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Planning a Computer Network 1


Planning a Computer Network

[name of the writer]

[name of the institution ]

[name of the Professor]


Planning a Computer Network 2

Planning a Computer Network

Before we make any decision about preferring one type of client server over the other,

first let us see what the two terminologies are all about. According to FOLDOC, the Free On-

Line Dictionary of Computing, a thin client is a simple program or hardware device that

relies on having most or all of its functionality supplied by a network server. It is very much

like a dumb terminal as it gets all of its information from the network. Whereas, a thick client

(also termed as ‘fat client’) can be defined as a program which gets stored locally on the

user's PC instead of on the server. Like word processing software or spreadsheets usually is

stored on the user's computer instead of on the server. Even if the software is stored on the

server in reality it gets stored on space allotted to the user and can be considered as an

extension of the user's computer. This particular term can also be used in hardware context,

like in case of fast stand-alone PC's having large memory and high volume hard drives

helping in running the programs locally instead of off the server. We can say it is usually a

faster alternative if a network is congested or slow.

On the other side, a thin client is a Web Application, and can be run on Internet

Explorer. One access the application using http://hostname:portNumber/iSupport=20 In this

case one has a webserver and a database working in the background. It can either be 2-tier or

N-tier. The case of thick client is different as it runs on Windows and can only be accessed on

a system where it is installed.


Both the systems have positive as well as negative aspects. One (thick client) can be a faster

option but it is limited to only those PCs where it is installed. The other (thin client) is a

slower but more accessible option (through Internet Explorer). Now the decision depends on

the number of users in the Romee dorm, if there are too many users and there exists a chance

of congestion, a thick client approach can be used after installing the necessary applications
Planning a Computer Network 3

on all the dependent PCs, in other case when there is no apparent risk of congestion a thin

client approach presents a more viable option.