Networking: A Beginner's Guide
In a client/server e-mail system, an e-mail server contains the messages and
handles all the e-mail interconnections, both within and outside the company. Client/
server e-mail systems, such as Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes, are more secure
and far more powerful than their file-based counterparts. They often offer additional
features that enable you to use the e-mail system to automate different internal
business processes, such as invoicing and purchasing.
For smaller companies (with fewer that 25 employees), e-mail is just as important,
but an e-mail server or dedicated e-mail system is usually overkill and too costly to
purchase and maintain. These companies can use other strategies that do not require
running their own internal e-mail system (file-based or client/server), such as the
Install a shared connection to the Internet that all of their computers can access,
and then set up e-mail accounts either through their Internet service provider
(ISP) or a free e-mail service, such as Yahoo! Mail or Google's Gmail.
Run Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2008, which includes a limited
version of Exchange Server, along with other server-based applications that are
packaged together to make them more economical for smaller companies.
Use mailboxes from a service provider that runs a high-end e-mail system (and
handes administration and backups). Companies usually pay a monthly fee for
the number of mailboxes used.
Another important service for most networks is remote access to the network's
resources. Users use this feature to access their files and e-mail when they're traveling
or working from a remote location, such as a hotel or their home. Remote access
systems come in many different flavors. The following are some of the methods used to
provide remote access:
Set up a simple remote access service (RAS) connection on a Windows server,
which can range from using a single modem to a bank of modems.
Use a dedicated remote access system, which handles many simultaneous
connections and usually includes many computers, each on its own
Employ a workstation on the network and have users dial in using a remote
control program like Symantec's pcAnywhere or Citrix's GoToMyPC.
Set up a virtual private network (VPN) connection to the Internet, through
which users can access resources on the company network in a secure fashion.
Install Windows Terminal Services (on a Windows server) or Citrix
XenDesktop, which allow a single server to host multiple client sessions, each
appearing to the end user as a stand-alone computer.