Essential Components of a Standard Network

A computer network can be described as a network comprising of two or more computer systems and peripherals connected together. In a computer network, a large number of computer systems are connected together with the chief aim of sharing database, software and other essential network resources.

Computer networks have emerged as a result of convergence of telecommunication and computer technologies which has resulted in an integrated system that allows transmission of all types of data and information across the networks.

Work stations: These are the computer systems that each of the network users used to connect to the network. Each of these computers get connected to the network through the network interface card.

Servers: These are the computer systems which provide services to users through the work station machines e.g. active directory file server, DNS server, print server, e-mail server etc.

Switches: These are network devices that enable two or more work stations to be connected together in a network for the purpose of information exchange and resource sharing. These are generally referred to as the layer 2 (data link) devices.

Cabling System: These consist of communication cable and trunking through which physical connections are made possible in a network.

Network Printer: This is one of the shared resources on the network. A single network printer can serve the entire network users within a floor of a building for instance, eliminating the need to buy printers for individual network users.

Routers: These are devices that are mostly found in inter-networks. Routing is an act of moving information across an inter-network from the source to the destination. Routers help to determine optimal routing paths through an inter-network. They are referred to as the layer 3 devices (Network layer devices) of the OSI reference model.

Problems with each of these components mentioned here in a network varies and this is a function of many factors ranging from hardware, software, and the environmental /working conditions they are subjected to. These devices have been observed to perform poorly under a hot environment making some of them to freeze. For this reason, a relatively cool environment is recommended for these devices in order for them to perform well. Resolution of any of the issues with networks and network devices requires experience which is best acquired on the job. Training is essential for anyone to be able to understand the behavior of these devices under different conditions so as to be able to resolve technical issues without much stress.

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