Network Operating System is an operating system that includes special functions for connecting computers and devices into a local-area network (LAN) or Inter-network. Short form of Network Operating system is NOS. Some popular network operating systems are Novell Netware, Windows NT/2000, Linux, Sun Solaris, UNIX, and IBM OS/2. The network operating system which was first developed is Novell Netware. It was developed in 1983.
An operating system that provides the connectivity among a number of autonomous computers is called a network operating system. A typical configuration for a network operating system is a collection of personal computers along with a common printer, server and file server for archival storage, all tied together by a local network.
Some of the features of Network Operating System are to:
• It allows multiple computers to connect so that they can share data, files and hardware devices.
• Provide basic operating system features such as support for processors, protocols, automatic hardware detection and support multi-processing of applications.
• Provide security features such as authentication, logon restrictions and access control.
• Provide name and directory services.
• Provide file, print, web services and back-up services.
• Support Internetworking such as routing and WAN ports.
• User management and support for logon and logoff, remote access; system management, administration and auditing tools with graphical interfaces.
• It has clustering capabilities.
• It has internetworking features. Example: Routing.
• In this, the users can remotely access each other.
• It also includes security features.
Example: authentication of data, restrictions on required data, authorisations of users etc.
• It can also manage directory and name services.
• It also provides basic network administration utilities like access to the user.
• It also provides priority to the printing jobs which are in the queue in the network.
• It detects the new hardware whenever it is added to the system.
Types of Network Operating Systems
Peer-to-peer network operating systems allow users to share resources and files located on their computers and to access shared resources found on other computers. In a peer-to-peer network, all computers are considered equal; they all have the same privileges to use the resources available on the network. Peer-to-peer networks are designed primarily for small to medium local area networks. Windows for Workgroups is an example of the program that can function as peer-to-peer network operating systems.
Advantages of Peer-to-Peer(P2P) Operating System are as follows:
• Less requirement of hardware is there.
• No server needs to be established.
• Its setup process is natural.
Disadvantages of Peer-to-Peer(P2P) Operating System are as follows:
• It has no central location for storage, i.e. different systems have different storage capacity.
• It has less security as compared to the client-server model.
Client/server network operating systems allow the network to centralise functions and applications in one or more dedicated file servers. The file servers become the heart of the system, providing access to resources and providing security. The workstations (clients) have access to the resources available on the file servers. The network operating system allows multiple users to share the same resources irrespective of physical location simultaneously. Novell Netware and Windows 2000 Server are examples of client/ server network operating systems.
Each computer in the workgroup run an autonomous operating system; yet cooperate to allow a variety of facilities including sharing of files, sharing of hardware resources and execution of remote machines etc.
Network operating systems are implementations of loosely coupled operating systems on top of loosely coupled hardware. Network operating\systems is the software that supports the use of a network of machines and provides users that are aware of using a set of computers, with facilities designed to ease the use of remote resources located over the network. These resources are made available as services and might be printers, processors, file systems or other devices. Some resources, of which dedicated hardware devices such as printers, tape drives are connected to and managed by a particular machine and are made available to other machines in the network via a service. A typical example of such a system is a set of workstations connected through a local area network (LAN). Every workstation has its operating system every user has its workstation in exclusive use and cooperates to allow a variety of facilities including sharing of files, sharing of hardware resources and execution of remote machines etc. A user can execute a login command to connect to another station and also can access a set of shared files maintained by a workstation named/file server.
Advantages of Client Server Operating System are as follows:
• In this, security to the machines is provided through the server.
• Here, hardware can be easily connected to the system.
• Also, new technology is easily integrated into the system.
• The central server is more stable in a client-server model.
• Hardware and the operating system can be specialised.
• In this model, different machines can remotely access the server from different locations.
Disadvantages Client Server Operating System are as follows:
• It seems to be costly as buying and running a server is cost effective.
• Also, here we always have to depend on the central location for any type of operation like for storage, for accessing of data etc..
• It requires regular maintenance.
• Daily updation is required as per requirement.