Work “the old fashioned way”
Traditionally, if there are 2 … 3 computers in the office, they communicate with each other by a peer-to-peer network. This is a network in which all computers are equitable. No server required. Each user allocates a certain resource for common use (part of the capacity of his hard drive). The printer is also allocated for general use. To work on the Internet, the necessary software and equipment (modem) is installed on one of the computers.For the exchange of electronic documents, a copy of the necessary document is placed by the sender immediately on the recipient’s disk. Such a scheme really works very well, but only when all the employees are located in the same room. Its disadvantages are manifested with an increase in the number of computers on the network.
When the number of computers in a network becomes about 5 or more, and even in different rooms, a peer-to-peer network becomes poorly managed (in terms of organizing collective user work). You have to install a dedicated server. The server performs certain network functions (at least it controls the access rights of users to information). It is expensive. But what are its useful features designed to increase employee productivity? Quite often, a single directory is simply allocated for general use on the server through which electronic documents are exchanged “the old fashioned way”. In another server directory all documents that may be required by employees are stored (price list, sample contract, etc.). This inevitably leads to the transformation of the server disk into an unordered “dump”. Finding something in her is very difficult. Often you have to browse through multiple folders or open many documents to find the right one. All network performance is also spent on this search. It takes even more time to transmit a document than if the exchange were carried out by a floppy disk. In addition, when sending the contents of the document becomes available not only to the addressee, but also to all office employees. As a result:
the cost of the network has significantly increased (server installed);
overall productivity has worsened.
A further increase in the number of users connected to the network only exacerbates these problems and adds new ones – in the form of the need to constantly increase the network and server performance (read: allocating additional money to maintain performance). Accordingly, the cost of the network increases significantly faster than the number of users connected to the network, and the efficiency of their joint work is constantly deteriorating. When the company “grows up” and it has another office, the evils of an overgrown network make themselves felt in full voice. In some cases, the removal of offices from each other is not very large, sometimes of the order of 300 … 500 m. However, cable laying in urban conditions can cause such serious difficulties (both technical and financial) that the offices remain completely autonomous. The proposal to organize remote access to the network via ordinary telephone lines through a modem does not suit the customer. As an argument, it is argued that the bandwidth of the telephone channel is insufficient. After analyzing the tasks that are solved in the local networks of small offices, EPOS specialists came to the disappointing conclusion: the throughput of telephone channels is insufficient not only because it is small, but because practically no measures are taken to increase the efficiency of teamwork in the team. Despite the increase in the number of network users, the task is to organize a high-speed local network that is common for all offices. From now on, it remains only to regret the money thrown out for automation.
But there is another way!