COMPONENTS OF A COMPUTER NETWORK
- Hardware Components: Server and Client computer, Shared resources, Physical Media, Routers, Modems
- Software Components: Protocols, Network Operating System, Server Software.
Servers are big powerful computers in terms of processing power, memory, storage space, and better computer architecture. A server serves other computers by providing one or more services like file and print services, storage space, a software application that can be run by multiple users at a time. A network may have one or more dedicated servers, depending on its geographical coverage, the number of users, and the services it provides.
Clients are computers that access and use services and resources provided by Servers on their Network. The Clients use their own processors for processing instructions. As compared to a Server, the Client is less powerful in terms of processing power, memory, etc. The number of Clients is greater than the number of Servers on a Network.
Servers and Clients communicate with one another, using a physical media or communication channel for transferring information on a Network, e.g., twisted pair cable, Co-axial cable, and Fiber optics cable. Some of the modern LANs use Wireless or Radio waves as media for communication.
A protocol is a standard defined procedure used in an application or an operation. Protocols are used in computer networks for making the computer, peripherals, routers, switches, hubs on the network communicate with one another.
TCP / IP is the most widely used standard protocol in computer networks. TCP/IP stands for Transmission Control Protocols/Internet Protocol. While installing a network, a protocol is installed on each and each computer and network device on the network
In addition to protocol software, client software is additionally required to coordinate with each other on clients, servers, and network devices. Network Software performs data transfer, error detection, correction, etc.
The Network Software is different for Network Server, Network Client, and Network Devices. In big networks, Servers have Server Network Operating System installed on them whereas, in smaller networks, Sever has a normal Operating System installed on them, like other clients.
Examples of Server NOS are – Microsoft Windows NT Server, Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, and Novell Netware while examples of Client Network Operating Systems are Windows 98, Windows NT, and Windows XP.