Posted by Lauren on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 6:00pm.
A family wishes to set up a small home network, consisting of three computers, one in a room with a Bluetooth printer, the other two in a separate room. They have an Internet enabled TV they want to connect to their network, and they want to make use of a voice over Internet Phone (VoIP). We will have to spend a little money to accomplish this, unless they already have everything they need.
First, we have to look at the assumptions. I have to assume that they already have either cable internet, or DSL service (or better), so they should have the proper modem and the cabling from the wall to the modem, and from the modem to at least one computer. I assume that the computer in the room with the Bluetooth enabled printer is also Bluetooth enabled. I also assume their Internet enabled television has a WiFi-n feature, as that is fairly common today. Going with these assumptions, here is what I would recommend (which incidentally, is similar to what I have in my home).
First and foremost, I would have them buy a wireless-N router. This would connect inline between the cable/DSL modem and the computer in the room with the printer. I would connect the computer to the wireless router with an Ethernet cable for maintenance purposes. That way, when settings or updates, or settings are applied, the user is not disconnected while settings are updated. This computer will become the main computer. From this computer, settings will be applied to the wireless router to allow the other devices access to the network and internet. This computer will be set up as a print server as well, handling all print jobs. As the print jobs come in to the computer, it will send the spooled jobs to the printer through the Bluetooth connection. Once the wireless settings have been applied, the family will have to follow the on-screen prompts of the TV to connect it to the network. If security was set up on the wireless router (I hope it was) they would have to input any security passphrases to gain access. To use VoIP, the user simply needs to use a VoIP ready phone, and using an Ethernet cable, plug it into a NIC card on one of the computers after installing a free or low cost VoIP software application. Another option is purchasing a ATA connector (analog telephone adapter) that would allow the use of exiting phones.
For an enterprise level company wanting to set up a network, the provided information is very general and limited. For example, the manufacturing equipment is not being specified as to the type. Is it CAD machinery that would need network access to download plans? Or just hydraulic presses and cutting machines? SO going on a basic premise I would look at installing: two servers, one for the business users, and the other for the manufacturing division; two switches to connect the Business LAN to the Manufacturing LAN, and vice-versa; and of course the necessary number of workstations for the employees. The recommended cabling would be CAT 6 to allow not only for full-duplex, but future expansion of data transfer needs.
There are several different common types of server applications. Some of these are:
• File Serving-this allows users to share information over the network. The main purpose of a file server is to reduce the amount of storage programs, applications, and files take up on a client’s workstation. A file server can also house database table information. (White, 2011)
• Mail Server-A mail server is a computer that keeps a record of each email that goes in and out of the network. (White, 2011) Depending on the maintenance settings, some the mail kept can be really old, so the potential storage space can be quite large. Another factor in possible storage requirements is the number of employees in the organization. The same machine can host the interface allowing gateway access to the internet. Although normally a separate gateway device provides internet access.
• Print Server-this is usually a computer that is connected to one or more printers that other client workstations can connect to, that accepts print jobs and sends them to the appropriate printer or assigns the print jobs the appropriate priority. (White, 2011)
• Media Server-this setup allows for streaming of videos on demand, and for the storage, and recall, of digital media, including pictures, music, and videos. (White, 2011)
• Monitoring and Distributed Processing-not only can servers be utilized to monitor network resources and health, but when workstations are idle, the processor’s power can be put to good use by applying that power to other processes, thus by increasing overall efficiency. (White, 2011) This is also known as load balancing.
When my parents get their cable Internet installed, the following components will make up their network. A cable modem, this will act as their gateway to the internet. The wireless router is the device that will connect all the computers and printer together on the network, allowing them to communicate and access the internet. Through the wireless access to the network, they will also have access to the print server, which is housed on the main computer, and thus the printer.
White, C. M. (2011). Data Communications and Computer Networks – A Business
User’s Approach 6th Edition. In C. M. White, & J. Calhoun (Ed.), Data
Communications and Computer Networks – A Business User’s Approach
6th Edition (6th Edition ed., p. 497). Boston, Massachusetts, USA:
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