Computer network refers to a group of networked computer i.e., computers that are linked by means of a communication system. Networks can be organized into three basic models. They are centralized computing, client/server and peer-to-peer. Centralized computing models are used with mid-range and mainframe computers usually running a UNIX-based operating system. Centralized computing model offer the greatest level of performance but at the greatest cost as well. Client/Server is the most popular configuration, because of its versatility and power drawing mainly from the vast variety and higher performance of specialized server hardware. Client/Server and peer to peer are used with PC networks. The peer-to-peer model is the simplest to implement and assemble.
Centralized Computing Network
Centralized computing network is a network in which a central host computer controls all network communication and performs data processing and storage on behalf of clients. Users connect to the host via dedicated terminals or terminal emulators. The host computer is the heart of the centralized computing model. Most computers typically run the UNIX operating system and can process multiple jobs simultaneously and in very efficient manner. Centralized networks provide high performance and centralized management, but they are expensive to implement. Centralized computing network is also called host-based networks.
The client/server network is a common networking model which enables many users to access information in n efficient manner. Generally, the user’s computer is called the client and the machine that contains the information being accessed is called the server. Servers are powerful computers or processes dedicated to managing disk drives, printers, or network traffic. Clients are PCs or workstations on which users run applications. Clients rely on servers for resources, such as files, devices, and even processing power.
Peer-to-Peer networking is a server-less networking technology that allows several network devices to share resources and communicate directly with each other. In this type of network, a user works on a workstation and shares that workstation’s resources with other workstations. It works well in small offices, but doesn’t usually fill the bill for large networks, particularly because there isn’t a back end to share the resources.
Some Terms Related to Network
Node is any network device that can connect to the network and act as an endpoint. In other words, it is a server, client, or other resources that is attached to the network and has a unique network address. An endpoint is a source or destination of data where that data is generated or processed. devices like workstation, servers, printers, and even servers that host Web sites on the Internet are endpoints.
Client is a computer that retrieves information from or uses resources provided by a server or main computer. Each of these computer connects to a central server or mainframe, which allows a lot of the processing to be done on the client side instead of the server side and reduces the processing requirements of the server.
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