Serving Up Clients and Servers
In This Chapter
Understanding the definition of client/server architecture
Looking at both sides of the client/server equation
Exploring how TCP/IP takes advantage of client/server computing and vice versa
Finding out how an old technology — peer-to-peer computing — became new again
Client/server solutions comprise the foundation of most TCP/IP services and applications. As you take a look at what client/server means to a network computer user, you see that TCP/IP is an excellent protocol choice for client/server computing because TCP/IP allows so many different computers and network devices to communicate as both clients and servers.
The client/server (C/S) distributed style of computing spreads computing from central data centers to desktops, laptops, handheld devices, and even cars regardless of where people are located.
Contrary to popular belief, software, not hardware, defines client/server. In the client/server game, a client application on one computer requests services from another computer running server software. The client and server software can run on any kind of hardware. Sometimes they even run on the same computer! You might even use a gigantic supercomputer running client software to request services from a tiny little PC by way of a network protocol, such as TCP/IP.
In this chapter, we discuss client/server (C/S) basic concepts, including both server side and client side software.
Understanding the Server Side