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Basic consideration points for network configuration

I am currently doing a project for my Network Administration module and hope that you can spare a few minutes to help me with my project by answering the following:
  1. What network operating system and client operating system would you recommend?
  2. What network topology would you recommend? Why?
  3. What is the most common problem that is encountered in the network? How would you solve this problem?
  4. What hardware configurations do you recommend in servers?

Thank you very much!
The answer to this question really depends on the type of business the company you are working for does. Here are some basic bullets but without knowing the business it is hard to make a recommendation.
  1. Windows.
  2. Star. If one node fails all others are not effected. Cost is less than a mesh.
  3. Hardware failures. Make sure you have 7x24x4 onsite support on all critical devices.
  4. Really depends on the role of the server. For example if you are running an database server you would be more concerned with memory than if you were running a backup server. Some basic things to look for are:
    1. Redundancy (eliminate point of failures). You want dual CPU?s, Nics, power supplies etc.
    2. Raid arrays. Disks are common problems. Make sure you have a raid card.
    3. SCSI drives. Faster than IDE
    4. Cache CPU.

This was last published in May 2003

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