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The way in which computers participate on a network is known as the NETWORK ARCHITECTURE. There are 3 types of network architecture.





  • In order to select any of above type of network, organization has to look after many factors i.e.

  • geographical location,

  • number of users,

  • special application needs,

  • network bandwidth available and

  • Amount of technical support available.



  • As name suggest everyone is peer [equal] to each other

  • This type of network allows 10 or fewer users to effectively share and manage resources on their network with others. APPLE was first to introduce peer-to-peer network with Macintosh Plus in 1984. Microsoft introduced it in 1992 with Windows for workgroup 3.11

  • It reduces TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) as user can share resource such as Folder, Printer, CD-Rom drives in a decentralize way. User files are not stored on central location.

  • Server is not available so additional S/w or H/w is not required.

  • They allow computers to communicate easily, it is easy to configure.

  • It has little or no security and it donít require extra network administrator.


  • However it suffers from sluggish performance

  • It doesnít allow centralized management

  • Suitable only for limited no. of users.

  • It offers very poor security.




  • Before client-server network model, there were terminals attached to host computer.

  • The host computer/server, were in-fact mainframe or mini-computer responsible for all communication, storage and processing.

  • Terminal were called dummy terminal, run the application from host computer. The terminal did not have its own hard-disk or other means to store data. It was just dump device to input key-stokes and display output on screen that were sent by host computer.

  • Files were saved centrally and hence it could be easily backed up.

  • High level of security can be implemented to protect valuable data.

  • Users are relieved from managing resources, but it needed dedicated staff for centralized for managing server



  • As latest development took place powerful computers were developed and this technology gave way to client-server network technology.

  • Today most users have computer that can independently store data, run application on it and process it.

  • Server hardware and software were very expensive.

  • Planning, designing and managing were complicated and dedicated staff was required to manage server.




  • This is centralized model for data storage, security, running applications and network administration. Today it is most common networking architecture.

  • Client-Server network is also referred as Server-based network. Here Client is a computer which request for information, where as Server is a computer that respond to the request.

  • They employ server :- specialized computer that provide services to client computers.

  • They are based on scalable model that can support small network of 10 users to very large network with thousands of users.

  • They allow a high level of security

  • Most servers are centrally managed by network administrator or team of specialist.



  • Keep in mind that a server is what a computer is doing in the network. Windows Server 2003 is just a name of the latest Microsoft operating system; it can be both a server and a client, depending on what itís doing.

  • For example, a computer running the Windows 98 operating system could be the companyís print server, and that another computer running Windows Server 2003 could be a print client of the 98 machine. At the same time, the Windows Server 2003 system could be providing DNS name resolution services to the Windows 98 client machine.

  • Disadvantage

  • Server hardware and software were very expensive.

  • Planning, designing and managing were complicated and dedicated staff was required to manage server.

  • Planning, design and management are complicated.

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