Network can be divided in to two main categories:
- Server – based.
Peer-to-peer networks are good choices for needs of small organizations where the users are allocated in the same general area, security is not an issue and the organization and the network will have limited growth within the foreseeable future.
The term Client/server refers to the concept of sharing the work involved in processing data between the client computer and the most powerful server computer.
The client/server network is the most efficient way to provide:
- Databases and management of applications such as Spreadsheets, Accounting, Communications and Document management.
- Network management.
- Centralized file storage.
Client/server application design also lets the application provider mask the actual location of application function. The user often does not know where a specific operation is executing. The entire function may execute in either the PC or server, or the function may be split between them. This masking of application function locations enables system implementers to upgrade portions of a system over time with a minimum disruption of application operations, while protecting the investment in existing hardware and software.
The OSI Model:Open System Interconnection (OSI) reference model has become an International standard and serves as a guide for networking. This model is the best known and most widely used guide to describe networking environments. Vendors design network products based on the specifications of the OSI model. It provides a description of how network hardware and software work together in a layered fashion to make communications possible. It also helps with trouble shooting by providing a frame of reference that describes how components are supposed to function.
There are seven to get familiar with and these are the physical layer, data link layer, network layer, transport layer, session layer, presentation layer, and the application layer.
- Physical Layer, is just that the physical parts of the network such as wires, cables, and there media along with the length. Also this layer takes note of the electrical signals that transmit data throughout system.
- Data Link Layer, this layer is where we actually assign meaning to the electrical signals in the network. The layer also determines the size and format of data sent to printers, and other devices. Also I don't want to forget that these are also called nodes in the network. Another thing to consider in this layer is will also allow and define the error detection and correction schemes that insure data was sent and received.
- Network Layer, this layer provides the definition for the connection of two dissimilar networks.
- Transport Layer, this layer allows data to be broken into smaller packages for data to be distributed and addressed to other nodes (workstations).
- Session Layer, this layer helps out with the task to carry information from one node (workstation) to another node (workstation). A session has to be made before we can transport information to another computer.
- Presentation Layer, this layer is responsible to code and decode data sent to the node.
- Application Layer, this layer allows you to use an application that will communicate with say the operation system of a server. A good example would be using your web browser to interact with the operating system on a server such as Windows NT, which in turn gets the data you requested.