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Why Do Businesses Have Servers?


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#1 deanpcmad

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 10:45 AM

Hey,

Why do businesses have servers?

Why don't they just Map Network Drives to and from each PC/Workstation?

Thanks
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#2 Monty007

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 04:12 PM

Hi deanpcmad, it depends on the size of the company, if you say had 10 office staff they may run SBS 2003, the reason why is not only to share files e.g. mapping drives but to save there docs to a safe place nad back them up to a tape drive, also to give permissions to different users so some people can write to folders and some can only read them. Also a small firm will want to print docs ect. the server will handle that to. Then with SBS you can set up exchange to handle the companys email, users can also log in remotelyand get mail ect.
One thing wrong with not having a server is that mapping drives to workstations is fine but what if 6 or users start downloading docs or printing them all at the same time the workstaion would be unusable.

Although I am no expert on servers I do manage SBS for my own buisness and it is a great tool for PC managment.
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#3 deanpcmad

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Posted 04 December 2007 - 10:36 AM

Oh I see!!
THANKS :thumbsup:
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#4 DaChew

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Posted 04 December 2007 - 11:21 AM

The real necessity for a server is when the number of computers in a network grows to a point where one workgroup is no longer adequate. Say you have 30 plus computers scattered in 4-5 departments in a company. Now is the time to set up a domain with seperate workgroups for each department. I know a few small businesses that get along very well with quasi-servers running windows xp pro, it's all about knowing how to boot the network and manage it. Obviously the first computer booted becomes the browsemaster, keeping track of shares for the workgroup. It's also obvious that it's the best, newest most powerful computer. A friend that owns a headhunter agency has his secretary/office manager's computer so set up.
She gets the new computer every year.
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#5 Cyb3r_Ninj@

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 02:25 PM

The main reasons for using client/server computing versus workgroup computing address the questions of which security/network model is most suitable to an organization's needs; how network resources/hardware/software are to be shared amongst workstations; how many workstations are sharing available network resources. There are two main security/network models are the Domain and the Workgroup model.

The Workgroup model is best suited to networks with fewer than 20 workstations, although general consensus would advocate no more than 10 workstations. The Workgroup model is quick to setup and does not require a server to be present in order for the network to function - although you can have a server present and participating as a workgroup peer (standalone server). Each workstation participates in the network as a peer - hence these are often referred to as a Peer-to-peer (p2p) network. Since there is not necessarily a server present, there is no centralized point of security and administration. In the case of a Windows workgroup, each workstation has its own Security Accounts Manager (SAM) and Local Security policies. This means that if you are going to work on multiple workstations, you must have a Local User Account on each machine that you plan on using, which must be administered manually on each machine. The authentication is performed strictly on the Local Machine that you plan to work at, therefore, if you plan on changing your password, you must manually do so at each workstation. Also since each workstation has its own SAM and Local Security policies, the look, feel, and permissions may vary from workstation to workstation. Because the process of network administration and security policies are not centralized, the Workgroup model can quickly become very difficult to manage depending on the number of workstations and users present. Many organizations will choose to implement a Workgroup model because of the small number of users and also because it is less expensive since you do not need to purchase additional hardware and software to support a Domain Controller (server) which is required for the Domain model.

The Domain model is best suited to networks with greater than 15 workstations. It offers a network the mechanisms and hardware to centralize security and administration of client systems, users, and sharing of resources such as printers, scanners, etc. The Domain model is more expensive at startup because the organization must invest in the software and hardware to support at least one server to act as a Domain Controller. Although conventional wisdom calls for having at least two Domain Controllers to provide for fault tolerance. It is expensive at startup, but over time, the investment in equipment will pay for itself - since networks tend to start small and eventually grow. If an organization invested in equipment to support a Workgroup model, but quickly outgrew the 10-15 workstation limitation, they would eventually have to invest in the hardware and software to upgrade to a Domain model. The centralized security and administration is one of the key advantages as you can manage user accounts, security policies and access/permissions to resources on one computer, the Domain Controller (server), and whenever a user wants to work from a workstation on the network, they authenticate using their credentials and they will have the same access and permissions on any workstation that they log in from - giving users flexibilty and mobility to work from different machines if one is malfunctioning or offline.

Servers themselves can also participate as clients in a Domain model, for example, you can have a machine that simply handles your email traffic participating as a member server. Also, you can have separate servers to handle your print devices and print spooling services, a separate server to hand out IP addresses via DHCP, a separate server to handle File Storage, etc. etc. The Domain model gives you flexibility to distribute network resources amongst a pair or multiple servers in order to provide access to resources for multiple client workstations.

A good analogy for servers in a client / server network is that clients request access to use network resources, while the servers provide services which allow the clients to utilize those resources.

There's way more information to provide regarding the client/server network model and how and why servers are implemented, but this should give you a better idea of the logic behind it.
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#6 deanpcmad

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 04:47 AM

quasi-servers


What are 'quasi-servers'?

Thanks
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#7 DaChew

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 07:42 AM

Let's say you have 2 or 3 computers with equal operating systems, windows 2000 or windows xp pro and a few others of lesser
status, xp home or win98. Whenever a computer boots and connects to the workgroup there is a browsemaster election, who is in charge? Who keeps track of the shares and all the stuff that makes a network work. That's your quasi-server.

The key to making this work is always boot up the best/newest computer with a superior OS first, never leave an older one running for too long where it becomes the server. In my example the first xp pro booted is the network server, leave it running for a week or so and your whole network goes to pot.
Chewy

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