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Maxam,Kathryn Ann

Client Server, Thin Client, Thick Client


Client / Server Model


                A client server model deals with servers that handle requests from clients for applications and programs. A client server uses a server that acts as an intermediary to a client computer by sending, receiving, and redirecting requests for networks or applications The client is a computer or a program that sends a request to a central hub, program, application, or processing center (a server) which receives the request.

                An example of a client server model is when you click on the Microsoft Word application, which sends a request to the application in the computer, and is then opened for the client’s (your) use.

                Another example is opening a browser such as Firefox or Chrome, and searching for a website. The search or URL request sends the request to a internet server for the particular website, which is then redirected to another server where the information is sent back to client in the form of a website.

                Thin clients are computers that use another computer or a server for application processing purposes because of their inability to process or run an application due to the application not being in the client itself. This is usually because the thin client does not have its own processing center, but instead is connected to a server that acts as its processing center for more than one client.  An example of a thin client is a computer terminal in a library, or a computer that requires a network connection to a server in order to run a program such as a search for a library book.

Some examples of the thinnest clients (ultrathin clients) are the X Windows System, Citrix, and Terminal Services. These ultrathin clients rely completely on the network or server and do not have a full operating system. They act only as a display for a network because they do not have any CPU, external storage or memory.

                An advantage to thin clients is they are cheaper than regular computers, and are less likely to be stolen. Another advantage is when you are updating a system or installing software you just update the server that everyone is connected to instead of installing the software on fifty different computers. This also decreases the amount of time spent installing patches and updates, and it is easier to shut down the network in an emergency. You can also keep employees from installing software that they shouldn’t, and It is easier to add remote users.

                Some disadvantages are that they sometimes cannot connect to a printer or another device because of their lack in an output connection such as a USB port. If the server that everyone is connected to is turned off, so is all the computers. When updates are installed some thin clients require that no one be logged on to the network, and some software is not compatible with some thin clients.

    A thick client is a computer that can process and carry out its own applications without connecting to a server. It can connect to a server once in a while to carry out applications or receive updates to its applications, but otherwise it does not usually need to connect to the server for processing. These clients are like a personal laptop or desktop that has multiple applications such as Microsoft, games, and other programs which are installed on the computer.

                Some advantages of having a thick client (also known as a fat client, heavy client, or rich client) is that you do not have to have expensive servers for connection purposes, you can work offline, it usually performs better when it uses multimedia such as offline gaming, and it is more flexible.

                A disadvantage of thick clients is they are usually more expensive than a thin client, and when installing software for a large number of thick client office computers you have to purchase each individual license for the group which can increase expenses significantly.

                In summary, usually thin clients are used in big organizations such as libraries or jobs. This is because of the ability to control what the user does on the computer, thin clients are less expensive than buying a bunch of individual thick clients, it is easy to install and delete software, and there is more security because people are less likely to steal a thin client. Thick clients are used mostly in the home and workplace since thin clients are relatively new to the market in comparison. Thick clients feature the ability to process most of the application requirements which means that they do not rely on servers. However because of this ability they are still more expensive than thin clients. Reguardless of which type you have, you will always have the client server model because it involves a request for information in the form of processing, whether its through a server or on the client itself.