The Multivendor Networking Environments Computer Science Essay


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A multi-vendor networking is a network environment where computers and networks, hardware and software from different vendors are connected and provide remote as well as local network access.

In order to make a multi-vendor network work effectively you must ensure that the server's operating system, the client's operating system and redirectors are compatible and also to make sure that hardware is compatible to avoid problems like speed mis-match while you are working on a project.

Staff costs - It is impossible to find an expert who understands the different products from all the different vendors or who has the necessary qualifications therefore combining products from different vendors can result in higher personnel costs in order to cover all of the required knowledge to maintain the system.

Operating system from different vendor use different methods to accessing files across a network to promote file sharing there must be some sort of protocol so that the devices communicate.

The user interface for products from different vendors may vary in appearance such that it will become complicated to maintain or use the system because users will tend to become familiar with the most frequently used interfaces and may do things incorrectly or spend excessive time on the other parts of the system.

Windows use Common Internet File System Novell uses Netware Core Protocol, Linux and Unix use the Network File System.

All redirectors must be configured for every type of Server Operating System the client computer needs.

All shells or redirectors must be configured and working in order.

The network service clients need to be configured correctly and working on servers.

Gateway computers permit access between environments must be correctly configured and working.

Software and hardware design flaws - Companies often test their products as a system but seldom test with equipment from other vendors.  Design errors may cause devices to work only with devices from the same vendor.

Resource limitations - A device from one vendor may indirectly require resources to a certain degree from other devices that they are not able to provide.  One device may only expect 10 network sessions while the other may expect 200.

Undetected errors - Slight differences in protocol implementations can cause information to be changed and in some cases it is not caught by error detection features of the protocols.

Terminology differences - When trying to design and configure a system, two vendors may use different terminology or give a different interpretation to some specifications.  This can result in mis-configured systems or performance issues.

Form-factor mechanical issues - Products from different vendors may require different mounting hardware, racks, ventilation etc. It can be difficult to combine them into a single physical location or can result in inefficient use of space.

User interface problems - The user interface for products from different vendors may be so different that it becomes complicated to maintain or use the system.  Users will tend to become familiar with the most frequently used interfaces and may do things incorrectly or spend excessive time on the other parts of the system.

Upgrading and updating - Two different vendors may introduce changes or debug system at different periods of time and it may be necessary to wait for all the vendors to have compatible product updates or other products will be updated and become latest and others old and this will lead to a decrease in performance or mis-match in performance.

Parts costs - All of the devices from a particular vendor may have a common set of spare parts such as power supplies, CPU cards, or mounting hardware.  When multiple vendors are used it can drastically increase the cost for spare parts initially and the costs for maintaining and managing the inventory of spare parts.

Staff costs - It is impossible to find an expert who understands the different products from all the different vendors or who has the necessary qualifications therefore combining products from different vendors can result in higher personnel costs in order to cover all of the required knowledge to maintain the system.

Protocol incompatibilities - Two vendors may choose to implement a different subset of a standard or implement ambiguous standards in different ways. This will case devices to interfere with each other and this will promote poor output.

A good example is an environment in which one computer runs Windows XP with client for Microsoft networks, another running Linux with Samba and another Mac OS, and the server runs Windows Server 2003.You need to install all the different file access software so that all the clients can connect to the server.







TASK 1 2

What are a thin client/diskless workstation computing? 6



Investigate precisely the characteristics of any two Diskless workstation currently (one Linux and one Microsoft Windows ) on the market and Total cost of ownership for each of the workstation solution in a practical scenario familiar to you.


These computers are often called thin clients workstation for these users, some network adapters include a chip socket for special bit of circuitry called a Boot PROM (Programmable Read Only Memory) which is referred to as pre-boot execution environment compliant.

The Boot PROM contains just enough hard wired code usually 0.5 MB or less to allow the Network Interface Card to obtain initial configuration information access and access the network to download an Operating System and other software that enables the machine to perform assigned task.

These are some features of a workstation

support for ECC memory

a larger number of memory sockets which use registered (buffered) modules

multiple processor sockets, powerful CPUs

multiple displays

run reliable operating system with advanced features

high performance graphics card

Most manufacture also offer floppy disk to support this type of diskless environment.

Although Linux has a number of office productivity solutions, support for industry specific application is lacking.

It is only suitable for small business suite.

LINUX Servers can have no more than 200 simulteneous logins before adding a new Server or a new Central Processing Unit to the Server to prevent low performance problems.

According to diskless workstation s` Alex the Intel Atom n270 diskless workstation is the ultimate choice for the lowest TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) running on the Linux platform, Linux® embedded.

The LTSP(Linux Terminal Services Project) term 1600 fan less Intel Atom n270 comes with 1 GB of DDRII memory, a 1.6 GHz processor and 10/100/1000 network interface Ethernet with DVI-I out it boots up with LTSP-PXE Boot and it cost about $269.95.


The LTSP term 1500 Series Thin Client is compatible for both Linux and Windows.

It has a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom processor


10/100/1000/ Ethernet interface card

It supports duel monitor

Has 6 USB 2.0 ports

This workstation runs on Microsoft Windows XP and cost about $474.95.


TCO is basically the cost when you factor intangibles such as support costs and productivity gain or less.

Lower total cost of ownership - Thin clients typically cost less than a full blown desktop PC.

In addition, because these computers can be managed completely from centralized server, support costs are automatically lower.

Therefore the total cost of ownership of thin clients is considerably less than desktop PC.

Using an open source Linux is certainly less expensive in terms of software cost than Windows or Mac Operating System solution.

Usually the Total Cost of Ownership equals to the sum of the initial purchase price + the cost of maintenance (which is 3 to 5 times the initial purchase price) but with diskless workstations the Total Cost of Ownership is totally eliminated.

Why is there no Total Cost of Ownership?

No administration needed or little administration on the diskless workstation side

No upgrades needed on diskless workstation side. According Linuxselfhelp/com.HOWTO upgrading won't be need for the next 300 years but what you will need to upgrade is the

All in all, Microsoft Windows is said to be cheaper than Linux because the maintenance cost is relatively cheaper than Linux while Linux is cheaper when purchasing and there is less security risks compared to Windows. To conclude, there is no Total Cost of Ownership.







TASK 1 2

What are a thin client/diskless workstation computing? 4

TASK 3-(20)

Describe a Network Computer or Thin Client with an example

A thin client is a network computer that requires a special type of ROM because they have no built in disk drives.

It is sort of like a bare-bone PC that includes only a mouse, display device, keyboard and enough RAM and processing power to access the network to connect to a server running terminal Services.

A thin client provides same experience as a netbook without limitation on screen size.

No removable storage - no floppy drives or storage medium input which promote security of company data integrity, employee`s cant copy work to take home and also no viruses can incorporate the LAN.

An example is a diskless workstation

Benefits and Drawbacks.

They offer cost savings because no hard drive is required, which also provide reliability because hard drives are a common source of problems in PC.

They increase security since there will be no hard drive no sensitive issue that can be stored.

Virus attacks are useless since they will be no space to reside.

No hard drives -means that when you need to upgrade, you only need to upgrade the server not the thin client PC`s and this will save time and money.

The hardware is cheaper on thin clients, since processing requirements on the client are minimal.

Proofing is not going to be a problem for thin clients they are likely to remain useful for the some years to come.

Thin client networks have less network bandwidth consumption potentially, since much data is executed by the server and processed there, and only transferred to the client in small pieces, as and when needed for display

Thin client can run applications and also share files.

All the data processing is done by the server therefore the user can run applications that the ordinary PC cannot run.


The processing load of diskless nodes is not distributed. The server will have to process every load and this can make it relatively slower and if it crashes the whole system will be down,.

It does not have a better multimedia performance.

Drawbacks, they are useful only when the workstation does not need to maintain long term local data.

The network support infrastructure.

Generally the support infrastructure is the physical aspect which enables the environment to be conducive for networking and this include routers, bridges, cables and gateway

It depends whether the network is a wireless or a cable connected

Design - network need to be designed in such a way that can be easy to design and navigate through.

It can be either Ethernet or switch or any other technology

Network can neither be LAN nor a WAN

You will need some Internet Protocols in order to communicate

It needs network access point also and space for storage

A network backbone should also be also included

Comparison of two different solutions offered by two different commercial vendors.

In order for the companies to conquer the problems of thin clients different vendors decided to Microsoft brought up a Hardware Compatibility List.

Multiple redirectors can be loaded on to a single client to facilitate connectors to different servers and this is called a client based multivendor solution.

Another solution offered by vendors is called a server based solution in which software must be loaded on the server to provide services for a particular client

Microsoft produced a hardware compatibility list in order to solve problems of incompatible.



First and for most I downloaded the prebuilt images from the internet.

I installed virtual machine on the machine I was working on

The live CD contained in local drive under documents and settings

I extracted the files and burn them to a blank CD

On the BIOS set up I changed the first boot priority to be a CD ROM and saved the settings and restarted the computer and boot from the CD.

I booted from the CD ROM and it gave me error message that I was not connected to the server



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