The misconception that only large corporations can afford computer networks, this may be far from the truth. With a trip to the local computer store and a little help from the clerk will produce a shopping list of all the needs along with instruction on a self install if one is so inclined. In fact however by installing a network will also save money and enhance productivity for your company large or small. This is made possible through a few networking principles. By allowing computers that you may already have sharing common resources such as printers, modems, centralized server and CD-ROM drives.
(Shultz, 1997) (Brewer, 2010)
For example, let’s use an office of five each with workstations, computers if you will. If each had printers with a cost of 300 dollars each, the cost would be 1500 dollars. Now think about having one multipurpose printer that cost 1000 dollars that would connect to all the workstations in the office. That’s a savings of 500 dollars. This is only one of many examples of how a network can save companies money.
There are basically two role mediums at play in network architectures, for example in a Local Area Network (LAN) for home or office setting client/server and peer-to-peer. In the client-server network, a central server would handle all the security and file transactions from one location. The peer-to-peer networks are a little different, less expensive and most commonly found in smaller office or possibly home settings. With this type, each machine shares its own resources and handles its own security. Each workstation/computer has a Network card attached to it by a plug with a common hard wire (Twisted wire CAT 5, or Fiber optics), wireless language card (Wi-Fi) or a combination of the two allowing communication ability with all the computers in the home or office. This is commonly set up through an office or home router on a group setting address. This is accomplished by a topology that the user may want to set up for their LAN. Network topologies are categorized into the following basic types: bus, ring, star, tree, mesh. Used however maybe not so much in home settings, more complex networks can be built out of two or more of the above basic topologies; this may be considered a hybrid. This is achieved in this example. Three computers routed on a wired Ethernet Bus with Cable and one or more devices/clients maybe on a wireless system. In a home setting this is common, with the new toys that are on the market today. Wireless TV’s, DVD/Blue ray, internet player devices (Games Box, ect.) used for entertainment and TV viewing. All these have an option for hard CAT 5 wire or built in WI-FI language cards. Asking why would I not just go all wireless or all wired and routs them through a router? Computers hold and send data to one another in a network that that should be secure so use wire and a firewall on the router settings. The information on gaming and entertainment consoles need not be protected. The household may not want wires spread all through the home and could be cost prohibitive.
( Bradley Mitchell, 2011)
With the client/server network being the more expensive of the two to implement because such networks require a central server. Although you may use many types of computers as your server, you'll get the best results by utilizing a dedicated, high-end machine that was designed for a system. This will allow the company to spend more on the server than on the workstations, with the end results again saving the company on expenses. With that statement there could be slight disadvantages to client/server networks, that which may be the cost of the server software. A typical software package may only authorize connecting five other workstation/computers to your server, and then it requires a payment for a client license fee for each additional workstation that is connected in the network.
(Brewer, 2010) With the role of this LAN medium and a server being the expensive part to set up, why would anyone choose this option? The possible answer is that this type of network structure offers a wide range of powerful administrative tools; such are particularly useful in an environment where security may be an issue. In a client/server environment, the server is dedicated to file server controls that level of access that client/workstations have when sharing resources. This will allow the network to be controlled with the needed security levels wanted implemented by the means of a central location through which a utility server and proper software are needed.
Servers vs. Clients
A blurred line between the client and a server explained; a server is a computer programmed to provide certain dedicated services to other computers in a work group (Clients) with its main function to provide programs and resources for the network users. However in the real world of today that context is almost untrue. With open source resources and multiple browsers types, like Google. Along with other open resources such as Wikipedia and Yahoo blur this line with who is in charge of the servers, in essence the user can edit the open resource. It all may very well fall to entities like Adobe and Oracle to figure out the language and uses in which the information seeker is trying to perform thus making a blurred line between the two.
A computer network is an interconnected collection of autonomous computers (not controlled by one another). Each computer interconnected by physically connecting through a network card, wired or wireless allowing signals to flow in both directions, and capable of exchanging messages and resources. With protocols that make the hardware and programs to specify and exchange within the services that the network provides. The software is designed to overcome hardware deficiencies by step instruction within the computer workings its self (See: 7 step OSI reference Model).