4.3.1 - Networks - Software Components

  • Created by: Annie
  • Created on: 13-05-13 16:46
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  • Network Software Components
  • Network Operating Systems
    • Network Software Components
    • Home versions of Windows (XP, Vista etc.) allow you to set a small network
    • Larger networks require a more complex Network Operating System
      • e.g. Windows 2000, 2003 (etc.), UNIX, Linux, Novell Netware
      • These coordinate all the activities of all computers on the network and communications with all devices
  • Network Management Software
    • Needs to handle basic communication needs and the use of the network
      • Management software is usually included with the NOS
    • Key functions of the software
      • Updating software on each computer with the latest release
        • Particularly Virus software and security updates
      • Managing license use for different software
      • Providing remote assistance for users to solve problems without actually being there
      • Controlling user access rights
        • Including ability to install software
  • User Accounts
    • These are a key element of managing network usage
    • Each user has a log on and password
      • These are usually allocated into groups
    • Each group of users have different "rights" which are allocate to them
      • Password changing
      • Ability to change desktop appearance
      • Access to different shared files areas
      • Copying of files to external media
      • Controlling user access rights, including ability to install software
  • Logs and Audit Trails
    • Using a username to identify the user
      • Networks can record a wide variety of network activity, which can be reviewed in the future
  • Security Strategies
    • To ensure the network can continue to operate and not succumb to threats
    • Usernames and Passwords
      • They should not be easy to guess
    • Virus checkers
    • Firewalls
      • To prevent  unauthorised  access from outsides
    • Encryption
      • To keep WiFi data transmissions private
  • Configuration Management
    • Process of setting up the network for use once the NOS has been installed
    • Updated when network is expanded or needs repair
    • Advantages
      • It is easier to upgrade hardware and software if you know what you already have in place
        • No wasted expenses
      • Less network downtime as you already know the specification of hardware
      • If you know your start point, it is easier to roll back upgrades if there are problems
    • The configuration databse will include details of all connected devices, software & its current version
    • Keeping such a database takes time and an organised approach
  • Remote Management
    • Can be seen as "spy software"
    • Remote management can
      • You can see which users are logged on at a glance
      • Check on "per user" software licence usage
      • Control stations to fix problems
      • Reboot machines
      • Shutdown machines
      • Install software without going to the machine
      • Provide help to users by seeing what they are doing
      • Send on screen messages to all users
  • Disaster Planning
    • Back up
      • Back Up Restoration
        • Regularly check that the backups work
        • Good practise to do a full system restoration to highlight any problems should there be a real disaster
        • Tapes may become corrupt and unusable
      • Backups need to be taken on a fixed plan related to how much data the organisation is prepared to lose
      • Should be kept in a fireproof safe, offsite
      • RAID can be used for 'as you go backup'
      • Grandfather, father, son ensures a 'roll back' option
      • See 4.3.5
    • Key Objectives
      • 1. Minimise the impact of incidents
      • 2. To get the systems operational as soon as possible
      • 3. To ensure staff know their roles in this process
  • Logs can include
    • Logs and Audit Trails
      • Using a username to identify the user
        • Networks can record a wide variety of network activity, which can be reviewed in the future
    • Log on and off times
    • Where the user has logged on (which device)
    • Programs used and at what time
    • Details of files access and even changes made to them
    • Internet sites accessed


Mr A Gibson


Number two of four Mind Maps related to networking. This one covers the software components and goes into a lot of detail about the roles of different software in a network environment.

Resource 1 - 4.3.1 - Networks (1)

Resource 2 - 4.3.1 - Networks - Software Components - this resource

Resource 3 - 4.3.1 - Networks - Peer to Peer and Client Server Networks

Resource 4 - 4.3.1 - Networks - Wireless Networking

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