Planning the Network

You should hold off on creating your network plan until you have truthfully assessed your networking needs. Once you have that information available, you can start the task of determining what kind of client machines you need to purchase and what kind of servers you will have to set up on your network.

Keep in mind that business networks must meet the business requirements of your company or institution. While it is very difficult to assess the actual monetary value added aspects of business computer networks, the network must fit into the overall business plan. This relates to budgetary issues, the infrastructure of the company (do you have to connect remote offices to the central office?), and the level of security required for the network. A company handling credit card information on its network will certainly need a higher level of network security than other networks.

A good way to expand your understanding of network planning is to read through this book. It provides nuts-and-bolts information on network infrastructures and some of the choices for network clients and network operating systems. Because this book does not profess to be anything more than an introduction to the world of networking, you will need to do some additional research. The World Wide Web is an incredible resource for the novice network builder. It provides information on products, networking theory, and even allows you to purchase the hardware and software that you need to get your network up and running.

In situations where you will be involved in the building of large networks, you might want to go outside your company and hire a consultant to help you plan the network infrastructure. In the case of smaller networks, a little research and some careful consideration should help you put together a network that will meet your needs.

The Absolute Minimum

In this chapter we looked at the differences between peer-to-peer and server-based networks. We also had the opportunity to look at the different topologies that are used for the physical layout of networks.

  • Peer-to-peer networks are best used in situations where a few users need to share a few resources.

  • Peer-to-peer networks use share-level security, which means that each resource could have a different password.

  • Server-based networks provide for centralized management of the network.

  • Server-based networks log on a user with one password. The user can access any resources that he or she has been given the appropriate permissions for.

  • Server-based networks can distribute the workload among specialized network servers, such as file and print servers.

  • Special servers, such as Web servers, can expand the ability of the network to communicate outside its physical location.

  • The bus topology is the simplest topology and uses a passive methodology for computers accessing the network.

  • The star topology is the most common network topology and also the easiest to expand. The star topology is also considered a passive topology (like the bus topology).

  • The ring topology is an active topology because computers on the ring pass a token. To send data onto the network, possession of the token is required.

  • It is extremely important that you assess your networking needs before actually planning your network. Take future growth into account when assessing your LAN needs. Also plan your network so that it becomes an integral tool in the company's overall goals and ambitions.

Absolute Beginner's Guide to Networking
Absolute Beginners Guide to Networking (4th Edition)
ISBN: 0789729113
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2002
Pages: 188
Authors: Joe Habraken © 2008-2017.
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