13. A small business peer-to-peer network

Scenario: Two friends decide to open a web design business together. They rent office space and set up a local area network. They will use standard computer equipment but in addition they also want to collaborate with customers on-site as well as work from home when they need to. Discuss a possible network solution along with its pros and cons.

Possible solution:

As there are only two of them, a good network solution is peer-to-peer in the office rather than the complication of a client-server network. This means they can work on their own workstation, each loaded with web-design applications. They can also share their work using shared folders on each machine.

A networked high quality ink-jet or laser colour printer can be used for presentation material.

They can also use a networked scanner to input sketches and graphics etc.

For internet access they are lucky enough to have access to a high speed 20Mb ISP service in their office.

Local backup is achieved using a NAS (Networked Attached Storage) but they also have an off-site backup solution in case their office is damaged or equipment lost.

As they are often at their client's premises to present their work and ideas they might choose to use a cloud computing service. With this service, they can easily set up an online virtual server for each customer to show their progress. The cloud service is also used to hold a mirror copy of all their files from their office machines as an off-site backup.

They might also opt to join a remote PC access service. This service allows them to securely access and run their office computer from anywhere should they need to - home or customer site.


challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you

Click on this link: Remote PC access service