types of networks in Software

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Organizations of different sizes, structures, and budgets need different types of networks A local newspaper company has needs for its network that would be different from the needs of a multinational company Networks can be divided into one of two categories: peer-to-peer or server-based networks
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Basic Network Concepts
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A peer-to-peer network has no dedicated servers; instead, a number of workstations are connected together for the purpose of sharing information or devices When there is no dedicated server, all workstations are considered equal; any one of them can participate as the client or the server Peer-to-peer networks are designed to satisfy the networking needs of home networks or of small companies that do not want to spend a lot of money on a dedicated server but still want to have the capability to share information or devices For example, a small accounting firm with three employees that needs to access customer data from any of the three systems or print to one printer from any of the three systems may not want to spend a lot of money on a dedicated server A small peer-to-peer network will allow these three computers to share the printer and the customer information with one another (see Figure 1-1) The extra cost of a server was not incurred because the existing client systems were networked together to create the peer-to-peer network The Microsoft term for a peer-to-peer network is a workgroup Be aware that peer-to-peer networks typically consist of fewer than 10 systems Most of the modern operating systems such as Windows XP and Windows Vista already have built-in peer-to-peer networking capabilities, which is why building a peer-to-peer network would be a cheap network solution The disadvantage of a peer-to-peer network is the lack of centralized administration with peer-to-peer networks, you need to build user accounts and configure security on each system
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A peer-to-peer network
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hub Workstation A
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Workstation B
Workstation C
Identifying Characteristics of a Network
It is important to note that peer-to-peer networks are designed for fewer than 10 systems, and with Microsoft client operating systems such as Windows XP Professional, only 10 concurrent network connections to those clients are allowed This means that if you have 15 or 20 employees, you eventually will need to implement a server-based network
server-based networks
A big disadvantage of peer-to-peer networking is that you can t do your day-today administration in a single place With peer-to-peer networking, user accounts typically are created on all the systems, and data files are stored throughout all the systems This leads to a more complicated environment and makes your job harder as a network administrator Usually after four or five systems have been networked, the need for a dedicated server to store all of the user accounts and data files becomes apparent this is a server-based network (see Figure 1-2) The advantage of a server-based network is that the data files that will be used by all of the users are stored on the one server This will help you by giving you a central point to set up permissions on the data files, and it will give you a central point from which to back up all of the data in case data loss should occur With a server-based network, the network server stores a list of users who may use network resources and usually holds the resources as well
figure 1-2
A server-based network
Hub Workstation A Laser printer
Network server Workstation B
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Basic Network Concepts
The server in a server-based network may provide a number of different services The services it will offer to the network usually are decided by the server s role There are a number of different roles that a server could play on a network:
n File and print servers n Application servers n Web servers n Directory servers
File and print servers control and share printers and files among clients on the network File and print servers were the original reason to have a network; a large number of users needed access to the same files, so the files were placed on a server, and all clients were connected to the server when they needed to work with the files File servers often have the following characteristics:
n Large amounts of memory n Fast hard disks n Multiple CPUs n Fast I/O buses n High-capacity tape drives n Fast network adapters n Redundant power supplies n Hot-swappable hard disks and power supplies
File and print servers also check the access control list (ACL) of each resource before allowing a user to access a file or use a printer If the user or a group to which the user belongs is not listed in the ACL, the user is not allowed to use the resource, and an access denied message appears on the user s screen Application servers are servers that run some form of special program on the server A good example of an application server is a server that runs the company s e-mail server The e-mail server software is special software that can be run on a server operating system Another example of software that would run on an application server is a database server product such as Microsoft SQL Server A database server
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