Saturday, April 18, 2009

Configure a computer network BY Thomas Husnik

Computer Networking

The process of sharing data and resources between two or more computers is called computer networking. Data may be in the form of files, docs, spread sheet documents, web pages databases and resources such as printer, modem, scanner, CDROM etc. A computer network can be configured by different methods, such as Peer to Peer and client/server network, depending on the needs of your organization. If security measures are necessary then you should consider implementing a client/server network. Below I have explained the basic difference in the two types of networking and I also discuss the network configuring methods.

Configuring a Network

Peer to Peer network model

Before configuring a computer network, you have to decide that, which networking model you require. There are two main types of network models. Peer to peer and client-server network model. In the peer to peer network model you simply use the same Workgroup for all the computers and a unique name for each computer.

Additionally, you will have to give a unique IP address of the same class A, B, or C for all the computers in your network and its related subnet mask e.g. if you decide to use class A IP address for your three computers in your Peer to Peer network then your IP address/Subnet mask settings can be as follows.

Computer Name IP Address Subnet Mask Workgroup

PC1 Officenetwork
PC2 Officenetwork
PC3 Officenetwork

Please note that the above example is for only illustration purpose so you can choose any IP address, computer name and workgroup name of your interest.

For doing this right click on My Computer and then click Properties then go to the Network Identification section and set these.

In a peer to peer network all computers acts as a client because there is not centralized server. Peer to peer network is used where not security is required in the network.

If a computer fails to work then all other computers work normally in peer to peer network.

Client/Server Network Model

In the client/server network model a computer plays a centralized role and is known as a server all other computers in the network are known as clients. All client computers access the server simultaneously for files, database, docs, spreadsheets, web pages and resources like hard diver, printer, fax modem, CD/DVD ROM and others. In other words, all the client computes depends on the server and if server fails to respond or crash then networking/communication between the server and the client computes stops.

If you want to configure a client-server network model then first prepare the server. Install Windows 2000 or Windows 2003 Server from the CD on the server computer and make a domain. You can create a domain by this command on the Run “DCPROMO”. You can give this command once you install the server successfully. After you give the DCPROMO command you will be asked for a unique domain name. All the client computers will use the same unique domain name for becoming the part of this domain. This command will install the active directory on the server, DNS and other required things. A step by step wizard will run and will guide you for the rest of the steps. Make sure that a network cable is plugged in the LAN card of the server when you run the DCPROMO.exe command.

When the Active directory is properly installed on the server, restart the server. You can create network users on the server computer and also name/label the network resources like computers/printers etc.

Once you install the server successfully now come to the client computers. Install Windows 2000 professional on your all client computers. Once you install the Windows 2000 professional on the clients the next step is to make this computer (client computer) a part of the network.

Configuration Steps

Choose a unique name for each client computer

Choose unique IP address for each computer and relevant.

Use the same domain name for all client PCs.

Network/System administrators are required to do these administrative tasks on the server and client computers. Any shared resources on the network either on the server or the clients can be access through the My Network Places in the Windows 2000 platform. There is another way to connect to the shared resources by giving this command in the run \\Computer Name\SharedDriveLetter.

Network configurations steps can be implemented by right clicking the My Computer>Properties>

For giving the IP address you will have to right click on the My Network places>properties>Local Area Connection>Properties>Internet Protocols (TCP/IP)>Properties and then give the IP address and subnet mask of the same range and class for all the computers in the network.


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