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Chapter Summary

  • A network operating system, or NOS, is software that allows a computer to "serve up" resources to network clients. The NOS also provides the central access point for a network and requires users to log on.

  • An NOS such as Windows 2000 Server is a full-blown, self-contained OS. Novell NetWare is an add-on NOS and requires that a computer be running DOS 3.3 or better as its underlying OS.

  • Networking computers requires that both an NOS be running on a server and that client software be running on client computers.

  • Calls for resources on the network are handled by the redirector, which is part of the client software. It actually fools the client into thinking that remote shares and printers are actually connected locally.

  • Network clients must be configured with the appropriate client software for the NOS. Clients must also be configured with the appropriate LAN protocols that will be used on the network.

  • Each NOS product has been tested on a variety of hardware. Hardware that works with the NOS will be found on the network operating system's hardware compatibility list.

  • The base hardware requirements for an NOS might not supply enough muscle for the server to provide resources appropriately in all networking situations.

  • Licenses are required for both servers and clients on a network. Each NOS handles licensing agreements in its own way. You must be sure you have enough licenses to cover all your clients and servers.

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server is an NOS that provides file and print sharing and a variety of other services, such as DNS, DHCP, remote connectivity, and Web management. Windows 2000 uses the Active Directory to arrange network users and other objects in a hierarchical tree.

  • Novell NetWare 5.1 provides file and print services on the network and is also designed to provide Web services, such as Web applications. NetWare uses NDS to arrange network users and other objects in a hierarchical tree.

  • Unix is available in a number of different flavors and provides an NOS and client environment that can be run on a number of different hardware platforms. Unix servers can provide file and print resources and other services, such as DNS, firewalls, and remote access. Unix is available in a number of 64-bit flavors for use on high-end, high-speed multiprocessor servers.

  • Linux is a Unix clone. It is an open-system NOS and client OS. The source code for Linux is freely available and therefore has lead to a number of different flavors of Linux. Linux can function both as an NOS and as a client OS, and it can provide file and print services as well as services such as remote access, Web management, and proxy servers.


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