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Network Operating Systems (Nos) Essay

1006 words - 5 pages

Network Operating Systems, abbreviated NOS, are programs that are designed to work with numerous computers on a network, allowing for communication amongst them, but “the term network operating system, however, is generally reserved for software that enhances a basic operating system by adding networking features” [5]. The NOS provides structure to the network as it controls the hardware and software within a network. The network operating system allows for the ability to include all the components of the network and allow several users to share files with one another through the network regardless of their physical location [1]. There are two main types of network operating systems, and there are several different operating systems to choose from, each one working differently. A network operating system usually contains a menu-based administration interface. From this interface, the administrator of the network can achieve a number of tasks. “He or she uses the interface to format hard drives, set up security permissions, and establish log-in information for each user. An administrator can also use the interface of a network operating system to identify shared printers and configure the system to automatically back up data on a scheduled basis” [2].
The first type of network operating system is peer to peer. The operating system for a peer to peer network allows the users within the network to access files contained in their computers as well as shared files on other computers. “You can configure computers in peer to peer workgroups to allow sharing of files, printers and other resources across all of the devices. Peer networks allow data to be shared easily in both directions, whether for downloads to your computer or uploads from your computer” [3]. Users are granted the same privileges, meaning they have access to all the same resources, and they also have equal parts in processing data, and usually computers in a peer to peer network run the same software and use the same networking protocols [3]. “Peer networks are also often situated physically near to each other, typically in homes, small businesses or schools” [3]. Most all of the current desktop operating systems are capable of functioning as peer to peer network operating systems.
The second type of NOS serves a client server network. Client server networks differ from peer to peer networks in the way that they can be small LANs or spread about using the internet, but they are usually designed for a larger network with many different users; therefore they contain a centralized file system for easier and more secure access to resources available to the members of the network. “A server device typically stores files and databases including more complex applications like Web sites. Server devices often feature higher-powered central processors, more memory, and larger disk drives than clients” [4]. Unlike the equalized share of access in a peer to peer network, a user’s access to...

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