Shared resources, also known as network resources, refer to computer data, information, or hardware devices that can be easily accessed from a remote computer through a local area network (LAN) or enterprise intranet. Successful shared resource access allows users to operate as if the shared resource were on their own computer. The most frequently used shared network environment objects are files, data, multimedia and hardware resources like printers, fax machines and scanners.
Shared LAN points are used by a variety of system resources, such as hard drives, printers, scanners and network cards.
File and printer sharing occur via two network communication mechanisms: peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing and the client-server network model.
Sharing network resources requires abiding by certain constraints, as follows:
- Security: Organizations present ongoing opportunities for unauthorized shared resources. Security mechanisms should be implemented to provide efficient parameters.
- Compatibility: Various client-server operating systems may be installed, but the client must have a compatible OS or application to access shared resources. Otherwise, the client may encounter issues that create communication delays and requires troubleshooting.
- Mapping: Any shared OS hardware drive, file or resource may be accessed via mapping, which requires a shared destination address and naming conventions.
- File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and File Sharing: FTP is not affected by shared resources because the Internet is FTP’s backbone. File sharing is an LAN concept.