of open-source operating systems (OS) based on the Linux kernel.
Mesh Virtual Private Networks (Mesh VPNs) are a peer-to-peer architecture where every node or peer in the network can connect directly to each other without a central gateway.
Multicast internet protocol (IP) routing, or multicast traffic, is a protocol for distributing data to multiple recipients.
A non-volatile memory express, or NVMe for short, is an optimized and scalable storage protocol that connects a host system to its memory subsystems.
An operating system, or OS, is a system software that manages computer hardware and software resources, such as Windows, macOS, or Linux.
An overlay network is a network where all the nodes correspond to nodes in an underlying network and are connected through logical or virtual links.
Packet loss is the situation when one or more packets (small pieces of data) do not make it to the targeted destination.
A port is a communication endpoint of a network connection. A port is identified using a port number for each transport protocol.
PTR records, or pointer records (also known as reverse DNS or rDNS records), map an IP address to a domain name. PTR records are used for reverse DNS lookups.
Random-Access Memory, or RAM, is a memory storage made to store and access memory on a short-term basis.
A site-to-site virtual private network (VPN) is a networking setup where two or more networks are privately connected.
A solid-state drive, or SSD, is a persistent data storage device. SSDs use flash memory, which significantly improves latency and I/O performance over older, electromechanical hard disk drives (HDDs).
SSH (Secure Shell Protocol) is a method to secure remote logins and communications from one computer to another which provides strong authentication and protects communication through strong encryption.
ssh/config is a OpenSSH client configuration file where ssh contains data about command-line options, user’s configuration file (~/.ssh/config), and system-wide configuration file (/etc/ssh/ssh_config).
Tags are keywords associated with resources which help with managing resource ownership and organize lookups and actions on resources.
Transmission Control Protocol (TCP/IP or TCP) is a communication standard for programs and computing devices to exchange messages over a network.
User Datagram Protocol, or UDP, is an established low-latency connection communication protocol between applications.
A virtual central processing unit, virtual processor, or vCPU is a physical CPU assigned to a virtual machine (VM).
A virtual machine, or VM, is a self-contained virtualization of an operating system (OS).