The Basics of Networking | Network Elements | Endpoints, Servers and Computers

The simple definition | Endpoints

Endpoints are the devices that connect to the network and access its resources. These can include computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and other devices. They are the “ends” of the network, where people interact with the network and its resources.

Think of endpoints as the musicians in an orchestra. They are the ones who play the instruments and create the music, but they need a conductor to lead them and make sure everything is in sync. In the same way, endpoints need the network to access the resources they need to function.

The simple definition | Servers

Servers, on the other hand, are the “conductors” of the network. They are powerful computers that are responsible for providing the resources that endpoints need to access. These can include file storage, email services, web services, and other applications.

Think of servers as the librarians of a library. They are responsible for managing and organizing the resources that the endpoints need to access, and making sure that everything is available and easy to find. In the same way, servers are responsible for managing and organizing the resources that endpoints need to access, and ensuring that they are available and easy to access.

What services can a Server offer in the network?

A server in a network can provide many different services, but some of the most basic services include:

  • File and printer sharing: A server can store files and make them available to other devices on the network. It can also share printers, allowing other devices to print to them.
  • Email services: A server can provide email services, such as sending and receiving email, and storing email messages.
  • Web services: A server can host websites, allowing other devices to access them through a web browser.
  • Remote access: A server can provide remote access services, such as virtual private networks (VPNs), which allow users to securely access the network from remote locations.
  • Authentication and Authorization: A server can provide authentication services, such as validating user credentials and granting access to network resources. It also can provide authorization services, allowing the administrator to set different access levels and permissions for different users.
  • Backup and recovery: A server can provide backup and recovery services, allowing the administrator to create backups of important data and restore it in case of data loss.
  • Database management: A server can host and manage databases that store important data and information, and make them available to other devices on the network.
  • Domain Name Services: A server can provide domain name services, which help to translate human-friendly domain names into IP addresses.

These are some of the basic services that a server can provide in a network, but it can also provide many other services depending on the organization’s needs and infrastructure.

What is next?

We will continue using this series to identify and describe multiple Network devices. How they fit in a typical network.

Other topics, part of this series

About the Author:

Andres Sarmiento, CCIE # 53520
With over 18 years of professional experience, Andres is a specialist in Unified Communications and Collaboration technologies, Enterprise Networks, and Network Security. He has consulted for numerous companies in South Florida, including Financial Institutions, on behalf of Cisco Systems. Andres has played a key role in several high-profile implementations, utilizing Cisco technologies such as Data Center, UC & Collaboration, Contact Center Express, Routing & Switching, Security, and Hosted IPT Service Provider infrastructures.

You can follow Andres using Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.

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