TYPES OF NETWORK OPERATING SYSTEM:-Unlike operating systems, such as Windows, that are designed for single users to control one computer, network operating systems (NOS) coordinate the activities of multiple computers across a network. The network operating system acts as a director to keep the network running smoothly.

A network operating system (NOS) is a computer operating system (OS) that is designed primarily to support workstations, personal computers and, in some instances, older terminals that are connected on a local area network (LAN).

The software behind a NOS allows multiple devices within a network to communicate and share resources with each other.

The composition of hardware that typically uses a NOS includes a number of personal computers, a printer, a server and file server with a local network that connects them together. The role of the NOS is to then provide basic network services and features that support multiple input requests simultaneously in a multiuser environment.

Due to earlier versions of basic operating systems not being designed for network use, network operating systems emerged as a solution for single-user computers.

Examples of Network Operating System are:

  1. Microsoft Windows Server 2003

Windows Server 2003 is the first version of Windows Server operating system produced by Microsoft. It is part of the Windows NT family of operating systems and was released on April 24, 2003. Windows Server 2003 is the successor to the Server editions of Windows 2000 and the predecessor to Windows Server 2008. An updated version, Windows Server 2003 R2, was released to manufacturing on December 6, 2005. Windows Server 2003 is based on the consumer operating system, Windows XP.


  1. Microsoft Windows Server 2008

Microsoft Windows Server 2008 is the latest version of Microsoft’s server network operating system. Windows Server 2008 builds on the features found in Windows Server 2003 and also offers a number of enhancements


  1. UNIX

Unix is an operating system. It supports multitasking and multi-user functionality. Unix is most widely used in all forms of computing systems such as desktop, laptop, and servers. On Unix, there is a Graphical user interface similar to windows that support easy navigation and support environment.

  1. Linux

A Linux-based system is a modular Unix-like operating system, deriving much of its basic design from principles established in Unix during the 1970s and 1980s. Such a system uses a monolithic kernel, the Linux kernel, which handles process control, networking, access to the peripherals, and file systems.

  1. Mac OS X

This is a Unix-like operating system developed and marketed by Apple Inc. since 2001. It is the primary operating system for Apple’s Mac computers.


  1. Novell NetWare

This is a discontinued computer network operating system developed by Novell, Inc. It initially used cooperative multitasking to run various services on a personal computer, using the IPX network protocol. It provides wide networking services ranging from easy and simple file to network user, data, security, and even resource management. It is generally designed for networks or Local Area Network (LAN) operating system

  1. Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD)

This is a group of related open-source Unix-like operating systems (OS) with origins in early versions of Research Unix at Bell Labs. FreeBSD is the most popular member. BSD is configured for internet hosting, web hosting, and hosting many servers on one system. FreeBSD contains a significant collection of server-related software in the base system and the ports collection, allowing FreeBSD to be configured and used as a mail server, web server, firewall, FTP server, DNS

server and a router, among other applications. FreeBSD can be installed on a regular desktop or a laptop.

  1. Banyan’s VINES

This uses a client-server architecture to request specific functions and services.

  1. Microsoft’s LAN Manager

This operates as a server application and was developed to run under the Microsoft OS. Now, most of the functionality of LAN Manager is included in the Windows OS itself.



Nearly all modern networks are a combination of both. The networking design can be considered independent of the servers and workstations that will share it.

There are two basic types of network operating systems: –

  1. peer-to-peer Network Operating System (NOS)

Peer-to-peer network operating systems allow users to share resources and files located on their computers and to access shared resources found on other computers. However, they do not have a file server or a centralized management source (See figure below). In a peer-to-peer network, all computers are considered equal; they all have the same abilities to use the resources available on the network. Peer-to-peer networks are designed primarily for small to medium local area networks. Nearly all modern desktop operating systems, such as Macintosh OSX, Linux, and Windows, can function as peer-to-peer network operating systems.


Advantages of a peer-to-peer network:

  • Less initial expense – No need for a dedicated server.
  • Setup – An operating system (such as Windows XP) already in place may only need to be reconfigured for peer-to-peer operations.

Disadvantages of a peer-to-peer network:

  • Decentralized – No central repository for files and applications.
  • Security – Does not provide the security available on a client/server network.
  1. the client/server Network Operating System (NOS):

Client/server network operating systems allow the network to centralize functions and applications in one or more dedicated file servers (See figure below). The file servers become the heart of the system, providing access to resources and providing security. Individual workstations (clients) have access to the resources available on the file servers. The network operating system provides the mechanism to integrate all the components of the network and allow multiple users to simultaneously share the same resources irrespective of physical location. UNIX/Linux and the Microsoft family of Windows Servers are examples of client/server network operating systems.


Advantages of a client/server network:


  • Centralized – Resources and data security are controlled through the server.
  • Scalability – Any or all elements can be replaced individually as needs increase.
  • Flexibility – New technology can be easily integrated into system.
  • Interoperability – All components (client/network/server) work together.
  • Accessibility – Server can be accessed remotely and across multiple platforms.

Disadvantages of a client/server network:


  • Expense – Requires initial investment in dedicated server.
  • Maintenance – Large networks will require a staff to ensure efficient operation.
  • Dependence – When server goes down, operations will cease across the network.

Common features of network operating systems

Features of network operating systems are typically associated with user administration, system maintenance and resource management functionality.

  • Basic support for operating systems like protocol and processor support, hardware detection and multiprocessing.
  • Printer and application sharing.
  • Common file system and database sharing.
  • Network security capabilities such as user authenticationand access control.
  • Directory
  • Backup and web services.

In Conclusion, All above explanation is about TYPES OF NETWORK OPERATING SYSTEM.