A server may be dedicated or nondedicated.
Dedicated servers are used only as a server, not as a
workstation. Nondedicated servers are used both as a
server and a workstation. Networks with a dedicated
server are known as server-based networks; those with
nondedicated servers are known as peer-to peer
Dedicated servers cannot be used for ordinary
work. In fact, access to the server is often limited to
prevent any access by unauthorized users.
Most of the high-end network packages assume you
are using a dedicated server. If the network has a
dedicated server, it is most likely a file server.
A dedicated fileserver runs the NOS software, and
workstations run smaller programs whose function is to
direct user commands to the workstations operating
system or to the server. Both servers and workstations
need NICs to function on the network.
A nondedicated server can be used as a workstation
as well as a server. Using a server as a workstation has
several disadvantages and is not advisable for larger
The following are disadvantages of nondedicated
servers as compared to dedicated servers:
Many of the NOSs that allow the nondedicated
server to run with DOS make them extremely
slow and clumsy. While most dedicated servers
have software that replaces DOS, such systems
may also require a separate non-DOS partition
on the hard disk. This allows the NOS to arrange
and deal with the contents of the partition in a
way that optimizes performance.
Running applications on a DOS machine while it
is also supposed to be running a network can lead
to a deadly performance degradation.
Certain tasks will tie up a DOS machine,
effectively stopping the network until the task is
Adequate security is more difficult to maintain
on a nondedicated server.
In this chapter we discussed the different types of
network components and their functions. We described
cabling and the connectors used to connect the network
hardware. We covered the purpose of the server and the
differences between a dedicated and a nondedicated
server. Remember, the driving factor for the type of
hardware and cabling used is the topology of the