Sunday, March 27, 2011

What is Computer Networking?

The success of an organization today will depend on it's ability to deliver the services that it's customers need. In today's world of the ever fast moving information overload, computer networking is the essential element that any organization will need to incorporate if it is to succeed. Clients and customers are the air that an organization needs to survive, and computer networking is the blood cells that carry the air to it's essential vital parts. So let's begin by identifying what is Networking and why is it important.

What is a Network?

Network is a group of computers that can share informations through their interconnections. In other words, multiple computers that are connected together weather through wires or router that has the ability to share information. If you have two computers connected together that one can access information for the other, then you have a network. Within the I.T. field, these computers are know as nodes or hosts.
To understand Networking, you will need to become familiar with these three elements:

1. Transmission medium provides a path for electrical signals between devices

2. Network interface are devices that send and receive electrical signals.

3. Protocols are rules or standards that describe how hosts communicate and exchange data.
Become familiar with these terms, because it will be used by I.T. professionals in the field.

So how do networks save organization money?
Despite its cost and implementation, networks benefit organizations by helping it save money. Here are four examples:

1. First network helps consolidates storage. These storage are used to keep information (i.e. customer information, billing, track orders, employee payroll, etc...) that an organization needs to thrive.

2. Allows the ease of sharing peripheral devices like printers. By having networks, this allows for the company to connect multiple computers to one printer. This saves the company from having to purchase a printer for each computer. Though it may sound convenient for each computer to have it's own printer, it would be a waste of capital.

3. It will increase internal and external communications. Communications will help a company succeed and thrive among it's clients and employees.

4. Increase productivity and collaboration within the organization. The ability to email, call, share documents, and video conference increases work productivity for employees. Information, orders, assignments, and ideas are able to travel fast.

So what are the different types of Network?

There are different types of method that IT professional can install their computers. Let's identify them with their strengths and weaknesses.

1. Peer to Peer Network

A simple network consisting of source A sharin...Image via Wikipedia
This method is the simplest and easiest manner of connecting your different nodes or hosts. Computers are simply connected to each other, and can access information. While it is easy to connect computers, it's not very scalable. It is hard to manage when there are a lot of computers connected to your network. The more computers you add to your Peer to Peer Network (P2PN), the harder it will be to manage it. No central authority because there it leads to every host being a network administrator. There is also a lack of centralize server to share files, and the network administrator would have to go to each computer to save and back up data (a nightmare). If P2PN is not the preferred network for large organizations, what is the preferred? The answer is Client/Server Network.

2.  Client/Server Network

What separates Client/Server Networks from P2PN is the ability to have a centralize authority. There are specialize computers such known as servers that help share files, printer managements, and data backup storage. If there is a problem with the printer, the network administrator would access the server to identify and resolve the problem. This network has the ability to manage a high volume of computers, because each computer is connected to this main server. The computers that are connected to the server are known as clients  and the specialized computer that is the central authority is called the server.

This is a diagram of a server-based computer n...Image via Wikipedia

Let's Wrap it Up

A network is simply a bunch of computers connected together to share and access information. Networks save company money. There are two types of networks that exist, Peer to Peer and Client/Server Network. Peer to Peer is easy to maintain and implement. It does not work well if the there are many computers connected. Client/Server is the preferred network. The most expensive computer that is specialized (i.e. customized) is known and the server. The server acts as the boss computer. All the other computers that are connected to the server are known as clients. These computers are less expensive and cheap. If you have any thoughts or questions, leave them in the comment section or email me at Thanks.
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