A file Server stands at the heart of a business network. A File Server is a central server that controls the communication of information between the nodes or workstations on a network. It is central in a computer network which enables connected clients or users to access the Server’s storage capacities and provides a central storage place for files on internal data, only accessible to all authorized clients or users.
File Server is a very fast computer with a large amount of Random Access Memory (RAM) and storage space, along with a fast network interface card. The network operating system software, business application and data files that need to be shared all reside in this computer.
Since File Server controls information communication between workstations on the same network, it requires a computer that can store a lot of information and share it very quickly;
For example, it may be required to send a word processor program to one workstation, receive a database file from another workstation and store an e-mail message during the same period. A server computer shares its resources such as peripherals and file storage with the user’s computers on a network, also known as Clients.
A Workstation is a computer intended for individual use that is faster and more capable than a personal computer. It is intended for business or professional use rather than home or recreational use. Workstations and applications designed for them can be used by any organization or business that requires a faster microprocessor and RAM. Many large enterprises employ numerous servers (Server Farm) to support their organizational needs and distribute tasks to achieve load balancing.
Therefore, all of the user computers connected to a network are called workstations or clients. A typical workstation is a computer that is configured with a network interface card, networking software and the appropriate cables. Workstation do not necessarily need any other storage drive because files can be save on the File Server.
File Server should have at least the following characteristics or configuration:
- 800 megahertz or faster microprocessor
- A fast hard disk with at least 120 gigabytes of storage
- A RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) to preserve data after a disk casualty.
- A tape back-up unit (i.e. DAT, JAZ, Zip or CD-RW drive)
- Numerous expansion slots.
- Fast network interface card
- At least 512 MB RAM.
A large organization with different sites may decide to have a distributed system known as Distributed Processing Networks; because most of the data processing and information provision is localized to each site. Unlike several stand-alone computers, local data storage and processing is then feasible, as the need for distributed computing comes from the requirement that data and the result of processing at one site are available to computers at other sites. A good example is Electronic Commerce (E-Commerce)
The Concept of E-Commerce is a composite of technologies, processes and business strategies that foster instant exchange of information within and outside organizations by various users of this information such as vendors, customers, etc.
In strengthening this relationship, E-Commerce extends the core business activities of an organization into virtual electronic community, using various communication technologies to provide automated exchange of business information with internal and external stakeholders such as customers, suppliers, business partners, employees, financial institutions and other prospects.
Example of these technologies include Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), Bar Coding, Scanning, E-mail, Fax and other automated data-collection systems.
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