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Roles of Computers In a Network

Computer is important in networking because without computer it will be impossible to share

resources(i.e files, videos, sounds, audios, picture, etc) and communication between two or more
people will not be possible.

1) Clients
2) Server

* Clients These client computers always request Services from the computer
named as server
* Server Server provide Services to the client computers

the client, makes a service request from another program, the server, which fulfills the request.

Clients and Servers
In general, all of the machines on the Internet can be categorized as two types: servers and
clients. Those machines that provide services (like Web servers or FTP servers) to other
machines are servers. And the machines that are used to connect to those services are clients.
When you connect to Yahoo! at to read a page, Yahoo! is providing a machine
(probably a cluster of very large machines), for use on the Internet, to service your request.
Yahoo! is providing a server. Your machine, on the other hand, is probably providing no services
to anyone else on the Internet. Therefore, it is a user machine, also known as a client. It is
possible and common for a machine to be both a server and a client, but for our purposes here
you can think of most machines as one or the other.
A server machine may provide one or more services on the Internet. For example, a server
machine might have software running on it that allows it to act as a Web server, an e-mail server
and an FTP server. Clients that come to a server machine do so with a specific intent, so clients
direct their requests to a specific software server running on the overall server machine. For
example, if you are running a Web browser on your machine, it will most likely want to talk to
the Web server on the server machine. Your Telnet application will want to talk to the Telnet
server, your e-mail application will talk to the e-mail server, and so on...

What are the advantages and disadvantages of client-server networking ?
Earlier we saw what is a client/server architecture? and its main difference from peer to peer network,
i.e. in client server there was one powerful computer (known as server) which acts as a provider of
information to other sub-ordinate workstations (called client). Now Let us discuss the benefits and
drawbacks of Server-Client computing over P2P computing :-
Advantages of Client Server Networks over Peer to Peer Networks
1) Centralization : Unlike P2P, where there is no central administration, here in this architecture there is
a centralized control. Servers help in administering the whole set-up. Access rights and resource
allocation is done by Servers.
2) Proper Management : All the files are stored at the same place. In this way, management of files
becomes easy. Also it becomes easier to find files.
3) Back-up and Recovery possible : As all the data is stored on server its easy to make a back-up of it.
Also, in case of some break-down if data is lost, it can be recovered easily and efficiently. While in peer
computing we have to take back-up at every workstation.
4) Upgradation and Scalability in Client-server set-up : Changes can be made easily by just upgrading
the server. Also new resources and systems can be added by making necessary changes in server.
5) Accessibility : From various platforms in the network, server can be accessed remotely.
6) As new information is uploaded in database , each workstation need not have its own storage
capacities increased (as may be the case in peer-to-peer systems). All the changes are made only in
central computer on which server database exists.
7) Security : Rules defining security and access rights can be defined at the time of set-up of server.
8) Servers can play different roles for different clients.
Disadvantages of Client Server Architecture v/s P-2-P Technology
1) Congestion in Network :Too many requests from the clients may lead to congestion, which rarely
takes place in P2P network. Overload can lead to breaking-down of servers. In peer-to-peer, the total
bandwidth of the network increases as the number of peers increase.
2) Client-Server architecture is not as robust as a P2P and if the server fails, the whole network goes
down. Also, if you are downloading a file from server and it gets abandoned due to some error,
download stops altogether. However, if there would have been peers, they would have provided the
broken parts of file.
3) Cost : It is very expensive to install and manage this type of computing.
4) You need professional IT people to maintain the servers and other technical details of network.

It can the summarized that client-server model is not used in small scale networks and networks where
security is not a big issue.

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of a peer-to-peer network?
Earlier we saw What is Peer-to-Peer ?, "A peer-to-peer (P2P) network is created when two or more PCs
are connected and share resources without going through a separate server computer" Now let us now
discuss the advantages and disadvantages of P2P network architecture.
Advantages of Peer-to-peer networking over Client Server networking are :-
P2P technology behind
1) It is easy to install and so is the configuration of computers on this network,
2) All the resources and contents are shared by all the peers, unlike server-client architecture where
Server shares all the contents and resources.
3) P2P is more reliable as central dependency is eliminated. Failure of one peer doesnt affect the
functioning of other peers. In case of Client Server network, if server goes down whole network gets
4) There is no need for full-time System Administrator. Every user is the administrator of his machine.
User can control their shared resources.
5) The over-all cost of building and maintaining this type of network is comparatively very less.
Disadvantages(drawbacks) of Peer to peer architecture over Client Server are:-
1) In this network, the whole system is decentralized thus it is difficult to administer. That is one person
cannot determine the whole accessibility setting of whole network.
2) Security in this system is very less viruses, spywares,trojans, etc malwares can easily transmitted over
this P-2-P architecture.
3) Data recovery or backup is very difficult. Each computer should have its own back-up system
4) Lot of movies, music and other copyrighted files are transferred using this type of file transfer. P2P is
the technology used in torrents.

Peer to peer networks are good to connect small number (around 10) of computer and places where
high level of security is not required. In case of business network where sensitive data can be present
this type of architecture is not advisable or preferred.

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Types of Networks
Peer to Peer Network Client Server Network
Advantages Advantages
Allows two or PCs to pool their resources
Centralized - Resources and data security are
controlled through the server.
Can be built with both 10BaseT cabling and a
hub or with a thin coax backbone.
Network access speeds are usually faster than
those found on peer-to-peer networks.
Drives can be easily shared between peer-to-
peer PCs.
Interoperability - All components
(client/network/server) work together.
Applications only need to be installed on one
Flexibility - New technology can be easily
integrated into system.
Reduced cost (the costs involved in such a
network are hardware, cabling and
Its more secure because if a client wants to
communicate with another client he/she has to
message to he/she and then it will first sent to
the file server, where it is then routed to its
Well tested simplicity. Scalability - Any or all elements can be
replaced individually as needs increase.
Setup - An operating system (such as
Windows XP) already in place may only need
to be reconfigured for peer-to-peer operations.
Accessibility - Server can be accessed remotely
and across multiple platforms.
Less initial expense - No need for a dedicated

Peer-to-peer is, by far the easiest type of
network to build for either home or office use.

Each computer can make backup copies of its
data to other computers for security.

Network is fast and inexpensive to setup and

Disadvantages Disadvantages
Lack of security - They are less secure than
client-server networks, especially so because
the files have to shared and no password is

Can cause network congestion by adding more

No computer in the network is reliable
Higher than anticipated costs

This system is not centralized, making
administration difficult.
Maintenance - Large networks will require a
staff to ensure efficient operation
It is more time consuming to maintain the
software on individual computers
Dependence - When server goes down,
operations will cease across the network
Peer-to-peer networks are designed for a small
number of users. Network speed and
performance starts to deteriorate usually after
more than 10 computers are on the network.
This makes it difficult to grow the network
when the need to add more computers on the
network becomes unavoidable.

Lack of scalability - network operating systems
(e.g... Novell Netware, Windows NT Server)
are not very scalable.

Possibility of not discovering all peers

The Advantages And Disadvantages of Peer-to-peer Network and client /server netwroks
Here are some advantages and disadvantages of Peer-to-Peer Networks
Advantages (Why) Disadvantages (Why)
Peer to Peer Networks are easy and simple to set up
and only require a Hub or a Switch to connect all
the computers together.
If you have not connected the computers together
properly then there can be problems accessing
certain files.
You can access any file on the computer as long as
it is set to shared folder.
It doesnt always work if you have many computers
and works better with 2 8 computers.
The requirements for a Peer to Peer Network are
that you have a 10 Base T Ethernet cable and an
Ethernet hub/ switch. This is rather cheap than
having a server.
Security is not good and you can set passwords for
files that you dont want people to access but apart
from that the security is pretty poor.
The architecture of the lay out (How It Connects) is
If one computer fails to work all the other
computers connected to it continue to work.

Here are some advantages and disadvantages of Client/Server Networks
Advantages (Why) Disadvantages (Why)
A Client Sever Can Be scaled up to many services
that can also be used by multiple users.
A client server enables the roles and responsibilities
of a computing system. This means that it can
update all the computers connected to it. An
example of this would be software updates or
hardware updates.
When the server goes down or crashes. All the
computers connected to it become unavailable to
All the data is stored on the servers, which
generally have far greater security controls than
most clients. Servers can better control access and
resources, to guarantee that only those clients with
the appropriate permissions may access and change
When everyone tries to do the same thing it takes a
little while for the server to do certain tasks. An
example of this would be everyone logging into
there profile in an organisation or a college at the
same time.
The security is a lot more advanced than a peer to
peer network. You can have passwords to your won
profile so that no one can access everything when
they want. And the level off access range in different
More expensive than a peer to peer network. You
have to pay for start up cost.
Many mature client-server technologies are already
available which were designed to ensure security,
'friendliness' of the user interface, and ease of use.
When you expand the server it starts to slow down
due to the Bit rate per second.
It functions with multiple different clients of
different capabilities.