Produce a report for the Managing Director of Animal World Magazine outlining different ways of implementing a client-server Local Area Network (LAN) for the business.

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        AVCE UNIT 23        10/05/2007        

Produce a report for the Managing Director of Animal World Magazine outlining different ways of implementing a client-server Local Area Network (LAN) for the business.  This includes;

  • Topologies
  • Cables
  • Connector
  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Advantages and Disadvantages
  • Network
  • Advantages and Disadvantages
  • TCP/IP
  • Advantages and Disadvantages
  • IP Address
  • Advantages and Disadvantages
  • MAC Address
  • Advantages and Disadvantages

What is Network?

A network is a collection of terminals, computers, servers, and components which allows for the easy flow of data and use of resources between one another.

The three basic types of networks include:


LAN - A Local Area Network (LAN) is a network that is confined to a relatively small area (in one building).

MAN - A Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) covers larger geographic areas, such as cities or school districts.

WAN - Wide Area Networks (WANs) connect larger geographic areas, around the world therefore is world wide.

What is Topology?

The topology describes the way in which the devices on a LAN are connected together. There are four main LAN topologies: bus, star, ring and mesh.


A Bus topology is a single wire with terminator at each end.  All nodes (server, workstation and peripherals) are connected to single wire in logically.  Bus topology is also known as bus network which was the original form of Ethernet network.  Ethernet on bus topology uses coaxial cable.  The cable can be in two different types 10Base5 and 10Base2 which are thick and thin.  Both cables communicate at the speed of 10 Mbps.

Termination is important in bus network because when signal is transmitted it travels in entire cable.  Without the termination when the signal reaches the computer it bounces back and travels back up the wire.  The termination absorbs the electrical energy and stop reflections.  Example A bus is being used by small business.


  • It’s easy to add nodes in the bus network with repeater that boots the signal and allows it to travel a longer distance.
  • It’s cheap because it needs less cable than star topology.
  • There is no single point failure in bus because there is no Hub.
  • It works well for small network


  • Entire network will stop communicating if there is a break in the backbone cable
  • Terminators are needed at the end of the backbone cable
  • Cant use it in large building
  • The performance of the network slows down with more users
  • Network stops working when adding a new machine
  • Limited number of devices can be attached

Details of Bus Topology

Ethernet Cable Summary


A Star topology connects the computers by single cables to a central unit, usually a hub.  When a computer sends signal to other computer or resources it travels to the hub. Then the hub forwards the signal to other computer or resources which are connected to hub.  The protocols used with star configurations are usually Ethernet (Xerox Corporation) or LocalTalk (Apple Corporation).  Ethernet 10BaseT is a network that is used for the star topology which is UTP cable that communicates at the speed of 10Mpbs.  Star topology is the most popular network.  Example A star is used by college, business etc.


  • The failure of a single computer or cable will not affect the entire network.
  • When problem arises the network can be disconnected from the hub instead of one at a time and can connect again when the problem is solved.
  • It can connect several different types of cables in same network with a hub.
  • The hub has LEDs that displays the activity and errors on each node, this makes easier for the user to solve the problems.
  • Switch can used with hub in star network to increase the network performance  
  • Easy to install
  • No disruptions to the network when connecting or removing the devices
  • Easy to add devices
  • Hub provides centralised management
  • Can be upgraded to faster speeds
  • Lots of support as it is the most used


  • Expensive because it needs more cables  to connect to every single computer and back to hub
  • A single point failure (hub) can stops the entire network from communicating and sharing resources
  • The network starts to get slow as more nodes are added.
  • A star network requires more cable than a ring or bus network
  • Costs are higher (installation and equipment) than for most bus networks

Details of Star Topology

Ethernet Cable Summary

Token Ring

Computers are connected in circle so the signal travels around the network from one computer to another in a logical ring.  It’s called token ring because it involves token passing.  A single token moves around the ring from one computer to next.  If a computer doesn’t have anything to transfer, it passes the token on to the next workstation.  If computer wants to transmit or receive information, an empty token is passed on and then the user attaches the data to the token.  The token is then send around the ring until it recognises the IP address and MAC address the computer than captures the data.  There are 2 types of ring; token ring and dual ring.  Dual ring is same as token ring but in this case it has an extra ring around it so it will have double ring instead of one.  So if one ring get shutdown it can continue with other ring.  Dual ring is used in LAN and single ring is used in WAN.

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  • It corrects the errors by itself
  • Can find the problems easily
  • Its faster than 10Mbps Ethernet
  • Allows more workstations on network than Ethernet before performance decrease
  • Its very reliable
  • It is easy to expand
  • Its has equal access for all the user
  • Each workstation has full access speed to the ring
  • No collision
  • No terminators required


  • Failure of one computer can affect the whole network
  • Adding and removing the ...

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