This definition of networking focuses on the basic goals of networking computers: increased manageability, security, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness over non-networked systems. We could also focus on the different types of networks:
LOCAL AREA NETWORKS (LANs) – which can range from a few desktop workstations in a small office/home office (SOHO) to several thousand workstations and dozens of servers deployed throughout dozens of buildings on a university campus or in an industrial park;
WIDE AREA NETWORKS (WANs) – which might be a company’s head office linked to a few branch offices or an enterprise spanning several continents with hundreds of offices and subsidiaries;
THE INTERNET – the world’s largest network and the “network of networks”.
We could also focus on the networking architectures in which these types of networks can be implemented:
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PEER-TO-PEER NETWORKING – which might be implemented in a workgroup consisting of computers running Microsoft Windows 98 or Windows 2000 Professional;
SERVER-BASED NETWORKING – which might be based on the domain model of Microsoft Windows NT, the domain trees and forests of Active Directory in Windows 2000, or another architecture such as Novell Directory Services (NDS) for Novell NetWare;
TERMINAL-BASED NETWORKING – which might be the traditional host-based mainframe environment; the UNIX X Windows environment; the terminal services of Windows NT 4, Server Enterprise Edition; Windows 2000 Advanced Server; or Citrix MetaFrame.