Previously i published article “Basic Network Types – LAN/WAN” and in this article I’ll tell a bit about Basic Network Architectures.
A host refers to any device that is connected to a network. A host can also be defined as any device assigned a network address. A host can serve one or more functions:
- A host can request data, often referred to as a client.
- A host can provide data, often referred to as a server.
- A host can both request and provide data, often referred to as a peer.
Because of these varying functions, multiple network architectures have been developed, including:
Peer to Peer
In a basic peer-to-peer architecture, all hosts on the network can both request and provide data and services. For example, two Windows XP/7/8/10 workstations configured to share files would be considered a peer-to-peer network. Peer-to-peer networks are very simple to configure, yet this architecture presents several challenges. Data is difficult to manage and back-up, as it is spread across multiple devices. Security is equally problematic, as user accounts and permissions much be configured individually on each host for Network Architectures.
In a client/server architecture, hosts are assigned specific roles. Clients request data and services stored on servers. An example of a client/server network would be Windows XP workstations accessing files off of a Windows 2003 server. There are several advantages to the client/server architecture. Data and services are now centrally located on one or more servers, consolidating the management and security of that data. As a result, client/server networks can scale far larger than peer-to-peer networks. One key disadvantage of the client/server architecture is that the server can present a single point of failure. This can be mitigated by adding redundancy at the server layer at Network Architectures.
In a mainframe/terminal architecture, a single device (the mainframe) stores all data and services for the network. This provides the same advantages as a client/server architecture – centralized management and security of data. The traditional mainframe architecture is less prevalent now than in the early history of networking. However, the similar thin-client architecture has gained rapid popularity. A thin-client can be implemented as either a hardware device, or software running on top of another operating system (such as Windows or Linux). The two most common thin-client protocols are:
- RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) – developed by Microsoft.
- ICA (Independent Computer Architecture) – developed by Citrix.
This guide is part of CCNA Vendor Exam Preparation series and it’s just only helpful for a newbie in Networking technology.