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Selecting Network Hardware and Software

As you see from its title, this tutorial is devoted to the topic of selecting the hardware and software for your up-and-coming network. Of course, in many situations, an enterprise will already have one or more networks in place. Nowadays, it's rare to come across a company meandering along in a nonnetworking environment. So, be aware that this tutorial pertains to creating new networks as well as upgrading existing networks.

The tutorial is also designed to tie together many of the general concepts about the subject that were set forth. It also includes guidance on dealing with vendors. Specifics on this latter subject, such as creating detailed vendor evaluation guidelines and writing legally binding contracts.

We've discussed issues relating to planning and documenting the new or enhanced network. In this tutorial, we look at making decisions related to the physical structure of the network and the client/server or peer-to-peer operating systems (OSs) that will be deployed on the network. Also in this tutorial, the pros and cons of these two approaches are discussed in more detail.