Network Administration for Ottawa IT Companies Part 4: Basic Network services

The following is a description of some basic, common, services networks provide to their users. Ottawa IT companies are also able to assist you with more sophisticated services, such as remote desktop, or remote access, but these are some of the basics. Selecting which services you should provide your users is something to discuss with your network support provider in Ottawa.


Network services may use either peer-to-peer or client-server architecture.


Peer-to-peer (P2P) network services:

Peer-to-peer network services provide data exchange between two or more computers without data passing through a separate server. The most basic example of a P2P network is a Universal Serial Bus (USB) connection between two devices allowing for direct file transfer. The file sharing capability in this example is the network service between the two devices.


Client-server network services:

In a business network environment, network services are most often passed through the main server. This allows for monitoring of network activity and managing client usage.
An example of a client-server network service is a network whereby the server shares its access to the World Wide Web with all users on the network. In this example the users’ login credentials may be stored in a database and the server accesses the database as the user. An application server interprets the returned data by applying the network domain logic and provides output to the server after which the server returns the result to the users’ web browser.


The most common network services are email, file sharing and access to the World Wide Web. Any Ottawa computer services provider should be able to help you with these, but be careful in selecting an IT company Ottawa, to make sure you get the quality of service and security you need.


Email

Email has for long been the most accepted method for communication in the business world. Any computer service provider should be able to help businesses in Ottawa, incorporate their name, into their domain, to help identify that domain with your business. Email services can be provided through the cloud (stil client server architecture), or by a server hosted on your own network. For small businesses, and even businesses into the hundreds of users, the ROI for cloud based email service delivery is superior to a dedicated, owned server. In summary, to provide email services, you can run a server in your network, use a hosted server, or use cloud based email, even for Microsoft Exchange services.


File sharing

File sharing allows multiple users to access and share data thus resulting in tasks being done promptly and efficiently. The biggest advantage is that users do not need to connect to an external server in order to access data.


World Wide Web

Every single business needs to be connected to the internet in order to be competitive. The network server connects to the internet and then shares this connection with computers on the network. Network administrators do this by assigning IP addresses, using DHCP (Dynamic Host Control Protocol), to each computer and routing the internet connection accordingly. DHCP allows one to manage the internet connection of all the computers on the network from one single computer, the server.


These are the most basic network services and add value to a business network. Without these services the network would be of no use to the business. It is important for businesses to ensure that these services are not accessed or used by unauthorized users or that these services are not abused by users.


Next we will be looking at the most important aspect of a network, security.


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