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Lesson 2 Networking
Objective This page asks you to describe LANs

Local Area Networks

Large area networks (LAN's) enable computing devices within the same local area, such as the same building or physical structure, to share information. Most LANs do not require use of common telecommunications carriers. Given their limited reach in terms of physical distance, most LAN wiring is done either internally by organizations or by local wiring contractors.

LAN Considerations

Usually e-Commerce architects don't have to worry about LANs and the majority of organizations have already installed them. They have interconnected their LANs to a wide area network (WAN), and the WAN to the Internet.

Legacy Networking Operating Systems

Server operating systems that supply basic services for LANs include:
  1. Novell's Netware
  2. Microsoft's Windows 2003/ 2008/2012/2016
  3. Sun's Solaris (now Oracle)

Networking Operating System

A computer operating system referred to as Networking Operating System was designed with the sole purpose of supporting workstations, database, application, file and printer access sharing between multiple computers in a network. It is also referred to as NOS basically a software that, makes it possible for multiple computers to communicate, connect hardware devices and share files with each other and in and, in some instances, older terminals that are connected on a local area network (LAN). This operating system includes special functions that help in connecting devices and computers to a local-area network and internetwork. Typically the composition of a network operating system would be a compilation of a number of personal computers along with a common printer, server and file server for archival storage, with a local network that ties them all together. There are certain standalone operating systems, like Microsoft Windows NT and Digital' s OpenVMS, which come with multipurpose capabilities and can also act as network operating systems. Although these are some of the most popular network operating systems- Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Linux and Mac OS X.

These server operating systems are the most popular for LANs. However, practically every operating system (OS) that runs on small- and medium-size server hardware either possesses a LAN implementation, or there are third party LAN products that run on the server operating system.

Keep in mind there are a few confusing variations. For example, there is Netware for Windows. This is the organization using Novell's Netware as the LAN operating system, running on top of NT, which is used as the server (but not LAN!) operating system.
In order for computers to operate on LANs, they usually need what is known as a Network Interface Card, or NIC. Leading NIC vendors include 3COM and Intel, but there are plenty of other dependable suppliers, like Zoom Telephonics, Adapec, and Belkin. Most LANs need repeaters, a signal strengthening network product.

New companies or locations, however, will need LAN installation. Remember most ecommerce solutions that involve internal corporate users will usually traverse over LANs. LANs must be considered as an element in the solution.

Ethernet Lan Specification

Bandwidth Problems

Consider the possible role of LANs in bandwidth problems.
Often slow response signals a network bandwidth problem, and technically LANs are part of the network. Many companies take their LANs for granted and don't always do the performance tuning required to keep their LANs operating at peak efficiency. When trying to solve a bandwidth problem for e-Commerce solutions that involve internal users, don't forget to check the LAN. It could be the source of your bottleneck. In e-Commerce solutions bandwidth is not always the issue. Sometimes, server processing is slow, especially where there are distributed transactions occurring in the background.

Verify your understanding of the concepts we have covered with a Project Planning - Quiz.
This quiz will provide you with valuable practice prior to taking the end of course test. Project Planning - Quiz