network is a way to connect computers together so that they can communicate, exchange information and pool their resources amongst each other.
In business or education, scientific or technological research, educational institutes or office atmosphere, networks have revolutionized the use of computer technology. Be it a local area or wide area network, the world community has come closer to each other. The ocean of information is virtually on our table, using the smart powers of browsing and surfing the resources of world’s largest network i.e. internet.
Uses of Networks
Following are few uses of a network:
Networks allow users simultaneous access to shared programs and data.
Networks also allow users to share peripheral devices, such as printers and hard disks.
Networks usually include the capability to send e-mail along with big attachments (files etc.)
Some networks also aid communication by providing tools for teleconferencing and videoconferencing.
We have basically two types (modals) of network modals, as discussed below:
Client/Server (dedicated server network): this arrangement involves a server, which is a computer that controls the network. In particular, a server has the hard disks holding shared files/ databases and often shared quality printer, which can be used by all nodes, as shown in the figure below:
The clients are all the other computers on the network. Under this arrangement, the server usually does processing. Client/ Server has attracted a lot of attention because a well-designed system reduces the volume of data traffic on the network and allows faster response at each node. (also, since the server does most of the heavy work, less expensive computers clients can be used as nodes.)
Peer-to-Peer: All computers in a peer-to-peer arrangement have equal status. No one has control over others. With all files and peripheral devices distributed across several computers, users share each other’s data devices as needed. The main disadvantage in this approach is lack of speed as most peer-to-peer networks slow down under heavy use. Its main disadvantage is the lack of security.
Hybrid: Many networks are hybrid i.e. a combination of both client/server and peer-to-peer approaches. This approach takes the advantages of both the above mentioned models.
The standards are the precise documents containing technical and physical specifications about the network being designed. Normally those standards are taken into considerations, which are worldwide, acceptable.
By following certain standards, the networks can be reliable, efficient and trustworthy. Normally, two types of standards given below are followed:
De Facto standard: de jure means “according to law or regulation”. These standards are most commonly used by the organizations worldwide.
De jure standard: de jure means “according to law or regulation”. The networks governing body have properly approved these standards. Few of these governing bodies are:
· American National Standard Institute (ANSI)
· The institute of electrical and electronics engineers (IEEE)
· The international Standard Organization (ISO)
· The International Telecommunications Union-Telecommunication Standards Sector (ITU-T, formally CCITT) Consulate Committee International on telegraph and telephone.
· The Electronic Industries Association (EIA)