ANALYSIS OF A CLIENT SERVER NETWORK

As technology and computers have continued to develop rapidly, a client server network has soon replaced past forms of networking on a computer to become the most widely used. A client server network can be utilized by desktop computers and laptops, as well as other mobile devices that are properly equipped.

Definition Of Client Server Network

A client server network is defined as specific type of online network comprised of a single central computer acting as a server that directs multiple other computers, which are referred to as the clients. By accessing the server, clients are then able to reach shared files and information saved on the serving computer. Further, client server networks are very similar in nature to peer to peer networks with the exception that it is only the server that can initiate a particular transaction.

In client server computing, the clients requests a resource and the server provides that resource. A server may serve multiple clients at the same time while a client is in contact with only one server. Both the client and server usually communicate via a computer network but sometimes they may reside in the same system.

What are the basic components of a client server network?client/server network has three main components: workstations, servers and the network devices that connect them. Workstations are the computers that are subordinate to servers. They send requests to servers to access shared programs, files and databases, and are governed by policies defined by servers.

An illustration of the client server system is given as follows −

Client Server Architecture

Characteristics of Client Server Computing

The salient points for client server computing are as follows:

  • The client server computing works with a system of request and response. The client sends a request to the server and the server responds with the desired information.
  • The client and server should follow a common communication protocol so they can easily interact with each other. All the communication protocols are available at the application layer.
  • A server can only accommodate a limited number of client requests at a time. So it uses a system based to priority to respond to the requests.
  • Denial of Service attacks hindera servers ability to respond to authentic client requests by inundating it with false requests.
  • An example of a client server computing system is a web server. It returns the web pages to the clients that requested them.

Difference between Client Server Computing and Peer to Peer Computing

The major differences between client server computing and peer to peer computing are as follows:

  • In client server computing, a server is a central node that services many client nodes. On the other hand, in a peer to peer system, the nodes collectively use their resources and communicate with each other.
  • In client server computing the server is the one that communicates with the other nodes. In peer to peer to computing, all the nodes are equal and share data with each other directly.
  • Client Server computing is believed to be a subcategory of the peer to peer computing.

Benefits of Client Server Networks

The main benefits of the client server network is allowing a shared database or site to be accessed or updated by multiple computers while maintaining only one control center for the action. This makes it possible for companies to distribute information, upload data, or reach the program without being tied down to one individual computer site. Because the information is stored online, a client server model creates more power and control over what is being saved.

Additionally, this model has an increased security, often with encryption, ensuring that the data is only available to qualified individuals. A client server model also makes it easier to back up important information than if it was stored across multiple devices. A network administrator can simply configure a backup for the server, and if the original data were to be destroyed, he or she would only need to restore the single backup.

  • All the required data is concentrated in a single place i.e. the server. So it is easy to protect the data and provide authorisation and authentication.
  • The server need not be located physically close to the clients. Yet the data can be accessed efficiently.
  • It is easy to replace, upgrade or relocate the nodes in the client server model because all the nodes are independent and request data only from the server.
  • All the nodes i.e clients and server may not be build on similar platforms yet they can easily facilitate the transfer of data.

Disadvantages of Client Server Networks

Under a client server model, the main disadvantage is running the risk of a system overload due to not having enough resources to serve all the clients. If too many different clients attempt to reach the shared network at the same time, there may be a failure or a slowing down of the connection. Furthermore, if the network is down, this disables access to the information from any site or client anywhere. This can be detrimental to major businesses who are unable to reach their pertinent data.

  • If all the clients simultaneously request data from the server, it may get overloaded. This may lead to congestion in the network.
  • If the server fails for any reason, then none of the requests of the clients can be fulfilled. This leads of failure of the client server network.
  • The cost of setting and maintaining a client server model are quite high.

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