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Network Setup

Establishing Your LAN

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Setting Up A Computer Network

There are basically four steps that must be completed to set-up and maintain a computer network.

Phase 1: The Network Design

The Network Design is the first phase in the life cycle of a network. This involves creating its design, but if you are a new Network Admin, this task will probably not be assigned to you. As the design of a network involves making decisions about the type of network that best suits the needs of your organization, it will most likely be assigned to a senior network architect who is familiar with both the network software and hardware.

Phase 2: Setting Up The Network

Here is when your role as the Network Administrator gets involved and where your responsibilities lay. You will be expected to perform these tasks unless your organization is large, with an adequate network structure already in place and with the assistance of perhaps a Junior Network Administrator.

Phase 3: Maintaining The Network

The third phase of network administration consists of ongoing tasks. These responsibilities are your primary duties to maintain the network. Your responsibilities can include, but not be exclusive to:

  • Adding new host machines.
  • Administering network security.
  • Administering network services, maintaining and/or configuring servers, Group Policy management and maintaining email services.
  • Troubleshooting and solving network problems.

Phase 4: Expanding The Network

If properly designed, a network will have allowances for its expansion. To begin, you can increase network size by adding new hosts and expanding network services by providing additional shared software, however a single network will expand to the point where it can no longer operate efficiently. This is when you have no alternative but to expand the network. You have a few options at this point. You can:

  • Set up a new network and connecting it to the existing network using a machine functioning as a router.
  • Configuring machines in your users' homes or in remote office sites and enabling these machines to connect via VPN.
  • Connecting your network to the Internet, thus enabling users on your network to retrieve information from other systems throughout the world again via VPN.
  • Configuring UUCP communications, enabling users to exchange files and electronic mail with remote machines.