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Chapter 36. Setting Up a Simple Windows ... > Planning Your Network - Pg. 770

Setting Up a Simple Windows Network 770 In a server-based network, the burden of controlling network administrative tasks is moved from the individual user to one or more persons who are more technically proficient in network administration. This central administrative role allows for more efficient management of the network. The client capability in Windows 98 allows it to work very well in this type of environment by providing the software necessary for user authentication, which then allows access to network resources. Planning Your Network When you're planning your network, you need to consider several things. Here are some of the more important decisions you need to make before installing your network: · What resources need to be shared? Do you have a small environment in which you want to share a single printer, or do you have a larger environment and the need to share multiple peripherals as well as many files and/or databases? · How fast should your network be? Do you frequently share very large files or print large CAD or graphics files? · How large is your network? Are you connecting only two or three computers and one printer, or will hundreds of users be accessing your network? · How much distance will your network span? Are you creating a small network that's fully con- tained in one building, or do you need to connect to computers and other resources located in different cities or countries? · Do all your computers run the same operating system, or must you connect various types of computers such as Windows and UNIX-based systems? · Is your network small enough so that each user will be responsible for his or her own computer, or will you have one or more individuals responsible for administering your network? Use the answers to these questions to plan your network. Items that you need to plan include its topology, what equipment you will use to connect the computers on your network, and what access method you will use. Whether or not you are creating a peer-to-peer network or a server-based network will influence your choice of operating system. Wiring Your Network After determining the size of your network, you must decide on the layout and hardware components needed for installing the network. The example we are using here is a local area network (LAN) situated in a single building. The coverage of larger networks is beyond the scope of this chapter. Bus Topology When planning your network, you need to consider what topology, or design, is the most appropriate. The topology is especially important because the largest single cost when installing a new network is the cost of running the cable. The most basic and easiest topology to install is a bus network, which consists of two or more computers connected by coaxial cabling. Figure 36.1 illustrates a bus topology. Each computer is connected to the coaxial cable using a connector called a T-piece. The coaxial cabling must be properly terminated with a 50-ohm terminator.