Published: Nov 15, 2022

what is network architecture?


We have limitless knowledge in the palm of our hands. We can log on to any website with a few swipes and acquire the information we need in seconds. We take for granted the intricate and remarkable mechanics that make it all possible - the wires, cables, and servers – because it's so convenient.

This is the essence of network architecture. It's the process of efficiently moving data from one computer to another. And for firms with an online component, it's a crucial notion that has a big impact on how they operate. Let's begin with a definition of network architecture.

What is Network Architecture

Network architecture is the structure and logical layout of a network. An organisation's computer networks are based on single network architecture. Detailed information about the network's resources may be seen in the diagram of the network's architecture.

It contains hardware components for communication, cabling and device kinds, network layout, network organisation, network operations, network management and structures, mechanical and wireless connections, established areas, and long-term plans.

Central server software rules and protocols can also be a part of the network architecture and this provide a holistic view on the entire infrastructure. A network manager/administrator creates this architecture regularly with the help of the network architect and other design engineers.

It describes how network devices, services, and routers are connected and the rules governing the information movement between them.

There are varieties of approaches to designing its architecture, depending on the network’s purpose and scale. Wide area networks (WANs), for example, are a collection of interconnected networks that frequently cover a wide area. In contrast to local area networks (LANs) of a smaller office branch, its network architectures will be radically different.

Well-thought-out network architecture can either increase or impede the overall system's performance. An improper transmission media or equipment for a given predicted server load, for instance, can cause slowdowns on the network.

As more and more user devices connect to the network, the network architectures become increasingly crucial regarding services, security, and communication. The network architecture design and protocols must be able to quickly and efficiently identify and authenticate users and user devices on the internet.

Open Systems Interconnection Model (OSI) is the most common network architecture. In this conceptual paradigm, network tasks break down into seven logical stages, from the lowest to the highest level of abstraction.

The physical connections of the network, for example, fall within the purview of the Physical Layer. In the Application Layer, you'll find Application Programming Interface or APIs for things like chat and file sharing.

The OSI model's separation of concerns is made simpler to troubleshoot the network.

Types of Network Architecture

P2P or peer-to-peer and client/server architectures are the two types of network architecture that frames the communication or transmission of data between systems. Network performance and ability differs between the two network architectures and each offer different use cases. It define the site structure and system provisioned to ensure the intended outcome is achieved.

Clients and servers are distinct concepts in a client-server network. Clients and servers are interchangeable in the peer-to-peer (P2P) model. Every node in a peer-to-peer model network diagram is both client and server simultaneously. Power or disk storage can be shared using peer-to-peer technologies.

File sharing via the internet is a well-known example of peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing. Web services and game hosting make extensive use of client/server networking. This form of network is also employed for private networks within companies or organisations.

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Network

Tasks and resources are distributed across all devices in a peer-to-peer network. This means that all computers and equipment have equal access to the network's resources. This network is also wholly egalitarian, with no meaningful distinction between computers and equipment. 

To avoid needing a centralised data centre or server, the files and data kept on each computer linked to this network architecture would act as a server for the network as a whole.

If one or more machines on the peer-to-peer network go down, the network will continue to function. The quality of the network, on the other hand, is entirely dependent on the individual contributions of its participants.

Because so few people are willing to share their files on file-sharing sites, there isn't much to download.

P2P networks have many applications, but file sharing is the most prominent use case. Copyrighted media, such as movies, music, and books, may also be distributed illegally over file-sharing networks.

In certain places, this is a violation of the law. Peer-to-peer file-sharing systems provide a severe problem to law enforcement organisations because they lack a central control structure.

What are examples of a Peer-to-Peer Network?

Below are peer-to-peer network examples and applications.

  • Peer-to-peer networks are the most commonly used for file sharing on the internet. Users can download games from online gaming sites using this method of downloading.
  • Peer-to-peer networks can spread a variety of Linux operating systems. BitTorrent, which uses peer-to-peer file transfers, can be used to download Ubuntu, Manjaro, and Linux Mint.
  • Windows 7 and 8 (version 1) allow you to set up a peer-to-peer network between two PCs, which is perfect for quickly sharing small files.

Client/Server Network

A type of a computer network architecture in which numerous clients (remote processors) make requests to a central server site and receive responses from that server in return (host computer). It's a common practice in client-server networks for a powerful server to be the hub from which other computers or workstations can connect.

As the system's nerve centre, this server oversees and distributes system resources to all users.

The client/server model is also the preferred enterprise network architecture.

What are examples of a Client/Server Network?

Below are client-server network examples.

  • The data about each user is stored on the bank's web servers, which users can access that certain data anytime.
  • When you use a Google browser to search for something, you're sending a request to the Google web server. It responds with data listed in the browser.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Network Architecture

Network architecture has its pros and cons. The two types have different approaches in architecture and communications networks. You will need to know these to obtain, manage and determine the performance and connectivity of the technology and other computers.

Below is a list of the advantages and disadvantages of the types of network architecture that are useful to achieve your business objectives and give users the right services they deserve.

What are the advantages of a Peer-to-Peer Architecture?

Peer-to-peer architecture has many benefits.

  • Peer-to-peer is cheaper than client/server.
  • Distance doesn't matter when sharing files.
  • Even non-experts can set up the network.
  • Each peer's settings eliminate the need for professionals.
  • One node's failure won't affect the network.
  • Adding additional users is simple.

What are the disadvantages of a Peer-to-Peer Architecture?

Peer-to-peer architecture has downsides.

  • Increased network peers destabilise peer-to-peer architecture.
  • This model is less secure and prone to virus attacks.
  • Uncentralised files and resources reduce organisation.
  • No central server makes data backup difficult.

What are the advantages of a Client/Server Architecture?

The following is a list of the benefits of a client/server architecture.

  • Centralised data makes backup easy.
  • The client/server is stable and secure.
  • Small and large networks can use the paradigm.
  • Central device controls peripherals.
  • All peripherals can access server data.
  • Without interruptions, easy to add clients and servers.

What are the disadvantages of a Client/Server Architecture?

Some of the drawbacks of a client/server architecture are given below.

  • Client/server networks are more expensive.
  • A network operating system is needed for smooth operation.
  • The server is a weak link; a network disruption might affect the entire system.
  • Too many clients requesting data from the same server could cause congestion.

Network Security Architecture

A modern network security architecture can help firms reduce attack surfaces, improve threat detection and response, and restrict cyber risks by safeguarding all network traffic.

Networks that use a client/server design are more secure since all data are kept in one place. If one node becomes infected, the virus can spread to other nodes and even the entire network, depending on the architecture of the peer-to-peer network.

Networks with a client/server architecture are also safer because users can only connect to the server with the network administrator's permission or after logging in.

To ensure that you are secured and protected, it is better to get the right security system and implement it on your software.

Conclusion

The network architecture has a significant impact when it comes to the operation of a company or other type of organisation. It contributes to processing the appropriate connectivity and networking of the computer, which the end-user can access safely and with adequate support.


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