Choosing a Server computer and Surmising Switches

If you determine that your network will require one or more dedicated servers. the next step is to determine what server operating system those server should use. If possible, all the servers should use the same server.
Operating system so that you don't find yourself supporting different operating systems.
Although you can choose from many server operating systems. from a practical point of view, your choices are limited to the following:

Windows Server 2012 R2 or 2016
Linux or another version of unix
OS X, the server version of Apple's Mac operating system

Considering Cable
Over the years, several different types of cable has been used for networking. But today, almost all cabled networks are built using simple copper-based Unshielded Twisted-Pair (UTP ) cable.
RJ-45 Cable


When you use UTP cable to construct an Ethernet network, you connect the computers in a starlike arrangement, in which each computer is connected to a central point. At the center of the star is a de vice called a switch.
Here are a few additional details that you should know about twisted-pair cabling:

UTP cable consists of your pairs of thin wire twisted around each other; several such pairs are gathered up inside an outer insulating jacket. Ethernet uses two pairs of wires, or four wires altogether.

UTP cable comes in various garden known as categories . Don't use anything less than Cat5e cable for your network. Although lower category cable may be less expensive, they won't be able to support faster networks.
Although higher-category cables are more expensive than lower-category cables, the real cost of installing Ethernet cabling is the labor required to actually pull the cables through the walls. As a result , i recommend that you always invest in Cat5e cable at the minimum.

UTP cable connectors look like modular phone connectors but are a bit larger. UTP connectors are officially called RJ-45 connectors.

UTP cable can be purchased in prefabricated lengths, but for most jobs you'll want to purchase the cable in bulk and have a professional installer attach the connectors. Or, you can attach the connectors yourself using a simple crimping tool you can purchase for about $50.

The maximum allowable cable length between the switch and the computeris 100 meters (about 328 ft.).

Surmising a Switches
As I mention in the previous section, computers and other devices are connected to a network in a starlike configuration, and the device at the center of the star is a called  a switch. Figure 2-5 shows  a switch with four computers connected to it.





Figure 2-5








A switch contains a number of ports, each of which is receptacle that can accommodate an RJ-45 jack connected to a UTP cable. In figure 2-5, there are four UTP cables. One end of each of these cablesis plugged into a port on the switch, and the other end is plugged into the computer's network adapter.

Although it may not be obvious from the  figure, the switch does not have to be in the same room as the computers. in fact, ideally the switch will be in a separate room from the computers. The cables run through the ceilings and the walls from the location of the switch to the location of the computers. Within the 100- meters limit of UTP cable.(The switches are generally located in the same room as the severs.)
Here are some additional ins and outs for working with switches:

Because you must run a cable, from each computer to the switch, find a central location for the switch to which you can easily route the cables.

The switch requires electrical power, so make sure that an electrical outlet is handy.
Purchase a switch with at least twice as many connections as you need. Don't buy an eight-port switch if you want to network eight computers because when (not if) you add the ninth computer, you'll have to buy another switch.

You can connect- or daisy-chain - switches to one another, as shown in figure2-6. You connect one end of a cable to a port on one switch and the other end to a port on the other switch.

Warning: Although you can daisy-chain as many as three switches together, in actual practice you should avoid daisy-chaining whenever possible.
Daisy-chaining is inherently inefficient , because it sends traffic for all the device connected to the daisy-chaining slows the network down because the second switch must receive and then retransmit each packet of information that is sent to it.
If you need more posts than a single switch can provide , you can use stackable switches. Stackable switches have high-speed direct connections that enables two or more switches to be connected in such a way that they behave as if they were a single switch. (This type of connections is sometime called a back-plane connections.) If a single switch will suffice for you now, but there is a reasonable chance that you might outgrow it and need a second switch, I suggest you invest in a stackable switch so that you can expand your network later without daisy-chaining.











Figure 2-6




A common switch arrangement for larger networks is to use a high- performance switch in the same room with the servers, and then daisy- chain it to smaller switches that are closer to clients. For example, in a  multistory building, there might be a central switch in the server room and a workgroup switch on each floor. All the devices on a given floor connects directly to the workgroup switch on that floor, which in turn connects to the central switch in the server room.

Professional-quality network switches have  network-management features that allow you to log in to the switch, usually via a web interface, to monitor and configure the switch.Such switches are called managed switches. Consumer-grade switches, also called unmanaged switches, are less expensive primarily because they do not support this feature. If you have more than a few dozen users, you'll want to invest in managed switches.

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