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.
In a denial-of-service (DoS) attack, a threat actor renders information systems, devices, or other network resources inaccessible by overwhelming the target with malicious traffic. A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is a type of DoS attack where the overloading traffic originates from multiple attacking machines, amplifying the severity of the attack.
An endpoint is a specific URL or network address that a client device or application uses to interact with a server or service. Most internet connected apps and websites communicate with endpoints to retrieve information, process user interactions, and perform other processes. For example, when you open a weather app on your phone, the weather app requests for the latest forecast information from a server endpoint.
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.
The Internet Protocol (IP) is a communications protocol used to connect computers across a network, specifically the internet. IP consists of rules and regulations for transmission of packets across a network including routing and addressing. IP ensures that the packets of data that travel across a network arrive at the correct location.
IPv6, or Internet Protocol version 6, is a networking protocol that maps IP addresses to devices on a network. IPv6 is the most recent version of the IP protocol and greatly expands the available address space compared to IPv4.
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.
Mounting makes the data on a storage device, like block storage, available to the file system on a computer. Users on the computer can then read and write to mounted storage devices.
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 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.
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The Transmission Control Protocol (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.