Network can be divided in to two main categories:
* Server – based.
In peer-to-peer networking there are no dedicated servers or hierarchy among the computers. All of the computers are equal and therefore known as peers. Normally each computer serves as Client/Server and there is no one assigned to be an administrator responsible for the entire network.
Peer-to-peer networks are good choices for needs of small organizations where the users are allocated in the same general area, security is not an issue and the organization and the network will have limited growth within the foreseeable future.
The term Client/server refers to the concept of sharing the work involved in processing data between the client computer and the most powerful server computer.
The client/server network is the most efficient way to provide:
* Databases and management of applications such as Spreadsheets, Accounting, Communications and Document management.
* Network management.
* Centralized file storage.
The client/server model is basically an implementation of distributed or cooperative processing. At the heart of the model is the concept of splitting application functions between a client and a server processor. The division of labor between the different processors enables the application designer to place an application function on the processor that is most appropriate for that function. This lets the software designer optimize the use of processors--providing the greatest possible return on investment for the hardware.
Client/server application design also lets the application provider mask the actual location of application function. The user often does not know where a specific operation is executing. The entire function may execute in either the PC or server, or the function may be split between them. This masking of application function locations enables system implementers to upgrade portions of a system over time with a minimum disruption of application operations, while protecting the investment in existing hardware and software