Evolution of client server
Several years ago, many computing environments consisted of mainframes hookedto dumb terminals that only did processing at the mainframe. Over the years, personalcomputers started to replace these dumb terminals but the processing continued to be doneon the mainframe. The improved capacity of personal computers were largely ignored orused on an individual level. With so much computing power idle, many organizations startedthinking about sharing, or splitting, some of the processing demands between themainframe and the PC. Client/server technology evolved out of this movement for greatercomputing control and more computing value.Client/server refers to the way in which software components interact to form a systemthat can be designed for multiple users. This technology is a computing architecture thatforms a composite system allowing distributed computation, analysis, and presentationbetween PCs and one or more larger computers on a network. Each function of anapplication resides on the computer most capable of managing that particular function.There is no requirement that the client and server must reside on the same machine. Inpractice, it is quite common to place a server at one site in a local area network (LAN) andthe clients at the other sites. The client, a PC or workstation, is the requesting machine andthe server, a LAN file server, mini or mainframe, is the supplying machine. Clients may berunning on heterogeneous operating systems and networks to make queries to theserver(s).
Networks provide connectivity between client/server and the protocols that they use tocommunicate. The Internet provides connectivity between systems that function as clients,servers, or both. Many services used on the Internet are based on client/server computingmodel. File Transfer Protocol (FTP) for example uses client/server interactions to exchangefiles between systems. An FTP client requests a file that resides on another system. An FTPserver on the system where the file resides handles the client¶s request. The server getsaccess to the file and sends the file back to the client¶s system.
Definition of: client/server
An architecture in which the user's PC (the client) is the requesting machineand the server is the supplying machine, both of which are connected via alocal area network (LAN) or a wide area network (WAN) such as theInternet. Throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, client/server was thehot buzzword as applications were migrated from minicomputers andmainframes with input/output terminals to networks of desktop computers.With ubiquitous access to company LANs and the Internet, almost everyoneworks in a client/server environment today. However, to be trueclient/server, both client and server must share in the business processing.To understand this principle, follow the examples below of a query to ahypothetical database of a million records, each 1,000 bytes long. Notice theamount of data flowing over the network.