Network Infrastructure Services
A network infrastructure is an interconnected group of computer systems associated by the various
parts of telecommunications structural design. Specifically, this infrastructure refers to the
organization of its various parts and their configuration — from individual networked computers to
routers, cables, wireless access points, switches, backbones, network protocols, and network access
methodologies. Infrastructures can be open or closed, such as the open architecture of the Internet
or the closed architecture of a private intranet. They can function over wired or wireless network
connections, or a mixture of both.
The simplest structure of network infrastructure usually consists of one or more computers, a
network or Internet connection, and a hub to both connect the computers to the network connection
and bind the various systems to each other. The hub only links the computers, but does not limit
data flow to or from any one system. To manage or limit access between systems and adjust information
flow, a switch replaces the hub to generate network protocols that describe how the systems
communicate with each other. To let the network created by these systems to communicate to others,
via the network connection, requires a router, which bridges the networks and mainly provides a
common language for data exchange, according to the policy of each network.
When several computers in a single household share the same Internet connection, it is considered a
basic form of network infrastructure, whether or not the computers also share information with each
other. The Internet itself is a more superior network infrastructure, in which individual systems
access a worldwide network that houses information on various systems, and allows access using web
standards and protocols, most usually framed as web addresses, also known as URLs.
Office intranets are parallel to the global Internet, but function on a closed network infrastructure
accessible only by those within it. This generally consists of a central data store — one or more
computers known as servers — as well as ethernet cabling, wireless access points, routers, switches,
and the individual computers with access to the central data store. The individual computers connect
to the network by means of either cabling or wireless access. The routers and switches then determine
what level of access they are allowed to have, and act as traffic directors to point them to the
central data store on the servers. As the individual computers send or receive data, the routers
ensure it reaches the suitable place.
Network security is often a primary anxiety when building a network infrastructure. Most architectures
use routers with built-in firewalls, as well as software that allows finely-tuned user-access control,
data packet monitoring, and strictly defined protocols. Security can also be controlled by adjusting
network sharing properties on individual systems, which limits the folders and files that can be seen
by other users on the network.