The following points summarize the key concepts of this chapter:
Choosing a Network Design
- The first step in network design is to decide whether the network will be peer-to-peer or server-based.
- Take a detailed inventory of all the available networking hardware, software, and telecommunications equipment on hand before recommending any equipment purchases for a new LAN.
- Create a map of the facility layout and the network (logical and physical) as the beginning of your network-documentation package.
- Installing network media is difficult, and complex configurations require a professional installer. Basic installations can be accomplished without professional assistance.
- By knowing the specifics of each piece of hardware that will be on the network, you can map a network design and foresee potential problems.
- Addressing potential problems before implementing the network can save time and expense.
Establishing a Client/Server Environment
- The client/server model has several advantages over a centralized network; in this model, tasks are divided between client and server, resulting in a more efficient network.
- Client/server networks can be arranged in two ways: the data can be on a single server or distributed across many servers.
- Client/server networks commonly use structured query language (SQL) for database management.
- In a client/server network, the client, or front end, is responsible for presenting data in a useful form and for writing reports; the server, or back end, is responsible for storing and managing the data.
- Client/server networks can be arranged in two ways: data can be stored on a single server or distributed across several servers.
Working with Device Drivers and Network Interface Cards (NICS)
- Computer operating systems use software drivers to control devices.
- Network interface card (NIC) drivers reside in the Media Access Control sublayer of the data-link layer of the OSI reference model.
- Methods for installing drivers vary with the operating system used.
- Manufacturers release updated drivers for their devices. These drivers can be downloaded from the Internet or a bulletin board and installed to provide improved performance.
- Old and unused drivers should be removed to prevent conflicts.
- When choosing a NIC, be sure to weigh factors such as the type of bus, the speed of the card, and the media connection before making your decision.
Ensuring Hardware Compatibility
- Hardware compatibility is important because each piece of hardware on the network must be able to communicate with other hardware on the network.
- Decisions made before installation will either limit or open up future expansion and performance of a network.
- To minimize hardware conflicts, read the documentation that comes with the hardware product.
- Minimum hardware requirements represent values that are sufficient only to allow the system to start.