3.1.4 Network Architecture

3.1.4.1 Define two types of network architecture:

Client/Server

A client/server network is a network in which the shared files and applications are stored in the server but network users (clients) can still store files on their individual PCs. A server is a computer that shares information and resources with other computers on a network. A client is a computer which requests services or files from a server computer.

Peer-to-Peer

Peer-to-peer network is a network with all the nodes acting as both servers and clients. A PC can access files located on another PC and can also provide files to other PCs. With peer-to-peer network, no server is needed; each computer in the network is called a peer. All computers in the peer-to-peer network has equal responsibilities and capabilities to use the resources available on the network.

3.1.5.1 State three types of network topologies:


Bus Topology

A bus topology consists of a single central cable to which all computers and other devices connect. It refers to the main physical pathway or central cable where all other devices are connected to it. All nodes share the backbone to communicate with each other on the network. Sometimes, a bus network has more than one server. Sometimes, a server is not needed on the network. If one of the nodes fails, the bus network would still function as long as the backbone is working.


Ring Topology

A ring topology consists of all computers and other devices that are connected in a loop. Ring topology is also known as a ring network. In a ring network each node directly connect to two neighbouring nodes. A server may exist in a ring network, but it will not connect to all the nodes in the network. The server, like other nodes, will only communicate to its two neighbouring nodes.

Star Topology

A star topology consists of a central host which acts as the centre, and all nodes connect to the host. The host can be a server, hub or router. In a star network, every node will not connect to the neighbouring nodes. Every node must connect to the host in order to communicate.

The host will control the flow of communication in the network. If one of the nodes fails, the star network can still function as long as the host is working.

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