Client-Server Networks

Client-server networks are pretty much the polar opposite of peer-to-peer networks because in them, a single server uses a network operating system for managing the whole network. Here’s how it works: A client machine’s request for a resource goes to the main server, which responds by handling security and directing the client to the desired resource.
This happens instead of the request going directly to the machine with the desired resource, and it has some serious advantages. First, because the network is much better organized and doesn’t depend on users remembering where needed resources are, it’s a whole lot easier to find the files you need because everything is stored in one spot—on that special server. Your security also gets a lot tighter because all usernames and passwords are on that specific server, which is never ever used as a workstation. You even gain scalability—client server networks can have legions of workstations on them. And surprisingly, with all those demands, the network’s performance is actually optimized—nice!

Many of today’s networks are hopefully a healthy blend of peer-to-peer and clientserver architectures, with carefully specified servers that permit the simultaneous sharing of resources from devices running workstation operating systems. Even though the supporting machines can’t handle as many inbound connections at a time, they still run the server service reasonably well. And if this type of mixed environment is designed well, most
networks benefit greatly by having the capacity to take advantage of the positive aspects of both worlds.

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