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Network Operating System (NOS)

Definition - What does Network Operating System (NOS) mean?

A network operating system is an operating system designed for the sole purpose of supporting workstations, database sharing, application sharing and file and printer access sharing among multiple computers in a network. Certain standalone operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows NT and Digital’s OpenVMS, come with multipurpose capabilities and can also act as network operating systems. Some of the most well-known network operating systems include Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Linux and Mac OS X.

Techopedia explains Network Operating System (NOS)

The salient features of network operating systems are:
  • Basic operating system features support like protocol support, processor support, hardware detection and multiprocessing support for applications
  • Security features like authentication, restrictions, authorizations and access control
  • Features for file, Web service, printing and replication
  • Directory and name services management
  • User management features along with provisions for remote access and system management
  • Internetworking features like routing and WAN ports
  • Clustering capabilities
Common tasks associated with network operating systems include:

  • User administration
  • System maintenance activities like backup
  • Tasks associated with file management
  • Security monitoring on all resources in the network
  • Setting priority to print jobs in the network
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