List of Network Operating Systems

By Ginny Putscher

A Network Operating System (NOS) is software designed for the distinct purpose of connecting devices, often referred to as nodes, by communication links. A node can be a computer, printer, or any other device having the ability to send and/or receive data that other nodes on the network generate.

Novell Netware

Netware is a Novell network operating system (NOS) providing transparent remote file access, printer sharing and support for electronic mail and database systems. NetWare virtually runs on any kind of computer system, from PCs to mainframes. Novell Netware uses five layers of the Open Interconnection model. Layer one is the physical layer, two is the data link layer and three is the network layer. These are designated as the network layers, addressing the physical aspects of moving data from one device to another. Layer four is the transport layer, which links the two subgroups and guarantees that what the network layers have transmitted is in the proper form and usable. Layer five is the session layer, referred to as the network dialog controller. If at times the network layers do not suffice, layer five establishes, maintains and synchronizes the interaction among communicative systems.

WIndows NT

Windows NT is actually two products: Windows NT Workstation and Windows NT Server. Our focus is on the Server, which provides network services designated for business systems. Windows NT Server is the second most installed network server operating system after its competitor Novell NetWare. Windows NT Server 5.0, renamed as Windows 2000 Server, appeals to small-to-medium-sized businesses. Windows 2000 Advanced Server is geared to functioning as a network operating system server and/or an application server.

Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard, built on the basics of Windows Server 2008, is succeeding steadily and deemed to be a reliable system. The scalability and reliability are enhanced in Windows Server 2008 R2, and it is the only operating system to offer 64-bit processors. In addition, improved performance and increased scaling capabilities allow support for greater workloads. Improvements in storage solutions enhance the performance, availability and manageability of the file services.