ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Intranet: What it is, How it works and how to set one up.

Updated on October 18, 2010

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the prefix intra in the word “intranet” means within. Intranet is a network confined within a company, school or organization. For example, let’s say mywebsite.com is a website hosted by a web server connected to the internet. Anyone with internet access should be able to access it and use the services on it.

We can also have a website called myintranet.com to post events and access the company phonebook. myintranet.com is hosted on a web server located in one of their offices and is connected only to the companies LAN. Only people connected to the Company LAN will be able to access this site.

Both intranet and internet operate over a communication standard called TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) that connects hosts to users over a network. Both internet and intranet use web pages to display information to users. They also both use web programming languages such as HTML, Java, XML and Flash to build web pages with text, video and sound.

There is also an extension of Intranet called extranet; extranets allow companies to share their information with business partners and clients from remote locations outside the company’s network.

 

Benefits of Running an Intranet

The main benefit of running an intranet is that it is cheap and reliable. Also, because most computers in a company are already equipped to connect to the internet, there is no need to purchase additional hardware for the end user. The only piece of equipment that would be purchased is a web server to host the intranet.

Also, the most widely used Web server software, Apache is freely available

There are several benefits of having an intranet in an organization but I’m only going to list a few.

  1. Improved workforce productivity:  intranets help workers to locate and access their information quickly and use applications relevant to their roles. This in turn, increases an employee’s ability faster, more accurately and with confidence that they have the right information
  2. It also improves services provided to the users.
  3. Time: with intranets, information can be available to workers on a pull basis, meaning that employees can link to relevant information at a time that suits them.
  4. Cost effective: users can view information over the web rather than using phone lists,  procedure manuals and requisition forms.
  5. Enhances collaboration: with information easily accessible by all authorised users, teamwork is available.
  6. Cross-platform compatibility: standard-compliant web browsers are available on Windows, Mac and UNIX.

Planning an Intranet

Every intranet requires an individual or a group of individuals to maintain it. These individuals are the people that would manage the intranet and they also would control how the intranet operates.

Once the intranet team in an organization is created, there are some questions that need to be answered to ascertain the task ahead. Some of the considerations are listed below.

  • The primary audience of the intranet. That is, the “end users”.
  • Goals of the intranet
  • How the success of the intranet will be measured.
  • What type of documents would be hosted and which corporate database would be accessed
  • What web-based applications will be accessible from the intranet.
  • The structure of the intranet and what would be on the homepage.
  • Would everyone be allowed to publish or edit content on the intranet.
  • Who will create editorial guidelines and maintain editorial consistency.

 

There are also technical considerations to think about such as

  • Who will configure and maintain the web server hosting the intranet.
  • Would the server and network be administered by in-house technology staff or would the job be contracted?
  • What precautions would be in place (firewalls, security software) to limit access to the intranet?
  • How much network bandwidth will the intranet require?
  • Will it host streaming audio and video, graphics and photos?
  • What CMS (Content management system) would be used to create and publish content?

After all these questions are answered, the team will come up with a budget to be presented to the executives in charge. In larger organizations, these would be the CTO (Chief Technical Officer) and/or the CIO (Chief Information Officer). Cost projections would definitely include the following

  • Web servers.
  • Web server administrators.
  • Web developers and designers.
  • Content management system.
  • Application development.
  • Security hardware and software
  • Maintenance costs

The intranet can now be set up once the budget is approved.

 

Setting up an intranet.

A secure and reliable intranet requires:

  • Web server
  • Networked Computers
  • Firewall hardware and software
  • CMS (Content Management System)

 

The web server comprises of two things: Software and Hardware. The hardware you use for the web server depends on the intranet’s size, the content to be published and also the number of people accessing it at the same time. For example, if your intranet is text only and is only accessed by five people at a time, you don’t need a powerful machine as a server but if your site is hosting streaming video serving more than 1000 people, you would need a powerful machine as a dedicated server or even a cluster of servers.

In organizations where the intranet is a low-priority application, everything can be thrown on the same machine. But if the organization depends more heavily on the intranet for web-based business applications, its smart to employ backup or a networked server cluster that share responsibilities.

Also it is smart to host databases on more than one machine so that if one server goes down, the rest can still access the database.

Firewall hardware and software basically perform the same function: they are the “gatekeepers”.

They monitor all inbound and outbound traffic in the company’s network for suspicious activity. A firewall is required for basic security, and also it is needed in extranets which allow the use of remote login outside of the Corporate LAN.

For creating and managing content on the intranet, most companies and organizations use a CMS (Content management system). the CMS allows you to create standardized web content without knowledge of HTML or any other web programming language. The CMS can be hosted on the web server or on an application server.

Corporate intranets will take on increasing importance as more businesses turn to web-based applications to manage business systems such as SAP and PeopleSoft.

Companies are learning that on-demand web services are cheaper to maintain and easier to use than hosting software on their own systems.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Human 

      3 years ago

      MLM works and is the vehicle rsboepsilne for helping many people on the road to find financial independence, typically within 2-5 years.There is, however, much confusion and misunderstanding concerning this business model. A pyramid scheme has no real product so commissions are based on bringing new people into the scheme who in turn also bring new people into the scheme. It's usually the people at the top that get the most while those at the bottom get very little. Eventually all pyramid schemes collapse because there is no real product being sold.MLM, on the other hand, usually has a very real product that is sold either by retail or through members personal purchases (usually both). Members are encouraged to build a network of distributors to market the product.In MLM you can earn more than those at the top if you apply some effort.In a pyramid scheme you can never earn more than those above you, so when investigating an MLM company see if you can find out if there are people earning more than their sponsors, (this is the crucial test to weed out pyramid schemes)

    • dalean108 profile image

      dalean108 

      8 years ago

      SharePoint Foundation 2010 is free to download if you have Windows Server and a great instant Intranet.

      Andy Dale

      http://www.sharepointvillage.com

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com 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: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    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 googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    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)
    Marketing
    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.
    Statistics
    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)