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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Computer 101: Computer Network Basic Part 2

On the previous post we explained the function of the client or workstation computer and server computer. To complete our basic computer network a third component is needed and these is where the Hub or Switch come in. The basic look for this two network component is a rectangular size box with lots of square shape holes in the front face.

This square shape holes is called PORT. The function of these ports is to connect the patch cable from your client computer and or the server computer. Normally these ports come in even numbers from 4, 8, 16, or 32 ports per devices. They also have lights per port to indicate proper connection and data collision. If the lights of the port that has a patch cable connected to it is blinking then it means there is flow of data from the ports to the client computer or form the server computer and vice versa.

Basic Network Component

Normally an orange light is use to indicate collision in a network. The function of the Hub or switch is to link the client computer and server computer. They also see to it that a data does not get lost during the transmission from the server to the client that is requesting it. In today’s most demanding LAN a more evolve Switch is being used rather than a simple hub. Switch has more brains packed into its circuit compare to a normal hub. But a hub is less costly than a Switch. If your network is a corporate type then a switch is more suitable to do the job. For a less demanding network like a internet cafe network then a hub is well suited for this job in terms of function and cost.

English: Category 6 twisted pair Ethernet cableImage via Wikipedia

Now earlier I mention the word Patch Cable. Now what is that and how does it function in a network. The term Patch cable simply refers to the standard twisted pair cable plus the RJ45 plastic connector. The cable is so called twisted pair because when you open up the inside of the main rubber like cover of the cable you will see five pairs of smaller wire which has a color code twisted by two. So there are five pairs of twisted wire that comprises the main twisted pair cable. Also the RJ45 connector has ten small teeth like metal wherein a crimping tool is needed to force these small teeth like metal to bite those individual pair of cable inside a twisted pair to complete a patch cable.

But I say but you cannot just connect those small cable with the RJ45 connector in any fashions there is a proper way of doing it. This proper way is called standard cabling. In this standard cabling there is a set of color code that we need to follow in order for the patch cable to work. Also you have to make sure that the code is correct and that the wire inside the RJ45 is properly and tightly crimp. Otherwise we risk the network not work properly and wasting the RJ45. Once the twisted is crimp onto the RJ45 there is no way to removed it other than cutting the cable and the RJ45 can no longer be used.

We will not go into the color coding of each cable here.I did a small explanation regarding on how assemble a patch cable so that we would have the basic understanding on how it works in the network. But there are far more concept and information regarding your computer network than compare to what we have talk about in this blog. We haven’t touch on the type of Topologies involve, type of LAN involve whether it is a peer-to-peer network of a client-server network. Another thing is in a common corporate LAN of today, there are more than two server’s involve. To name a few there’s the common File server, the Domain controller which usually comes in two then there’s the Print Server where all the printer resources is located. 

Then there the Exchange Server for all the emails and there the Application server. There is no fixed number of servers that a corporate LAN can have. It can be two or more depending on the needs of the company. The entire server mentioned above has each own function in a network. They several of this to handle specific jobs for the network. It would troublesome if only one computer server is assign to do the entire task mentioned above for a server. Imagine one person doing five or more works simultaneously. So the need for each specific server to do each specific job assign or program to it. More network component as the network goes bigger and wider from LAN to MAN to WAN or the Ultimate WAN the INTERNET.

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Monday, April 4, 2011

Computer 101: Computer Network basic

In today’s age and time, the computer network has evolve into a system that has integrated every available devices capable of plugging itself therefore becoming part of the bigger collection of computer devices that has been connected.  But before we proceed let go back to the basic of computer network. What is computer network? Better yet what is the proper term to describe a computer network.  There are three correct and right term to describe a computer network. Yup there are three, this is because the location or land area where the network is very important in describing the kinds of network.

Local Area Network

For a computer network located on a single building big or small, it doesn’t matter how many floor’s are there as long as it is in one building then it can be classified as a LAN or Local Area Network. Now the word LOCAL is pretty straight forward you already know what it means. Before we go into the other two types of network we will focus on this network the LAN. What basically is a LAN, as the name implies it is a network located on a small area typically a building whether large or small but one single building only. Remember scope of the location for a LAN is one single building only. If there are two or more building then it is no longer a LAN but the next type of network called a MAN or Metropolitan Area Network.

 But let’s focus on the LAN. What are the components of a LAN? The basic components of a typical LAN are the workstation, server and network component such as HUB, SWITCH and ROUTER. This is the BASIC components, which mean there are other computers of a more highly developed LAN. But the first two basic component of a LAN is the workstation and the server. What are they and how do they function in a LAN. First the WORKSTATION, well it one can also be called the client, terminal, node and other term that a person uses to gain access the information stored on a server. Those terms that have been mentioned all describe the function of the computer that a person uses to do his/her work, process job, access data, store’s data from the or to the server. A basic example of this is the LAN in an internet cafĂ© where. People paid for certain length of time to use the computer on that internet cafe to play network games, do a typing job, read the online version of their favorite news paper, read their emails, chat or talk online with their family or friends. Still other do documents printing, image capture or scanning an image to upload it online via your favorite social site. Look for jobs, watch a favorite movie or video or download all kinds of stuff from the internet or just simply looking for information.

Network Devices 

All of the things mentioned above and much more cannot be achieve or it cannot be done without using a workstation, client or a terminal.  So basically it is a computer that a real person uses to get information or do a job in a LAN or network. Now for the server which located at the other end of the communication line. The server is basically a computer that holds all the information. A person needs to use a client or workstation to access this information located on the server computer. Imagine if in an typical office where there are ten worker that need different types of information and as stated before all this kind of information is located on the server, but they do not have a network. So getting that different type of information will take time because each worker will to take in turns to use the server. But with a network and each ten worker has each own computer to access the server simultaneously as compare to individually using the same computer directly. Then more time is save and more job is done is a short possible time consumed.

That is the basic function and role of these two kinds of computer on a LAN or network. Yes they both computer’s but the hardware and software component is very different, the server is the more stronger or powerful one because simply put it, it need s to be because it function require it to accommodate simultaneous job request from the workstation or client computer. It has more memory; larger hard drives faster processor and a bit different set of software installed in it compare a more user friendly software installed on a workstation or client computer. Not all people in a company can used or has access to the server directly, only one or two person is allowed direct access or usage of the server computer, compare to a workstation or client computer where almost all employee in the company can use these type of computer. More on this topic on my next post.

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