An operating system that is designed for a server. Normally, it is a complete operating system with file, task and job management; however, with some earlier products, it was a separate component that ran under the OS; for example, LAN Server required OS/2, and LANtastic required DOS.
Unix, Linux, Solaris and the server versions of Windows are common network operating systems designed for use in stand-alone servers. Such products may also include a Web server, directory services, messaging system, network management and multiprotocol routing capabilities.
Multiuser File Sharing
A network operating system (NOS) manages concurrent requests from clients and provides the security necessary in a multiuser environment. A file sharing component is installed in each client machine that interacts with the server to share files and applications as well as devices on the network such as printers, faxes and modems.
Windows Peer-to-Peer Networks
The client versions of Windows (starting with Windows 98) can also share their files on the network. They may be considered a network operating system, but they are more lightweight than the server versions of Windows with regard to multiuser processing. See LAN
The Software in a Network Client
This shows the various software components that reside in a user's client workstation in a network.
The Software in a Network Server
This shows the network operating system and various system software components in a network server.