– Home area network (HAN) or home network can be thought of as LAN (local area network) confined to a residential area.
– This network facilitates the communication among the digital devices that operate in home.
– The devices might include few computers, mobile devices and other accessories.
– An important function of the home network is to provide access to internet to all the devices that demand it.
– The internet access is provided through a broadband service provisioned via either of the following:
1. Cable internet access
2. DSL or digital subscriber line
3. Mobile broadband by ISPs (internet service providers)
– If only one IP address is provided by the ISP, multiple computers can share this external IP address through the following:
1. Router having NAT (network address translation)
2. A network firewall
3. Proxy server software
– A dedicated router is quite commonly used.
– However, in some cases a computer with several network interfaces might assume a router function.
– A wireless access point is often included with the dedicated router which provides a Wifi access.
– A feature of home area network called home group enables the shared disk access.
– It means some resources such as printer and scanner can be shared among all the computer systems in a home.
– This is done through distributed P2P networking.
– Further for increasing functionality, you may introduce a home server.
– It simplifies file sharing among all the family members a temporary password might be created for secure file sharing.
– Wired or wireless communication technologies might be used by a home network.
– Another option available is of using the coaxial cables.
– When a home networking device is installed, it can access the network simply by plugging in to a wall socket.
– Following components constitute a home network:
1. Infrastructure devices: It includes:
+ Modem for accessing internet either DSL modem or cable modem.
+ Residential gateway for connecting multiple devices to internet.
+ Wireless access point for connecting wireless devices.
2. Client devices: It includes:
+ A PC
+ Internet phones
+ Smart phones
+ A network bridge
+ A network hub
+ A network attached storage
Next we shall discuss about SAN or Storage Area Network.
About Storage Area Network
– Through this network access to block level data storage can be provided.
– With such networks, storage devices such as optical jukeboxes, tape libraries and disk arrays etc, can be made accessible to the services.
– Once the connection has been established, these devices are treated as local devices by the operating system.
– Devices on a storage area network cannot be accessed by devices on other local area networks.
– In 2000s both the complexity and cost of the SAN dropped to such levels such that it began to be widely accepted by all kinds of enterprises.
– A characteristic feature of SAN is that it provides only block level operations and no file abstraction.
– However, the file systems that are built above SAN possess have the ability to provide file – access level.
– Such systems are commonly known as the shared disk file systems or SAN file systems.
– Storage islands are often consolidated through a SAN over a high speed network.
– File systems are maintained by operating systems on their own dedicated LANs.
– If a LAN was to be shared by multiple systems, there is a possibility that they might interfere and corrupt the data.
– For sharing same data on different systems lying within a LAN, calls for more sophisticated solutions like clustered computing.
– Even though there are many issues with a SAN it serves the advantage of increasing the utilization of the storage capacity.
– This happens because the private storage space of many servers is consolidated in to disk arrays.
– Nowadays a hybrid technology i.e., a combination of SAN and NAS is used.