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Client Server Architecture: Components, Types, Benefits

15th Sep, 2023
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    Client Server Architecture: Components, Types, Benefits

    Every computer or process in a network can act as a server or client in a client-server architecture. Powerful computers, known as client servers, are used just to manage network traffic, disk drives, and printers. Clients use their workstations or personal computers to run their apps. The servers' main function is to supply resources like equipment, files, and processing power. In this article, you will learn about what is client server architecture and other aspects of it. 

    But let's first examine the nature of the client and server before learning more about improved client-server architecture. 

    • Client: Any computer that makes a request to the server is a client. For instance, when we visit a website, we ask for the page from its domain. So, in this case, we play the client. 
    • Server: On the other hand, the server is the computer created to fulfill client requests. In the same scenario as earlier, the client queries the server for the web page, which is subsequently returned to them by the server. 

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    What is Client Server Architecture?

    So, what do you mean by client server architecture? A computing model known as client/server architecture places several components into clearly defined roles that allow them to communicate. The majority of the resources and services for client consumption are hosted, delivered, and managed by the server. In a shared resources architecture, a central server is connected to one or more client computers via a network or the internet. 

    Client/server architecture is also known as a networking computer model or client/server network since all requests and services are supplied through a network. Due to the fact that each component is working on its own, it is regarded as a type of distributed cloud computing system.  

    What is a client in client server architecture? In a client-server architecture, there are many clients (remote processors) who request and receive service from a centralized server (host computer). Here is a working example of client/server connections. The user or client enters the URL while using a browser to typically view a server-side website. The DNS server searches for the IP address of the web server and provides it to the browser. The server, acting as the producer, sends the files in response to an HTTP or HTTPS request made by the browser. As the consumer, the client receives them and often sends follow-up inquiries.

    Components of Client Server Architecture

    A few components are necessary for each architecture to function. The client-server architecture is also built on the three interrelated components that are stated below. 

    1. Workstations

    Workstations, often known as client computers, are initially distinguished by the operating systems that operate them. Workstation operating systems in a client/server network include Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. Their operations and processes are primarily designed for client computers, and they are also less expensive than server operating systems.  

    Their operating systems do not have administration or security policies, centralized databases, or shared software. They have localized variations of programs and regulations that can be used to apply them independently. Because they are not required to handle requests from numerous computers or store data from many computers, workstations also have fewer technological requirements than servers in the areas of memory, hard drive space, and CPU performance. 

    2. Servers

    Different sets of operating systems, such as Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2003, or Windows 2008, are used to identify servers. Because they hold and handle numerous (and frequently concurrent) requests from workstations, they also have more memory and hard drive space, as well as faster computers. In a client/server network, a server can play a variety of roles. It is capable of serving as a domain controller, file server, mail server, database server, and all four at once.  

    To maximize performance, a well-designed network, however, assigns these duties to various servers. In essence, a server serves as a central repository for network files, programs, databases, and regulations, independent of the role it plays. It simplifies maintenance and backup because it is not dependent on individual user setups but can be universally and uniformly deployed across the network. 

    3. Networking devices

    Each networking device in the client-server architecture operates and has its own set of attributes. 

    • Hubs are used to connect to a server with different workstations. 
    • Repeaters are used to transmit data from one device to another. 
    • Bridges are employed for segmenting isolated networks. 

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    What's the Purpose and How Does it Work?

    The purpose of a client server architecture is to speed up data transmission while also protecting the data sent. It is a smart solution for businesses seeking faster and more secure data transfer.  

    How does it work and interacts with servers? 

    In the client-server architecture, when a client computer sends a data request to the server via the internet, the server accepts the request and returns the data packets requested to the client. The architecture interacts with the servers through the following steps. 

    • After the user enters the URL of the website or file, the Browser sends requests to the DNS (DOMAIN NAME SYSTEM) Server. 
    • The DNS Server searches for the WEB Server's address. 
    • The DNS Server then replies with the WEB Server's IP address. 
    • The Browser sends an HTTP/HTTPS request to the WEB Server's IP address (provided by the DNS server). 
    • The Server sends the necessary files for the website. 
    • The Browser then renders the files and displays the website. The rendering is accomplished with the assistance of a DOM (Document Object Model) interpreter, CSS interpreter, and JS Engine, which is collectively referred to as JIT or (Just in Time) Compilers.

    Client-Server Model

    We now know that client-server architecture consists of two components: one that offers services and the other that uses those services. 

    Learn how the browser communicates with the server to gain a greater understanding of the procedure. 

    • After the user types the unified resource location (URL) of the website or file, the browser sends a request to the domain name system (DNS) server. 
    • The DNS server responds with the IP address of the web server when asked for the address of the server. 
    • Following receiving a response from the DNS server, the browser sends an HTTP or HTTPS request to the IP address of the web server, which was provided by the DNS server. 
    • The server then sends the essential files for the website. 
    • After rendering the files, the browser shows the webpage. 

    Types of Client Server Architecture

    The following are the different types of client server architecture: 

    1-tier architecture

    In a 1-tier design, every user interface environment, client/server installation setting, data logic system, and marketing logic system are present on the same system. These services are trustworthy, but handling the jobs they assign for replication of the full operation is highly challenging because they contain all the data in multiple variances.  

    For example, one software package can be used for presentation, business, and data access layers. The local machine stores all of the data. There are certain programs that control all three tiers, such as the MP3 player and Microsoft Office, but these programs are categorized as 1-tier apps. 

    2-tier architecture

    The optimum client/server environment is provided by a two-tier design, which enables the user interface to be stored on the client system and all databases to be saved on the server computer. It is necessary to preserve database logic and business logic regardless of whether they are kept on the server or the user's end. The architecture is known as "fat client thin server" when these logics are stored on the client side, but we refer to it as "thin client fat server" when these logics are handled by the server. 

    The quickest rate is reached because client-server devices are in direct communication with one another when the client fires the order. This strategy has a few advantages, such as the best performance, simplicity in 2-tier application design, user satisfaction with the response from this architecture, and a homogeneous environment. 

    3-tier architecture

    Middleware is required in this three-tiered design because if the client machine makes the request to the server machine, the middle layer will first receive it before passing it on to the server. Therefore, the middle layer first receives the server's response before passing it on to the client machine. Both business and data logic is kept on the middleware. Middleware is used to increase flexibility and provide top performance. 

    A three-tier architecture is separated into three layers: the presentation layer (Client Tier), the application layer (Business Tier), and the database layer (Data Tier). Presentation layer management is handled by the client machine, Application layer management is handled by the server machine, and Database layer management is handled by the database layer. 

    N-tier architecture

    The approach is a scaled version with three levels. The strategy is often referred to as "Multi-tier architecture." Each function, including display, application processing, and data management functionalities, can be placed in this design as a separate layer. 

    Additionally, client-server systems are more expensive to develop than peer-to-peer systems and require a central file server. While peer-to-peer systems rely on end users to manage security, the client-server model gives clients access to a dedicated file server, which offers stronger protection. Peer-to-peer networks also perform worse as the number of nodes rises, but client-server systems are more reliable and scalable to any size. As a result, which one you choose depends on the environment in which you must implement it.

    Characteristics of Client-server Architecture

    The following are the characteristics of client-server architecture: 

    • A mechanism of requests and responses powers the architecture. The client sends a request to the server, and the server returns data in response to the information requested. 
    • The architecture uses a common contact protocol so that devices can simply communicate with one another. Every data transport protocol is available at the application layer. 
    • A server may only be able to handle a limited number of client requests at once. It uses a method targeting priority to respond to each and every query. 
    • By assaulting the server with duplicate requests, denial of service attacks makes it difficult for it to respond to legitimate client requests. 
    • Scalability is a crucial feature of client-server systems. They can be resized either horizontally or vertically. Adding or removing client workstations while barely affecting performance is known as horizontal scaling. Vertical scaling refers to upgrading to a more powerful server. 
    • The environment is frequently multivendor and heterogeneous. Client and server operating systems and hardware platforms typically differ from one another. A well-defined set of common application program interfaces (APIs) and remote procedure calls (RPCs) is used by client and server processes to communicate with one another.

    Difference Between System Architecture and Server Architecture

    System architecture is a conceptual model that specifies the structure and behavior of a system, which is the primary distinction between system architecture and software architecture. Server architecture, in contrast, is a high-level structure that specifies the responses to meet technical and business goals while maximizing the software's quality. 

    System architecture incorporates both software and hardware parts and is utilized to enable the designing of such a composite system. Server architecture, on the other hand, takes into account a variety of aspects, including human dynamics, business strategy, quality aspects, design, and IT architecture, among others. 

    Difference Between Peer-to-Peer Network and Client Server Architecture

    The primary distinction between client-server and peer-to-peer systems is that, in a client-server architecture, there are specific clients who make service requests and servers that respond to those requests, but in peer-to-peer systems, peers serve both as service providers and service consumers.

    Peer-to-peer architectureClient server architecture
    In Peer-to-peer architecture, there is no differentiation between clients and servers.Client server architecture has specific clients and servers.
    The main purpose is to maintain connections among peers.The purpose is to share information.
    Peers have the authority to request and provide a service.Data is provided only on request.
    It is best suited for fewer users, less than 10 devicesIt is ideal for both small and large networks.

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Client-server Architecture


    • The server contains all of the necessary data. As a result, it is simple to secure the data and offer authentication and authorization. 
    • It is not necessary for the server to be close to the clients. The information can still be accessed effectively. 
    • Customers have limited significance in this architecture and require less management on a level administration server. 
    • It offers service integration, which allows all of your clients to access corporate data using their terminals and removes all pointless log-in rights. 
    • Data recovery is simpler with a client-server model than it is with decentralized server models. 


    • The server could get overwhelmed if every client makes a data request at once. This could cause network congestion. 
    • None of the client's requests can be satisfied if the server malfunctions for any reason. This causes the client-server network to fail. 
    • Setting up and maintaining a system is expensive. 
    • Need a well-qualified staff to maintain the server. 

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    Through a graphical user interface, the client-server architecture enables numerous users to update a single shared database. All businesses, large and small, leverage the power of networking to expand and go digital, sell their goods, and stay current on news and happenings in their own industries. Thus, this article discusses what is client server network architecture and aids in your comprehension of how networking develops communication techniques for various organizational types. You can check out the Databases Courses from KnowledgeHut to get hands-on training on real-world skills to work with a database and launch your career in the domain.

    Client Server Architecture FAQs

    1Why do we need client/server architecture?

    Client-server networks make use of a separate computer (server) to manage resources, store data, and restrict user access. On the network, the server serves as a hub to which all other computers can connect.

    2What are client applications?

    Any program, plug-in, or other pieces of executable code that run on a user's computer is referred to as a "client application." Examples of client applications include those that offer instant messaging, games, chat, file viewing, email, file sharing, media playing, internet navigation, search, and other services. 

    3What is the difference between a client server and a web application?

    An application that operates solely within a web browser is referred to as a web application, whereas an application that runs entirely on the client side is known as a client/server application. 

    4Which course is best for cyber security?

    There is no doubt that in today's business world, cyber security and information security courses are essential. The cyber security courses from KnowledgeHut are among the best. 


    Abhresh Sugandhi


    Abhresh is specialized as a corporate trainer, He has a decade of experience in technical training blended with virtual webinars and instructor-led session created courses, tutorials, and articles for organizations. He is also the founder of Nikasio.com, which offers multiple services in technical training, project consulting, content development, etc.

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