By definition, local networks are "information transmission systems that serve the exchange of information between numerous independent communication partners in territorially limited areas". A network basically consists of several modular components, each of which performs a specific task and must be coordinated with the other components. The essential network components include file servers, workstations, network adapters and cables, and the network operating system.
The file server is the central component of the network. The network operating system running on it is responsible for managing the resources made available to network users. This is essentially the management of the mass storage shared by all users and the control of read/write access to the data stocks. In addition, print jobs from network users are queued and output to the shared printer in sequence. In addition, with Novell server operating systems from ELS II onwards, additional servers can be set up to perform certain subtasks in order to relieve the file server. For example, one server can be set up to manage printers, and another server can manage online communication with external stations (for example, branches of a company). The workstations are the workstations where the programs stored on the file server's mass storage are executed and from which the shared "data pool" is accessed.
The concept of network operating system was introduced by Novell in 1983. The best known network operating systems are Netware from Novell, Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP from Microsoft, Vines from Banyan and the operating systems 3+ from 3Com and the IBM PC LAN program, which have already disappeared from the market.