Joanna Gonzalez

Internet Project Terms: Client-Server, Thin Client, and Thick Client

The first step in Client-Server architectures is to determine where is most of the workload going to be stored or handled, the client or server?

And in order to answer this question, one must know the definitions of these two terms.

Nowadays, clients are usually personal computers aka ‘PCs’ which have software applications already installed that can serve to request as well as receive lots of information over a network, but keep in mind they rely on a server to perform some operations. Two great examples of a client would also include mobile devices (most popularly known to the younger generation) in addition to the typical desktop computer.

A server serves to generally store databases and files in which cases may include applications with more complexity such as Web sites. Server devices are known for their intense-powered processors, huge disk drives and having supplementary memory.

The model of a client-server helps differentiate between applications and devices. In this framework, clients send messages to a server much like requests, while the server responds to each request providing results for them. A single server can support plentiful clients and in a case where there are multiple servers, it can be networked together as a collection that handles the increase in load because of the increase in number of clients raise. The client-server design can be utilized on a Local Area Network more famously known as LAN and on the Internet itself.

Client and server computers are dissimilar devices because each have designated purposes therefore they are customized to meet those needs. For example, a large screen display for a Web-client would work fine, but on the other hand, a Web-server actually does not require a display because it can positioned anywhere in the world and function. However, there is an exception, in some cases a device can essentially function as a client and server for the exact same application. Not to mention, a device that is a server for one application can jointly operate as a client for different applications to supplementary servers.

Popular applications that use the Client-Server Model:

* E-Mail

* Domain Name System (DNS)

* File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

* Web Services

Below I have provided a YouTube video for further understanding of the topic.

Link to Key Term:Client-Server

 Two commonly used Client types:

Thin a network computer without a hard disk drive which is designed smaller purposely to run the majority of the data processes on the server. They require continuous server communication in order to operate as a simple terminal to the server yet easy to install.

Several places where they have been spotted:

* Schools

* Governments

* Manufacturing Plants

* Call Centers

* Airline Ticketing

* Medical Offices

Thick also referred to as ‘Fat’ – designed to purposely handle the majority of the processing operations, either in reference to software (most common) or to describe the networked computer. In contrast to Thin Clients, they do not require constant communication because it utilizes stored information on the server

   Thin                         vs                        Thick  

Easy to install, cheaper in most cases

 Harder to Install, more expensive

Needs to validate with the server once data is obtained

Immediate validation; data validated by client

If server goes down, data collected pauses because constant server communication is required

Server communication not needed

Cannot be interfaced and suffers more downtime

Strong technology provides excellent up-time thus requires more resources to keep up

Clients run only as specified by the server

Requires more resources, but less servers running

Convenient because of its portability; any workstation can access

Can store local files and applications

Use of older clients; outdated PC’s

Server demands decrease

Security threats reduced

Security issues increase

Below I have provided a YouTube video for further understanding of client types.
Links to Key Terms: Thin Client and Thick (Fat) Client

Further detailed information on referenced sources: