Network Software Configuration
In order for a network solution to provide any benefit to the users, the machines connected to the network must be able to communicate with one another. Besides the proper physical connections, network software is needed to facilitate communication between the devices. Some might wonder what is a network good for anyway? The answer is simple. If a network has been created, obviously there are multiple computers and peripheral devices connected to the network. "All networks, whether big or small, are typically created so that users on a network can share resources and communicate" (Habraken, 2004, pg 9). There are many different types of network software available to make this happen. Software is defined as: "the detailed instructions to operate a computer, differentiation instructions (I.E., the program) from the hardware" (Newton, 2005, pg 779). First of the network server must be running the required server software. Each client or device connected to the network must also be net aware; meaning, either there is built in software, or additional software installed to allow the device to communicate over the network. Some of the more widely used network software capabilities include: file, hardware and program sharing; user communication services, such as email, network conferencing, and instant messaging. Protecting the network is another big concern. Firewall hardware and/or software, as well as antivirus software can be used to provide this protection. Network Operating System & Client Software
The network operating system (NOS) performs many functions. Some of the more popular network operating systems available are the Windows 2000 Server and the Windows 2003 Server. There are many other rival NOSs available however. "It is the NOS that ties computers and peripherals into a LAN by creating a server computer, which provides the communications center for the network" (Habraken, 2004, pg 132)....
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