Like many other Internet-related acronyms D-M-Z sounds like it belongs to the genre of military acronyms, and in fact it does. The term comes from the military use to mean a buffer area between two enemies, thus a "demilitarized zone."
In the IT world, DMZ refers to a computer or small subnetwork that sits between a trusted internal network (a corporate private LAN), and an untrusted external network (such as the public Internet). Typically, the DMZ contains devices accessible to Internet traffic, including Web servers (HTTP), FTP servers, e-mail servers (SMTP), and DNS servers. One can easily grasp the correlation between the military and computer defintions.
In other words, a DMZ is part of a network, separated by a firewall which only allows certain types of network traffic to enter or leave. In a typical example, a company will protect its internal networks from the Internet with a firewall, but will have "a separate DMZ" to which the public can gain limited access. Public Web servers are placed in a DMZ.
Note: DMZ is not an acronym, but rather "shorthand." The difference between acronyms and shorthand is that with acronyms, you pronouce the letters as a new word (such as FUBAR = foo-bar, RADAR = ray-dar, and ASAP = A-sap). Whereas with shorthand, you say the letters one by one and do not pronounce it as a word (F-Y-I, B-T-W, D-M-Z). Click on "more info" to view a long list of acronymns and text shorthand.
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