Get to Know the Types of Network Architecture

Nick Clair
Get to Know the Types of Network Architectur

In this field, learning the basics of your job takes time. To stay abreast of network architecture changes as the year progresses, you must first understand what it is and does.

First things first, what exactly is network architecture? There are numerous approaches to planning a computer network. The software, hardware, protocols, and media used to transmit data are part of the network’s physical and logical architecture. To put it plainly, it has to do with the structure of computer networks and the distribution of work among computers. Since you already have a basic understanding of the term, let’s get to know the two types of networking architecture.

Defining Network Architecture

Network architecture is the structural design of a computer network comprising transmission hardware, software, communication protocols, and infrastructure—wired or wireless—used to transmit data and connect network nodes. 

The two most common network architectures are peer-to-peer or P2P and client/server, sometimes called tiered.

Peer-to-Peer Architecture

In a P2P system, all connected devices share the load of completing specific tasks. Additionally, all machines are treated equally and have the same access to the network’s resources; this network has no proper hierarchy. Each computer in this network would serve as its server for the information saved on it, eliminating the need for a central server that would serve as the shared drive.

The most significant application of peer-to-peer networks is file sharing systems. The files on the user’s hard drive are available to other users. The remainder of the users can access information about these files to choose whether or not to download them. A file downloaded by two users can be shared with the remaining users. Consequently, the identical file can be obtained from two distinct locations currently. A file can be shared across thousands of people in this way.

A peer-to-peer network’s resilience lies in its functionality not being compromised if some participating machines suddenly stop working. However, the value of the network is determined solely by the efforts of its participants. In the case of file sharing, for instance, there will be little to choose from if only a few people upload their files.

Although peer-to-peer networking is helpful in many contexts, file sharing is particularly prevalent. This covers file sharing services that illegally disseminate media like movies, music, and books. In the majority of countries, this is illegal. Attempts to thwart file sharing via peer-to-peer networks, which lack a centralised control system, face significant obstacles.

Advantages of P2P Network

  • It does not necessitate using a dedicated server which results in a price reduction.
  • If one computer connected to the network stops working, the others will continue to function normally.
  • Because modern operating systems equipped with built-in support, installation and configuration are remarkably uncomplicated.

Disadvantages of P2P Network

  • It is necessary to do data backups and security checks on each machine.
  • Maintaining control over access, performance, and data security becomes complex as the number of computers connected through a peer-to-peer network increases.

Client/Server Architecture

The term “client-server architecture” refers to the structure of a network in which numerous “clients” (distant processors) make service requests to and get responses from a single “server” (host computer). In a client/server setup, all of the PCs and workstations (the “clients”) connect to one central, compelling computer (the “server”). This server’s job is to manage and make system resources available to any client connected to them.

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There are many different workstations, or clients, in a client/server network, all making requests for various network services and resources. These assets or capabilities are managed and made available via the web by one or more servers. Clients are the computers using the server’s resources. Computer servers, or just servers, are another name for network servers. Sometimes, the function of a server serves as a focal point for what is used to characterise it, such as an email server, a print server, or a storage server. However, there are servers out there that can supply every one of these features.

Computers used as servers often have faster processors, more memory, and larger hard drives than personal computers. The servers in a network have their operating system, which controls all the functions and services on that network. One network may use just one server, or several servers, for data storage and service provisioning.

End-users access to the server’s data and services is facilitated via clients and specialised hardware. All you need is the device itself to use it. You can launch programmes, create and edit documents, and save them all to a hard drive or locally installed storage device.

Advantages of Client/Server Network

  • The server is responsible for controlling both the resources and the data security.
  • No limits on the number of machines that can use this service.
  • Access to the server is available on various devices and operating systems.

Disadvantages of Client/Server Network

  • The requirement of a server and other networking devices like hubs, routers, and switches can drive up costs to an extremely high level.
  • If the server goes down, it will impact the entire network.
  • Staff with technical expertise are essential to a network’s operation, maintenance, and reliability.

Final Thoughts

Once you have a background, even if it’s just a tiny piece of information, it can be beneficial to make your job easier by ensuring you know all these things. This is the core concept behind the construction of a network. 

It is the process through which information moves quickly and effectively from one computer to another. Additionally, it is a significant idea that has a big influence on the functioning of firms with an online presence, at least in part.

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