Now that we’ve looked at topologies, the next topic I want to look at is network management models. There are basically two network management models that are available for a local area network. One is Peer-to-peer model and other client server model.
Peer-to-Peer Network Management Model
One of those is the Peer-to-Peer Network Management Model. In a peer-to-peer model, every computer on the network is responsible for its own security and its own management. Basically, each computer is managed as a separate device, and therefore, the management is built around individual computers. Normally, this model will only be found on very small networks.
In the case of Microsoft operating systems, if you set up a peer-to-peer network, Microsoft limits the number of systems on that network to 10 systems. Homegroups and Workstations and some of the more recent versions of Windows Professional and Windows operating systems actually are designed to make it easier to configure a peer-to-peer network in a home environment, or a very small business environment. When used in a small business environment, generally you don’t want to have more than two or three computers in the business. If you want to use a peer-to-peer model.
In other words, a home office or some place like that would be a good situation where a peer-to-peer network model may work for you. Most home networks are also a peer-to-peer model. Because most home networks don’t have a server that they set up in their home and connect everything to that. In stead, each computer in the house is set up with its own security, its own username, its own login and they all are able to access the internet, or whatever, in the house simply by logging on.
And so, home networks are probably the most common place you’ll see a peer-to-peer type network management model.
This illustration here shows what a peer-to-peer net management model would look like. As you can see, we have a network here with six computers, and you’ll notice there is a little symbol inside each one of those computers. That is a symbol for a policy and security configuration. So, as you can see, each computer has its own policy, its own security configuration, and so each computer is responsible for its own management, and for management of the resources it may be connected to.
Client Server Network Management Model
The other management model is the Client Server Network Management Model. In a client server configuration, all devices access the resources on the network through a central server. In this case, for a device to get on the network, it needs to connect to the server, and every device on the network that is not the server is called a client. The device or devices that control access to the network and the resources on the network are called servers. Servers can just control access to the network, they can also control access to files, access to printers, and many other things.
But any device that actually controls access to something on the network is a server of some sort. In a client server network model, the network management is overseen by a central server. All security is located in that central server, and therefore, security’s built around access to the server Some of the things that the server controls is access to network resources. The server’s also able to control who is allowed to log on to the network, or who is allowed to authenticate onto the network.
Drawbacks of the client server
One of the drawbacks of the client server network management model is that if the server goes down. No one is able to access the server, and therefore, no one is able to access the resources on the network until the server is brought back up, replaced, fixed, whatever. This diagram here illustrates what a client server network model would look like. You’ll notice you still have six computers in our network, but you’ll notice that each one of the workstations, or each one of the small computers, desktop computers, doesn’t have a security policy symbol inside it.
That’s because each computer does not control security for the network, or even for itself. The security is controlled by the domain controller. And this is shown by the symbol for the security policy located on the domain controller in stead of the workstations, or the desktops. For any one of those desktops to get access to the network, or any resource on the network. It first has to go to the domain controller and basically get permission, or get a list of what it can and can’t do.
Once a client is authenticated by a domain controller. Then it can gain access to any resources on the network that the domain controller has permitted it access to.
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