An Overview of Different Types of Network Architectures and Their Features

If you are interested in knowing more about network architecture and various types of networks that can be set up then you are at the right place. We will be focusing on this topic and look at two main network architectures that you can select from, which are peer to peer networks and client-server networks. 

So let us go through various features of these two networks in the following sections.

Types of Network Architecture

There are two basic types of network architecture that are commonly used. Let us look at both of them here.

P2P Networks & Client-Server Networks

Peer to Peer Networks

network architectureNo Hierarchy: In these networks, there is no specific hierarchy that computers adhere to and all the computers have equal significance. Such networks are also called as workgroups without any hierarchy or distributed architectures.No Central Server: In a P2P network there is no central computer or server for controlling network activity. All the computers present in the network communicate with each other using special software.

Usefulness for File Sharing: In addition to it, it is worth mentioning here that these networks are generally utilized for the purpose of file sharing. Once a computer downloads any specific file from another computer, the file becomes available at two sources for others to download it from.

The main feature of this type of network architecture is that even when one or more computers in the network stop working, it cannot disrupt the functioning of the whole network. But network's quality primarily depends upon contributions made by computers that are part of the network. As for instance, if only few of the computers share their files over the network then other users will have less number of files to download. You also need to keep note of the fact that there is no central system for controlling these P2P networks, due to which it can become difficult to control what is being shared over such networks.

Tiered or Client-Server Architecture

Multiple Network Servers: In this type of network architecture, there are several computers which make request for services from main server. Additionally, there are multiple network servers that manage as well as provide these services to computers which are part of the network. 

Servers for Different Functionality: The computers that ask for services from a server are known as client computers. In a client server network architecture, the server can serve different purposes like function like a print server, email server or a storage server. There are also servers which have the functionality to offer all of these services.

Higher Processing Capability: Here the servers have greater processing capability, hard disk space as well as memory to meet requirements of clients asking for various services. In addition to it, based on client requirements, it may become necessary to utilize a cluster of servers to work within a single network.

The Bottom Line

Thus, from above details it is quite clear that there are different network architectures serving different purposes and you need to select one as per needs of your organization.