Seeing the benefits of networking

Seeing the benefits of networking

Truth time: Computer networks are a pain to set up. Having said that, the benefits of using a network make the pain worthwhile. And, you don't have to be a Ph.D. to understand the benefits of networking. In fact, you learned everything you need to know about the benefits of networking in kindergarten. In a nutshell, networks are all about sharing: inforamtion, resources, and applications.

Sharing Information: Networks allow users to share information individual files. For example, two or more people can work together on a single spreadsheet file or word processing document. in most networks, a large hard drive on a central server computer is set up as a common storage area  where users can store files to be shared with other users.

Networks allow users to communicate with each other in other ways. For example, with messaging applications, network users exchange messages using an email app, such as Microsoft outlook. Users can also hold online meetings over a network. In fact, with inxpensive video cameras and the right software, users can hold videoconfrences over the network.

Sharing Resources: Network users can share certain computer resources, such as printers,disk storage, and internet connections, resulting in significant cost saving . For example, instead of buying separate printers for each other in the group . go for a single high-speed printer with advanced features like collating, stapling, and duplex printer that an entire work-group can share.
Disk storage can also be shared resources. In fact, providing users with access to a shared disk storage in the most common method of sharing files on a network . A computer whose main purpose in life is to host shared disk storage is called a file server.

In actual practice , entire disk drives are not usually shared. Instead individuals folders on a networked disk drive are shared . This way the network adminstrator can allow different network users to have access to different shared folders. For example, a company may set up shared folder for its sales department and accounting department.  Then, sales personnel can access the sales department's folder, and accounting personnel can access the accounting department folder. And for Security reason, the sales, department can be locked out of the accounting department's folder,and vice versa.

You can share other resources on the network , too (for example, an internet connection). In the early days of the internet , user can accessing the internet typically had a personal modem connection . Now days , networks typically provide a shared high speed internet connection that everyone on the network can access .

Sharing Applications: Another common reason to network is to allow users to work together on a single business application . For example an accounting department may have special software that can be used from several computers at the same times. Or a sales-processing department may have an order entry application that runs on several computers to handle a large volume of orders.

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