Objectives Working with workgroups Creating a workgroup Determining whether to use centralized or group sharing
Workgroups A workgroup is a cluster of networked machines that normally rely on only one or sometimes no server a workgroup normally relies heavily on shared resources that exist on multiple machines A workgroup can consist of just two machines, each of which has resources that the other machine requires The key to the workgroup is that each member of the workgroup is a peer of all the other machines — no single machine is in charge of the network.
Workgroups One of the defining workgroup elements is that workgroups lack Active Directory support If you don’t elevate your server to a domain controller and don’t install Active Directory, then you have a workgroup. The concept of a workgroup was originally defined around peer-to-peer networking, where any machine on a network can act as a server and any machine can act as a workstation.
Workgroups Windows Server 2008 has both the Server and the Workstation services that provide these two roles.
The Advantages of Workgroups Workgroups are convenient because you don’t have to have one super machine to handle everyone’s requests Any workstation can also act as a server Sharing occurs on many levels. A workstation with an exceptionally large hard drive can share some of that hard drive space with everyone on the network. Likewise, a workstation with an Internet connection can share the connection with everyone else
the Advantages of workgroups workgroups easier to manage: All of the settings are localized and easy to understand. You don’t have to worry about global security policies, Active Directory, or anything else that’s complicated. A workgroup need not exist as a separate entity. You can use a workgroup network setup at the departmental level and a domain or client/server setup at the enterprise level
The size of a workgroup If the only goal for the workgroup is to share files and print documents, a workgroup of any size is possible As you add tasks, such as database management, the potential size for a workgroup increases because you’re asking it to perform more work A workgroup configuration that includes e-mail, file, print, and database management services is probably limited to 100 nodes
the Disadvantages of workgroups Using a workgroup becomes less advantageous when you begin using a number of custom applications and require centralized management for help desk support and other needs Workgroups also tend to provide poorer security than does a centralized network (client/server or domain). Because everyone is sharing resources freely, it can be difficult to lock down those resources and ensure that they’re shared only as required to accomplish tasks within the workgroup
Preparing to Create a Workgroup The first step in preparing to create a workgroup is determining whether a workgroup is the right solution 1. If the network meets the following requirements then use workgroup: – provides basic file and printer sharing. – (Optional) It provides basic database management support with no more than two custom applications. – (Optional) It provides e-mail support with a product such as Exchange Server. – (Optional) It provides centralized Internet access. – It has no need for complex mission-critical applications involving large databases. – It has no need for centralized resource management. – It requires no remote access. – It has no need to support external applications, a Web site, or Web services. – It needs no more than 100 nodes in most cases.
Preparing to Create a Workgroup 2. Create a plan that emphasizes the strengths of each machine in the workgroup, even if you plan to use a server. 3. The server should provide centralized storage, but any other machine can support any other task. In fact, it may be beneficial to spread out the tasks so that the server doesn’t become overwhelmed trying to perform every task.
Preparing to Create a Workgroup 4. One of the most important preparation steps for your server is determining how to store the data you create. The two common methods are centralized and group sharing: – Centralized sharing involves placing all data in one location. You can organize the data into folders to keep various projects separate, but everything appears under one main folder or on a particular hard drive.
Preparing to Create a Workgroup – Group sharing involves placing data in multiple locations based on who creates it and who needs to work with it next. Every workstation could have an inbox to hold files that the person needs to work on next. Each person can also have private data stores for files that no one else will need. The sharing methods aren’t mutually exclusive: You may choose to provide centralized sharing for your word-processed files but provide group sharing for graphics files. The technique you choose depends greatly on how the organization uses the data.
Centralized Vs. Group sharing Centralized sharing provides advantages over group sharing: – it’s easier to locate files when everyone knows where the files appear on the network – back up and restore centralized files with greater ease – Security also becomes less cumbersome because you don’t have to open as many areas to common access.
Centralized Vs. Group sharing A group sharing strategy can prove quite useful in workflow scenarios where data flows from one person to the next. Only the two people involved in the data transfer actually need access to the data storage area, so this approach reduces potential security problems by reducing the number of people with access to the data. When working with private data, only the person who actually needs to work with the data has access to it. You can therefore secure confidential documents with greater ease.
Centralized Vs. Group sharing In some cases, it is best to mix both strategies. For example, when working with word-processed files, you might collaborate on a document with your peers and then move the document from the centralized sharing area to the inbox of someone who will prepare the document for printing. An editor might review the document for grammar and spelling issues and then move the file to the inbox of a compositor who prepares the document in PDF form. Eventually, someone prints the final document. In this case, you use a combination of strategies to ensure the document is prepared in a timely manner.