Local Area Networks: (LAN)
Definition and Explanation:
A local area network is a communication network that serves
several users within a confined geographical area. Although the term may refer
to any communications network within a building or plant, it typically refers to
the interconnection of personal computers. local area networks functions as
distributed processing systems in which each computer, or node, in the network
does its own processing and manages some of its data. Shared data is stored in a
high performance PC in the network, called a file server, network server, host,
or main, which acts on a remote disk drive to all the user in the network. A
local area network is the backbone of office automation and allows electronic
mail and other information to be communicated between user of the system. Local
area network are becoming essential for small work groups that enter, share and
exchange the same information.
- Local area networks allow the sharing of expensive resource such as laser printers and high capacity, high speed mass storage devices among number of users.
- Local area networks allow for the high-speed exchange of essential information between key people in an organization.
Types of Local Area Networks:
a. Client-Server Networks
b. Peer-to-peer Networks
a. Client-Server Networks:
A client-server arrangement involves a server, which is a
computer that controls the network. In particular, a server has the hard disks
holding shared files and often has the highest-quality printer, which can be
used by all nodes. The clients are all the other computers, which are connected
to the server in the network. Under the client-server arrangement, the server
usually does processing, and only the results are sent to the nodes. Sometimes
the server and the nodes share processing . This data could be passed on the
node computer, which could process the data further, perhaps looking for certain
equipment or licenses plate letters. This method can be contrasted with a file
server relationship, in which the server transmits the entire file to the node,
which does all its own processing.
Client-Server Network Advantages:
- It reduce network cost
- It allow central computer to be used for administrative takes such as network management.
- The technology flexibility of this type of system allow the use of sophisticated application such as multimedia
b. Peer-to-Peer LAN:
The world peer denotes one who is equal in standing with
another. A peer-to-peer LAN is one in which all microcomputers on the network
communicate directly with one an other with out relaying on a server.
Peer-2-peer networks are less expensive than client/server computing but slow
under heavy use. They are thus appropriate for networking in small group.