Network Infrastructure

Posted on 2006-04-27
Last Modified: 2010-03-19
Hi Experts,

I am trying to learning about how the structure of a companys network and hardware is all linked together
I am wondering would i be able to get a diagram which shows how all the different servers are linked.

Any ideas ????

Many thanks,
Question by:ANGELA11
    LVL 15

    Expert Comment

    by:Naser Gabaj
    Greetings ANGELA11,

    >>I am trying to learning about how the structure of a companys network and hardware is all linked together

    This can't come between one day, First of all what is your rule in your organization, are you net admin, student,

    If you are net admin, i would advice you to start learn about the basics, OSI Layers, and go forward, some cert might help like CCNA, CCNP,,,, etc.

    Here are some links may help you during your journey:

    Let me know is you need any more help.

    Good Luck!

    LVL 53

    Expert Comment

    by:Will Szymkowski
    Hello there,

    This site might be what your looking for.

    hope this helps
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    If you were to talk to your Network Administrator, He could probably help you with this.  If you are the network admin, there is not really a standard topology, as far as how servers are linked together.  You also have Physical Links (linked through switches) and logical links...linkded through software.  There are tools that you can buy that will export network diagrams to programs like Visio.  These tools can be pretty expensive though, some can be purchased through Fluke Networks.  A recommendation may be to talke to a local consulting firm (if you have one) and ask for them to provide the service for you.  This may be more cost effective if that is the only question you have....Hope this helps.

    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    You need network discovery.

    A free version is available here:

    That has it's limits, but you get the need to do a google search for "network discovery" and you will have many more options.

    You also need to take a physical inventory...server room, communications closets.  You can use a tool such as Visio (Microsoft) which I think also does discovery and diagram the network.  You can also use a free program such as Network Notepad (

    You need to take a look at the logical structure of your network.

    Server 1 (Roles)
      - Exchange
    Server 2 (Roles)
     - SQL Server
    Server 3 (Roles)
     - File Server
     - Print Server
     - DC
    etc etc

    You need to take inventory of your computers, their software, the user and group accounts in active directory and perhaps use an inventory program.

    That should keep you busy :)
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    Is this general, or are you trying to familiarize yourself with your companies infra structure? In the latter case I would suggest to have a chat with your system or network administrator. They'd be happy to talk about their work and the network how it is organized.

    My experience is that many companies have different setups. There are some general comments to make. Typically, per department or per floor, or per building there is 1 LAN setup. It look like this

    ________________________________________________________ switch____ router_____WAN connection
      |         |         |                 |         |        |          |            |
    PC       PC       PC     ......   PC      PC      PC       server   server

    All PCs are connected to a switch. The switch is responsible for making a connection between 2 attached devices: between 2 PCs, between a PC and a server or between a PC and the router, etc

    There could be more switches attached to the router if it is a large building or if the network administrator wanted to separate traffic. For instance the servers could be on a separate LAN, or in a separate subnet. The router would connect the subnets together.

    ________________________________________________________ switch____ router_____FireWall____WAN connection
      |         |         |                 |         |        |                                                    |
    PC       PC       PC     ......   PC      PC      PC                                                  |
    ________________________________________________________ switch_______|
                    |                      |                                            
                server    ......      server

    The servers can provide different services:
    - file serving so that everyone can store their documents on a centralized location,
    - email service (often MS Exchange), Authentication server (to make sure that only registered users access the LAN),
    - specialized applications like systems for accounting personel etc.

    The connection to the outside world, Internet or the companies network at other locations is made through a WAN connection. A Firewall protects tne network from intruders. It allows only connections from inside the network to outside and no connections from outside to inside. Exceptions can be made for services that  the network offers to the outside word, eg web servers.

    I hope this gives you some insight.
    LVL 3

    Accepted Solution

    p.s.  I also you were assigned this project or are somehow a new network administrator that doesn't know how to do this.  because if you're not the won't have the network permissions to do this.

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