In the contemporary computer technology environment, networking has become the order of the day since it reduces physical movement of people so as to deliver and collect information. In fact, networking has become so important to a company or any organization that even the smallest computer based organization seeks to have a computer network. However, in the process of setting up a computer network several factors have to be considered. Some of the basic considerations are discussed below.
One of the factors to consider is hardware requirement. This is dictated by the type of network that a company of computer owner wants. Most of organizations using a computer network have to share data within the network, some resources and maybe internet resources. The size of the network is also a factor dictating the type of hardware to employ in the network design. Looking deeper into information and resources sharing, computer networks have to contain at least one storage device and shared resources. This device has to be connected to the computer network and set so as to enable sharing. These hardware devices are known as severs. Servers can be used to store shared information within the computer network or do some routing activities. Routing is mainly done by a DHCP server which assigns each computer in the network a temporary IP address for an internet connection. This server is mainly present where the network is large and assigning of static IP addresses can pose a problem.
If the network is large enough to call for subdividing into smaller units, these units can communicate with each other through routers. Even if these network units are operating in different OSI layers, communication is still possible unlike where a bridge is used to enable communication between two network units operating in the same ISO layer (layer 2). In case the network is small, a switch may be use to perform IP address assigning and storage roles. The best operating system for the network devices may be Cisco operating system. This OS comes with the devices but for the computers being networked, the best in windows versions is windows XP or windows 7. These two operating systems appear to have the best environment for networking. Another option is the Linux distribution. These operating systems are best fit due to their immunity from virus infection. Firewalls have to be created so as to ensure privacy (networktools.sourceforge.net/).
Moving on to network software, a computer network uses specific software so as to operate smoothly. These pieces of software include the network tools software, operating systems, security software and database software. The operating system plays a vital role in enabling communication since in most cases, the network protocols are not the same for different OS. On my opinion, the best operating System for network equipment is Cisco internet OS. This OS comes installed in the equipment and helps in routing and other network equipment environment. So as to enhance security while browsing through the network, some pieces of software mostly known as firewalls help restrict information flow and analyze data packets being transmitted within the network. Some other software pieces keep the databases in the network free from unauthorized access, loss of data integrity and uncontrolled data manipulation (networktools.sourceforge.net/).
In each and every network design, future expansion is an aspiration. So as to fulfill this dream, several factors have to be considered. One of these factors is the geographical area of coverage expected and the type of information to be sent across the network. With the expansion in mind, hardware and software requirements come into play. The hardware requirements may be in terms of cabling required, internetwork devices to be used and the type of packet communication to take place. When it come to cabling, long geographical coverage calls for fast data transmission across the network thus a cable with high data capacity and immunity from distortion. This may call for use of optic cables for backbone cabling and coaxial cables for fast Ethernet connections. Looking at the decision for expansion, the basic factor to consider is size of the network. The larger the size of the network, the more the devices and the more complex the routing activities required. If the new expansion operates in different ISO layers, a router and gateway may be used to connect the satellite network to the main LAN (Kurose, 46).
Moving deeper into the cabling of the new satellite network division, backbone cabling requires a fast connection thus coaxial or optic cable may be used. When it comes to horizontal cabling UPT cables are the best so as to keep the cost of the network design low. The software requirement in the satellite network is also considered. Technology and network design are evolving very fast thus in future, a new network design may be necessary thus new software may be incorporated. This may result in restructuring of the basic network design and equipment requirement (Kurose, 54). Lastly, in any network design, data storage is a prime factor. This means that storage and access equipment needs some consideration as well. This may mean use of input output profiles all installed in the network. These devices may have queuing ability so as to enable simultaneous access or sequential access.
In conclusion, network design is evolving with the evolution on technology. This has led to development of new network designs which have eased data transmission and increased data bandwidth thus in the end there is improvement in overall computer communication. Some devices have evolved to combine role of several devices in the earlier generations hence simplification of computer networks.
Software summary table
Creates the environment which enables networking. Most of network devices have pre-installed OS which in most cases have a back-up compact disc. The most popular OS in networking is Cisco OS for the network equipment.
Network tools (Cisco works, Scrutinizer, analyzer)
Helps analyze and control data transmission within the network or between the network and the outer larger network. They also ensure network security.
Cisco works is mostly used to test any network design and simulate it before physical implementation to ensure that the network design will be in operation.
Kurose F and Keith W. Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach Featuring the Internet. Pearson Education, 2005 Print.