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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Strategic Network Operation - 1068 words
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Anyone who's run a network operations group knows the frustration that accompaniesmanagement inquiries about "our network strategy." To be successful, a strategicnetwork plan must define the services the network will offer the line operations of thebusiness. Network, in computer science, techniques, physical connections, and computerprograms used to link two or more computers. Network users are able to share files,printers, and other resources; send electronic messages; and run programs on othercomputers. A network has three layers of components: application software, networksoftware, and network hardware. Application software consists of computer programsthat interface with network users and permit the sharing of information, such as files,graphics, and video, and resources, such as printers and disks.
Network software consists of computer programs that establish protocols, orrules, for computers to talk to one another. These protocols are carried out by sendingand receiving formatted instructions of data called packets. Protocols make logicalconnections between network applications, direct the movement of packets through thephysical network, and minimize the possibility of collisions between packets sent at thesame time. These are some of the different types of Network software: Appletalk,Arpanet, Bitnet, CWIS, Ethernet, IBM Token Ring netwrok, Internet, LAN, andUSENET. Also Class A, B, & C network refer to the different types of subnet protocol. Local Area Networks(LANs), which connect computers separated by short distances,such as in an office or a university campus, commonly use bus, star, or ring topologies.Wide area networks (WANs), which connect distant equipment across the country orinternationally, often use special leased telephone lines as point-to-point links, and is thebiggest network
When computers share physical connections to transmit information packets, a setof Media Access Control (MAC) protocols are used to allow information to flowsmoothly through the network. An efficient MAC protocol ensures that the transmissionmedium is not idle if computers have information to transmit. It also prevents collisionsdue to simultaneous transmission that would waste media capacity. MAC protocols alsoallow different computers fair access to the medium.One type of MAC is Ethernet, which is used by bus or star network topologies. AnEthernet-linked computer first checks if the shared medium is in use. If not, thecomputer transmits.
Since two computers can both sense an idle medium and sendpackets at the same time, transmitting computers continue to monitor the sharedconnection and stop transmitting information if a collision occurs. Ethernet can transmitinformation at a rate of 10 Mbps. The most significant - and successful - encroachment occurred when switchedEthernet devices appeared on the scene. This approach multiplies rather than dividesbandwidth by the number of devices on the network and is the essential ingredient forbuilding truly scalable networks. These changes, along with the price benefits of usingcopper (because virtually all ATM connections were fiber) and avoidance of ATM'smassive complexity, doomed ATM as the 'end-to-end everywhere' solution it was longpurported to be. Computers also can use Token Ring MAC protocols, which pass a special messagecalled a token through the network.
This token gives the computer permission to send apacket of information through the network. If a computer receives the token, it sends apacket, or, if it has no packet to send, it passes the token to the next computer. Since thereis only one token in the network, only one computer can transmit information at a time. One type of application software is called client-server. Client computers sendrequests for information or requests to use resources to other computers, called servers,that control data and applications.
Another type of application software is calledpeer-to-peer. In a peer-to-peer network, computers send messages and requests directly toone another without a server intermediary. All PC networking is based on the client/server concept, in which one computer(the client) requests a service from another computer (the server). The server then replies tothe client's request by supplying the requested service, which the client utilizes as it sees fit.The client and the server are independent computers, each of which devotes part of itsresources towards the goal of performing some computing task. The technology thatenables PCs to work together in this manner is called local area networking.
A local areanetwork (or LAN) is a collection of computers connected by cables (or some othermedium), so that they can communicate with each other at will. The client systems thatmake up most of a LAN access files, printers, and data from servers, but they work withthat data using their local processors. While a server is dedicated primarily to processingrequests from clients, it is the client system that actually processes and modifies the datasupplied by the server. The client/server networking model is fine for medium to largebusinesses, but is not practical in a home or a small business. It isn't worth the expense toinstall a dedicated server computer to support at most 2 or 3 clients.
In addition to requiringa dedicated server computer, network operating systems like NetWare are priced forbusiness customers, as are client/server applications. Today, the client and server roles refer to services on a computer, rather than todedicated computers. Operating systems such as Windows 98 can function as both clientsand servers, meaning that they can both access shared resources on other computers andshare their own resources with others. This is called peer-to-peer networking, because everycomputer on the network functions as an equal to the others. Peer-to peer networks areideal for homes and small businesses, because they provide all the benefits of a LAN at aminimum cost.
There is no need for a dedicated server on a peer network or a specializedserver operating system. Part of designing an effective peer network is deciding whichresources you will share. Just because every computer on a peer-to-peer network canfunction as both a client and a server doesn't mean that they all have to assume both roles.Sharing all of the drives on all of your computers can be confusing to the network's users,who may have trouble locating the files they need. You can also design your network tofunction in client/server mode, even while using a peer-to-peer operating system likeWindows 98. You can, for example, designate one Win98 PC as a server and use it to storeall of the data required by your users, while the other computers all function as clients ofthat server In conclusion, an effective network design falls somewhere between the extremes ofsharing the resources on all of your computers and sharing those on just one. Homenetworks will naturally be more informal than business ones, but every network needs somedegree of administrative control in order to function properly.
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