The types of computer network designs is based on their scope or scale. Networking industry refers to nearly every type of design as some kind of area network.
LAN: Local Area Network
It connects the computer hardware in a localized area such as an office or home. Typically, LANs use wired connections to link the computers to each other and to a variety of peripheral devices such as printers.
WAN: Wide Area Network
A computer network that spans a relatively large geographical area. Computers connected to a wide-area network are often connected through public networks, such as the telephone system. They can also be connected through leased lines or satellites.
WLAN: Wireless Local Area Network
WLAN is one in which a mobile user can connect to a Local Area Network (LAN) through a wireless connection. The IEEE 802.11 group of standards defines the technologies for wireless LANs.
MAN: Metropolitan Area Network
It is a network that interconnects users with computer resources in a geographic area or region larger than that covered by even a large local area network (LAN) but smaller than the area covered by a wide area network (WAN).
SAN: Storage Area Network
SAN is a high-speed network of storage devices that also connects those storage devices with servers. It provides block-level storage that can be accessed by the applications running on any networked servers.
SAN: Small Area Network
Small Area Networks typically include one or more master devices that communicate with one or more slave devices using a serial protocol over a common wire bus that connects all the devices together. A master can get the attention of a slave device by sending the slave address over the common wire bus or by applying a signal to separate device select lines.
SAN: System Area Network
It is a relatively local network designed for high-speed interconnection in cluster environments (server to server), multiprocessing systems (processor to processor). The architecture is now almost exclusively switched fabric. Fibre Channel is an example of a SAN technology. It provides a high-speed switched environment in which any device on the network can connect with any other device and communicate over a dedicated high-speed link.
SAN: Server Area Network
SAN systems must support multiple applications and volumes. SAN systems should have the capability to optimize throughput to a single tenant. Performance should be better than traditional SAN systems by having data near the processors as a way to reduce latency.
CAN: Campus Area Network
It is a network that covers an educational or corporate campus. Examples include elementary schools, university campuses, and corporate buildings. A campus area network is larger than a local area network LAN since it may span multiple buildings within a specific area.
CAN: Controller Area Network
It is the nervous system, enabling communication between all parts of the body. Similarly, ‘nodes’ are like muscles connected via the CAN bus, which acts as a central networking system. In turn, electronic control units (ECU) are like arms and legs.
CAN: Cluster Area Network
A computer network or Computer cluster or clusters usually designates a number of networked computers that can be seen from the outside in many cases than a computer. In general, the individual elements of a cluster are connected over a fast network.
PAN: Personal Area Network
PANs can be used for communication among the personal devices themselves, or for connecting to a higher level network and the Internet where one master device takes up the role as gateway. A network that surrounds an individual. A wireless PAN (WPAN) might be created between Bluetooth devices.
POLAN: Passive Optical Local Area Network
A POLAN serves fiber by using fiber optic splitters to allow a single optical fiber to serve multiple devices.