Nothing is more important than your data.
Your company’s reputation is built on data: how swiftly you can summon it for the customer’s use; how secure it is; and how intelligently you bring it to bear in decision-making.
It isn’t just about trust between your company and your clients. Technology debt — choosing the ‘easy’ tech answers rather than the best ones — was cited as a significant roadblock to employee retention by HR professionals in a Kronos survey last year. Retaining high-quality staff means using high-quality technology and technology services so that they can do their best possible work.
And it goes without saying that losing data or being unable to access that data when it’s needed most can break trust between you and your staff, or you and your customer. Poor data management can mean money and time lost.
Therefore, data management is one of the most important considerations for business today — and using computer networking support professionals to help design your network architecture is one of the most important things you can do to keep your data safe, secure, and well-organized.
Computer networking architecture
A computer network is merely some computers that are all connected. This allows all of your computers to exchange data swiftly and to share resources.
There are two kinds of computer networks: peer-to-peer and client/server (sometimes called ‘tiered’).
Read on to learn more about which is right for your business!
Peer-to-peer: for small businesses
In peer-to-peer networks, there is no central server: instead, each workstation functions as a client and a server at the same time. This can be an advantage because even if one server fails, the peer-to-peer network will remain intact. A peer-to-peer network can be viewed like a potluck party, where everyone brings something to the table.
With no central server, there is no way to control who in your network shares what with whom, however. That means there is little to no security with peer-to-peer. However, needing no special permissions to share data may be an advantage in a small company. Communiques, critiques, and conversations can flow freely, conferring agility to startups.
Because any workstation can be a server on a peer-to-peer network, computers can ‘share’ tasks. That can translate to some real processing power and fewer slowdowns and bottlenecks.
A peer-to-peer network can be very inexpensive. However, it’s only appropriate for small businesses, due to the limited number of workstations you can use at a time in peer-to-peer networks, and the lack of security. Peer-to-peer networking is appropriate for companies where real-time communications and collaborative projects are of primary importance.
Client/server networks for larger and growing businesses
In a client/server network, each computer is either a client or a server. If a peer-to-peer network is a potluck, then a client/server network is more like a meticulously prepped meal produces by a single host. The client computers rely on resources provided by the servers, and give nothing in return!
The server is typically secured away from the client computers: in a locked room, for example. This confers some security to a client/server network that a peer-to-peer network does not have.
The server is often very powerful, because it may have to juggle ‘serving’ a hundred or even a thousand different client computers. A server that has to do some heavy lifting might have multiple processors to handle all the traffic, and often runs on a specialized operating system specifically designed for computers with that kind of workload. This all translates to a significantly greater initial expense than a peer-to-peer network; and the reliance of the whole system on one server means that regular computer networking support is of utmost importance.
The client/server network is valuable because of its security and scalability. As your company grows, your client/server network can grow, too. There is no limit on how many workstations you can add, as there is in a peer-to-peer network. Moreover, client/server networks can more easily accommodate changing hardware and software, meaning your network can change with the times.
Finally, unlike a peer-to-peer network, the client/server network can be ‘contacted’ remotely off-site, allowing your employees to retrieve data to which they have access, no matter where they are.
Is your company ready to hire computer networking support?
A computer networking support company can do so much more than just setting up your business’s computer network. They can:
- manage your internet and intranet
- help you make purchasing decisions regarding software and hardware that integrate seamlessly
- do troubleshooting and repair
- help you decide whether a peer-to-peer network or a client/server network is right for your company
If you’re ready to engage a computer networking support team, ECW computers have been helping local companies throughout Broward County with networking, cloud services, cybersecurity solutions, and wireless networking. Click here to talk to ECW computers about getting networking support for your growing business today.