Microsoft Windows Server Operating System’s Basics
As networks grew up, Microsoft moved to a client-server networking, in which they introduced domain concept. With peer-to-peer networks, companies started to outgrow their domains. Multidomain environments needed a better way for computers to interact across domains. However, Microsoft introduced a directory service called Active Directory to make it easier to locate resources within a complex network. Microsoft’s Server 2003, still supports all of these concepts. You can use Windows Server 2003 in any net-work model, from peer-to-peer to Active Directory domain.
Client-server networking is based on the idea of centralized controlled sharing. This type of networking doesn’t share resources from each other’s machines, users attach to dedicated servers where all the network resources are stored. This allows you to use less powerful machines for desktops and put your money into your server. Users get better performance and administrators get the benefits of central authorization and control. This makes for a more secure environment.
Users want to log on to their PCs and don’t want to remember different usernames & passwords, when accessing resources on different workstations in a workgroup network. In client-server networking things are simple; all shared media are stored on the server. Users need to authenticate once to the server and they are done. They don’t have to remember any password for accessing shared media. Once authenticated to the domain does it all, they can also access resources on other workstations in the domain (which they have permission) without needing to have local accounts on those workstations.
Client-server networking is the only way to go for a administrator. You will find it easier to manage shared file/printer, user account management, and back-up & restore data, and network security.
Client-Server vs Peer-to-Peer
Peer-to-peer networking the simplest form of networking; when you connect two or more computers without a server, you have a peer-to-peer/workgroup network. Workgroup networks allow media sharing, but authentication is not centralized. In a workgroup network, every machine has its own local user accounts that can access files. If you want to access data on four computers, then you must have an account on each of the four computers. It’s fine if there are only a few computers, but if there are 50 computers, you have to use 50 different accounts. Its means that you have to remember the passwords and keep them synchronized (if possible).
Client-server networking puts all shared objects on a centralized server, allowing the permitted users to access them. Now, instead of having four user accounts to remember, you only have one. This provides centralized administration & authentication, which make the administration easier. Microsoft used the concepts of client-server networking when they created the domain model for Windows NT.
Written by: Fahad Bin Ali KhilGi