ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Computer Network Architecture

Updated on September 6, 2016
Patkay profile image

Patrick, a Computer Technician, is a dedicated writer who wishes to make the world better by informing individuals who seek more knowledge.

Definition of Computer Network Architecture

The term computer architecture defines how computers in a network system are set or organized and how tasks are allocated between computers in a given network. In simple words, Network architecture refers to the general layout of the network, which involves the hardware, software, connectivity, communication protocols and mode of transmission, such as wired or wireless.

It is important to Know about the types of network which are classified according to the areas covered such as LAN, MAN and WAN. When it comes to network topologies they are usually categorized according to the layout of equipment and computers and we end up having star, loop, bus, or mesh topologies.

The most common computer network architectures in use are the peer to peer and the client server.

Peer to Peer Network

When nodes or workstations perform the same communication functions, they are referred to as peers, in this network model, both server and client operations are performed by the same computer. Each user administers his/her workstation and the resources in it. In a peer-to-peer network, there are no dedicated servers, and there is no hierarchy among the computers.

All the computers are equal and therefore are known as peers. Each computer functions as both a client and a server, and there is no administrator responsible for the entire network. The client-server situation arises because the peers make a portion of their resources, such as processing power, disk storage or network bandwidth, directly available to other network participants. This is achieved without the need for central coordination by servers or stable hosts. The user on each computer determines which data on that computer is shared on the network.

Security is also managed by the user of the devices. This model is not quite secure and is suited for a small computer networks (with 10 computers or less) where users do not want to share files. User’s files are decentralized – they are not stored in a single location.

Peer to Peer Network Model

P2P Network Model
P2P Network Model | Source

Criteria for Selecting Peer to Peer

  1. Where ten or fewer users will be sharing available resources.
  2. No server is available.
  3. Nobody has the time or knowledge to act as a network administrator.
  4. There is little or no concerns about security (security in data processing is the ability to protect data from unauthorized access or, theft or damage)
  5. The organization and the network will experience only limited growth within the foreseeable future.

Advantages of Using Peer to Peer

  • They are easy to configure
  • Computers communicate easily.
  • They don’t require additional server hardware or software
  • Users can manage their own resources.
  • They don’t require a network administrator
  • They reduce total cost of network setup.

Disadvantages of Using Peer to Peer

  1. They provide a limited number of connections for shared resources.
  2. Computers with shared resources suffer from sluggish performance.
  3. They don’t allow for central management
  4. Users are responsible for managing resources. These resources include data in shared directories, printers, fax cards, and so on.
  5. They offer very poor security as compared to the server based model.

Client-Server Network Model

Client-Server Network Model
Client-Server Network Model | Source

Client Server Network Architecture

This is a network model that offers centralized access to services and devices. One computer plays the role of a server. It is the most common type of network architecture today that provides centralized data storage, security, manning of applications and network administration. Most servers operating system are Novel Netware, Windows NT, Apple talk, Linux, Banyan VINES etc...


  • Cost: - More expensive in terms of hardware and network operating system.
  • Complexity: - Experienced system administrators are required to manage the systems.
  • Dependence: - When server goes down, operations will cease across the network.


  1. They are best suited for 10 or more users.
  2. Security: - All major server based systems provides sophisticated security.
  3. Administration: - Servers are centralized making them easier to manage.
  4. Stability: - Server based systems are designed to support a wide range of organization sizes. Additional servers are added to increase capacity.
  5. Client server networks offer centralized backup where data can be stored in one server.
  6. Flexibility - New technology can be easily integrated into the system.
  7. Accessibility - Server can be accessed remotely and across multiple platforms.

Client-Server Network Model

True or False

view quiz statistics

© 2011 Patrick Kamau


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Patkay profile imageAUTHOR

      Patrick Kamau 

      6 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Thanks a lot hari krishna for reading and commenting. I am glad you liked it.

    • profile image

      hari krishna 

      6 years ago



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)