Network infrastructure is the topology which consists of many network devices connected together. Today we need to have a large scale network to provide efficent communication. For example, we don’t use just computers, we use access-points, switches, hubs, printers, cables as well. All these are network elements and that creates network infrastructure.
What if we don’t have any network ? Answer is so easy. We should have directly connected to all devices arround which is very hard. For instance you are at home and you want to print something about your children’s lessons. If you have a network printer, you just define the IP adress of that printer to your PC , and you can print out whatever you want if you are in the same network with that printer. If we wouldn’t have that home network, we should have directly connect that printer to our PC from RS-232 or USB port.
Let’s assume that you are working in a company and that company has too many offices arround your city. You are using some softwares in your computer, and some of them requires synchronization like billing, customer updating, fault tracking etc. If you don’t have a network, you should install the server of that software running all the offices and directly connect it to all the PC’s in your office ! That really sounds so expensive and weird. And you will never make synchronization too.
As you see, network infrastructure is a very very important topic. So we install our network which consists of printers, hubs , access-points, switches, cables, ip phones and communicate from that network easily.
So let’s see what are the basic hardware network devices :
Router : Routes ip packets according to routing table.
Switch : Forwards frames according to MAC Address table information.
Hub : Hub is known as a “stupid switch” as well. It gets the information from one of its ports and forwards it all other ports.
Printer : You can get the hard copy of whatever you want via printer.
LAN Card : Lan card is used for connecting network devices to a switch, hub or router etc.
IP Phone : Used for voice over IP calls.
Access Points : Provides wireless connection between network devices.
Cables : Provides wire connection between network devices.
Server : Provides software support to the other network devices.
Mobile Phones And Computers : Used for accessing the network by the last users.
Firewall : Provides security to network infrastructure.
A network consists of the softwares too like operating systems , network management tools and etc.