Client/Server Environment


Introduction to Client/Server Architecture

Numerous applications run in a client/server environment, this means that client computers (computers forming part of the network) contact a server, generally a very powerful computer in terms of input/output, which provides services to the client computers. These services are programmes which provide data such as the time, files, a connection, etc.

The services are used by programs client programs which run on client computers. This is why the term "client" is applied (FTP client, email client, etc.), where a program is designed to run on a client computer, capable of processing data received from a server (in the case of the FTP client we are dealing with files whereas for the email client we deal with email email).

Advantages of Client/Server Architecture

The client/server model is particularly recommended for networks requiring a high degree of reliability, the main advantages being:

  • centralised resources: given that the server is the centre of the network, it can manage resources that are common to all users, for example: a central database would be used to avoid problems caused by redundant and inconsistent data
  • improved security: as the number of entry points giving access to data is not so important
  • server level administration: as clients do not play a major role in this model, they require less administration
  • scalable network: thanks to this architecture it is possible to remove or add clients without affecting the operation of the network and without the need for major modification

Disadvantages of the client/server model

Client/Server architecture also has the following drawbacks:

  • increased cost: due to the technical complexity of the server
  • a weak link: the server is the only weak ling in the client/server network, given that the entire network is built around it! Fortunately, the server is highly fault tolerant (primarily thanks to the RAID system)

Client/Server system operation

A client/server system operates as outlined in the following diagram:

client/server

  • The client sends a request to the server using its IP address and the port, which is reserved for a particular service running on the server.
  • The server receives the request and responds using the client IP address and port
CCM is a leading international tech website. Our content is written in collaboration with IT experts, under the direction of Jeff Pillou, founder of CCM.net. CCM reaches more than 50 million unique visitors per month and is available in 11 languages.

Latest update on October 16, 2008 at 09:43 AM by Jean-François Pillou.

This document, titled "Client/Server Environment," is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM (https://ccm.net/).