C-Stack Series: What is Network?
What is Network? (Enterprise Edition)
If you have any experience going online, sending emails, printing, saving files, or using a computer at work (this description should cover anyone who uses a computer), you have experience with network.
Here’s a simple definition of what a network is network:
A group of at least two computers that are linked together.
An enterprise runs on its ability to connect its employees, servers, and customers. Without a robust, scalable, and secure enterprise network, your business is not living up to its full potential. This article provides a high-level view of what a network is and the components needed to create a network that will meet your business’s demands.
Types of Networks
In the computer’s earlier days, the most common, and least expensive, network model was peer-to-peer. Computers in a nearby space were, literally, connected to each other via network cable. In the peer-to-peer model, computers acted as both client and server at the same time. They consumed, provided, and shared resources like external storage and printers.
There were, however, several problems with this type of network, especially in an enterprise setting:
- The bigger a peer-to-peer network got, the harder it was to manage,
- Not a scalable network model
- Hard to support each workstation
- There was centralized control, therefore, no network administrator
The modern network mitigates the network problems of a peer-to-peer model, and optimizes that way enterprise networks function.
The most effective type of enterprise network includes a Client/Server network. This type of network architecture revolves around a centralized server which provides resources for each client in the network. Servers in this type of network are optimized with specific operating systems that can handle the delivery of client resources across the enterprise. Additional advantages include:
- Easy exchanging and management of resources
- Load balancing and network traffic monitoring
- Easier network administration over the entire enterprise
- Scalable and manageable (able to support multiple users)
LAN vs. WAN
Local Area Networks (LANs) and Wide Area Networks (WAN) describe the geographic conditions of a network.
In a LAN, computers and resources are reside in the same home, school, office, etc. By definition, it only connects a small geographic area, offering high speeds, high bandwidth, and a high data transfer rate. LANs are usually controlled, managed, and owned by a single party, such as the company or homeowner.
A WAN, by definition, covers a wider geographic area, such a city, state, or nation. If you have connection to the internet, you’re using a WAN. This type of network is accessible via public networks, like cables lines or satellite.
Who remembers these retro networks?
C-Stack Components of a Scalable Enterprise Network
What is network, and what does it have to do with C-Stack?
C-Stack creates a scalable and robust network by incorporating best-of-breed technology for each network component, including:
- Servers (Virtual and/or Physical)
- Clients (Loaded with productivity suites, end-point management, identity management, VDI, and client security)
- Cables (Transaction media like Ethernet and fiber channel)
- Shared peripherals (printers, scanners, etc.)
- Switches (Access switches, core switching, and distribution switching)
- Network operating systems and monitoring