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CHAPTER Major Network Functional Architectures. Chapter Objectives. Discuss the characteristics, features etc of Peer-to-peer and client-server networks Discuss the emerging concept of thin-clients Examine the network operating system in terms of the client and sever components

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Chapter major network functional architectures

CHAPTER Major Network Functional Architectures

Chapter objectives

Chapter Objectives

  • Discuss the characteristics, features etc of Peer-to-peer and client-server networks

  • Discuss the emerging concept of thin-clients

  • Examine the network operating system in terms of the client and sever components

  • Provide an overview of the desirable characteristics of the server and client hardware

Chapter modules

Chapter Modules

  • Peer-to-Peer Networks

  • Client-Server Networks

  • Server and Client Operating Systems

  • An Overview of Client and Server Hardware

Key words

Key Words

  • Peer-to-peer, client-server

  • User level security, resource level security

  • hard-resource and soft resource sharing

  • scope

    • file/folder level access control (client-server)

    • folder level access control (peer-to-peer)



Peer-to-Peer Network Architecture



  • What are the characterizing features of peer-to-peer architecture?

  • Name some application areas of peer-to-peer architecture?

  • What are the two different types of access controls that could be imposed on peer-to-peer networks? Focus on the networks that could be set up with Windows 9x and the Windows 2000 or the Windows XP Client operating systems?

Peer to peer configuration

Peer-to-Peer Configuration




  • Share and share alike among peer stations

  • Absence of a server

Characteristics of a peer to peer network

Characteristics of a Peer-to-Peer Network

  • Simple and inexpensive

  • Each user

    • Manages his or her resources on workstation

    • User is also the administrator of his or her resources

  • Multi-user applications cannot be implemented

  • Limited potential for expansion in terms of applications



  • Limited security

    • If an operating system such as Windows 9x is used for setting the peer-to-peer network

    • Uses FAT32

  • Better Security

    • If an operating system such as Windows XP is used for setting the peer-to-peer network

    • Uses NTFS

Peer to peer implementation

Peer-to-Peer Implementation

  • Any number of computers can be connected as long as they are not used for multi-user applications

    • An example of a multi-user application is the SQL database application

  • Limiting factor

    • Narrow scope of directory implementation and peripheral sharing

Peer to peer sharing

Peer-to-Peer Sharing

  • Simple sharing of resources

  • Share

    • Files

    • Printers

    • Sharing an Internet connection

    • etc.

  • Simple messaging

  • Unsuitable for multi-user business applications

  • Limited number of connections and limited sharing

Windows xp professional

Windows XP Professional

  • File and printer sharing

  • A web server could also be run on an XP client

    • However, the connection is limited to only 10 concurrent users

Limitations in windows

Limitations in Windows

  • Windows XP

    • 10 concurrent users at any time

  • Windows Home Edition

    • 5 concurrent users at any time

Peer to peer os

Peer-to-Peer OS

  • Windows 7

  • Windows Vista

  • Windows XP

  • Linux

Typical peer to peer security

Typical Peer-to-Peer Security





Workstation (Name)


Peer to peer security

Peer-to-Peer Security

  • No administrator to administer the overall security of the network resources

  • Resources are independently administered by the user on each peer computer (client)

  • No centralized control on the resources

Operating systems supporting peer to peer networking

Operating Systems Supporting Peer-to-Peer Networking

  • Nearly all the client operating systems of today support peer-to-peer networking

Operating systems supporting peer to peer networking1

Operating Systems Supporting Peer-to-Peer Networking

  • Support for peer-to-peer networking is built into the newer desktop operating systems

    • Windows 98/95/Me

    • Windows NT Workstation

    • Windows 2000 Professional

    • Windows XP Professional

    • Windows Vista

    • Windows 7

    • Ubuntu Linux (Server and Client OS)

    • Fedora Linux

    • Macintosh OS

  • A network operating system per se is not required for implementing the peer-to-peer network

Peer to peer networks

Peer-to-Peer Networks

Peer-to-Peer Networks

Windows 9X

Windows NT Workstation

Windows 2000 Professional

Windows XP Professional

Windows Vista

Share-level access


User-level access


Peer to peer networks based on windows 9x

Peer-to-Peer Networks Based on Windows 9x

  • Only share level access control is possible

    • Access to a resource such as a printer, for example, can be controlled based on passwords only and not based on user names

  • User level access control is not possible where access to the resources could be controlled based on user names

    • Each user may be given a different type of access to the resource

A note on windows nt windows 2000 and windows xp

A Note on Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP

  • It is possible to configure peer-to-peer networks with Windows NT Workstation, Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP Professional, and Windows 7

  • Such networks offer better security compared to the same configured with Windows 95/98

  • User-level access control is enforced in this case

File systems

File Systems

  • Windows

    • FAT32

    • NTFS 5.0

  • Linux

    • .ext2

  • Mac OS

    • HFS – older version

    • HFS+ - Later version

Advanced peer to peer networks windows 2000 xp based

Advanced Peer-to-Peer Networks(Windows 2000/XP Based)





Workstation (User)


Peer to peer sharing of hard and soft resources an example

Peer-to-Peer Sharing of Hard and Soft Resources: An Example






by accessing

at location or

copying to

local station

Workstation (Name)

Share by attaching as a

logical printer to local



End of module





Network Architecture

A typical client server physical architecture

A Typical Client-Server Physical Architecture



File Server

Application Server

Thin-client Server



Note: This is simply a physical client-server architecture.

Logical client server application architectures

Logical Client-Server Application Architectures

  • File server

  • Application server

  • Thin-client

Network servers

Network Servers

  • Basic network operating system

  • DNS server

  • DHCP server etc.

Client server network architecture and applications

Client-Server Network Architecture and Applications

  • The presence of a client-server physical network architecture does not necessarily imply that client-server applications are running on the network

  • Distinguishing between client-server physical network architecture and client-server applications is important

  • A client-server network physical architecture is required to support client-server applications

Client server access control

Client-Server Access Control

  • Possible to exercise control at the user level

  • Access control can be imposed based on user names

  • Different levels of access can be given to different users

    • Read and Write

    • Read Only etc.

Client server access control on a folder

Client Server Access Control On a Folder


User1 R & W

User2 R







Client server characteristics

Client-Server Characteristics

  • One or more servers are present

  • Server is the lifeline of the network

  • The server is optimized for performance

  • Higher level of security

    • User level and share level access control

    • Login password, station restrictions etc.

  • Architecture of choice for most business applications

The scope

The Scope

  • Networks based on powerful client-server operating systems can support a large number of users and workstations

  • Very large networks can be configured by linking smaller client-server network segments together

    • Active Directory based networks

      • Windows 2003 Server

Client server network application architecture

Client-Server Network Application Architecture

  • File Server

  • Application server

  • Thin-Client

Functional architectures

Functional Architectures

Functional Architectures




Access Control

File Server


User Level

Access Control

Application Server

Physical and application architectures

Physical and Application Architectures


File Server

Application Server

Thin-client Server




Factors used in the comparison of architectures

Factors Used in the Comparison of Architectures

  • Place of execution for application

  • Network traffic implications

  • TCO

  • Enforcing security

  • Software requirements

    • Server side

    • Client side

End of module1




File Server Networks

File server and application servers

File Server and Application Servers

  • File server is the simplest architecture

  • Application server is the more advanced architecture

    • Forms the core of the implementation of the client server technology

  • Thin-client is also an advanced architecture

Questions to be asked

Questions to be Asked

  • Place of execution for application

  • Network traffic implications

  • TCO

  • Enforcing security

  • Software requirements

    • Server side

    • Client side

Functional features of a file server running a database

Functional Features of a File Server Running a Database

Depository of shared data, shared applications etc.


Data files and application files


Database search is performed on the client

Processing of data data takes place at the client

Word execution alternatives

Word Execution Alternatives



Microsoft Word stored

on logical hard disk

(Shared application)

Microsoft Word stored

on local hard disk

(Dedicated application)

File server in a nut shell

File Server in a Nut Shell

  • The file server basically operates as one large shared storage space for the clients

  • Any client with the permission to access the resources on the file server can share folders etc. on the file server

  • In effect, the file server functions as a logical disk (network drive) as far as the client is concerned

    • Compared to a local disk, the difference is that the logical disk can be shared by other clients as well

The logical drive concept

The Logical Drive Concept

Physically present

on the client

Shared storage

from the server


Drive c:

Logical or


Drive f:

Client Station

Logical drive is physically located at the server.

File server characteristics

File Server Characteristics

  • Shared data is stored on the server and brought to the client for processing

  • Shared application software are also stored on the server

  • Entire execution takes place at the client

  • Consequently, considerable network traffic is generated as the files are ported to the client for processing

    • Application server networks overcome this drawback by executing part of the application on the server

Some file server concerns

Some File Server Concerns

  • Powerful clients are necessary as the execution takes place at the client

    • Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is high

  • More network traffic is generated

File server features

File Server Features

  • Advantage

    • Easy to set up

  • Disadvantage

    • Higher network traffic

    • Higher TCO

End of module2




Application Servers and the

Client-Server Technology

A note

A Note

  • Presence of a physical client-server network architecture does not necessarily imply the presence of applications running based on the client-server technology

Client server network and technology

Client-Server Network and Technology

  • Client-Server Network

    • Physical architecture of a network

  • Client-Server Technology

    • Logical implementation of the technology for running applications

    • Presence of an application server is required to indicate that the client-server technology is in operation

Functional features of an application server

Functional Features of an Application Server

Shared Data and Database Engine




for data




and shared





Software examples of the components of client server technology

Software Examples of the Components of Client-Server Technology

  • Database engine

    • Microsoft SQL server

  • Front-end tool

    • Microsoft Office suite

Network traffic in application server networks

Network Traffic in Application Server Networks

Database data


Request for data, not for the entire file

Requested data only


Retrieved data can be processed by an

front end tool such as Excel

Retrieved Data

Advantages of client server technology

Advantages of Client-Server Technology

  • Reduction in network traffic

    • Only the requested data and not the entire data file is transmitted over the network

  • Data can be better administered and controlled

    • Located on a centralized server and processed on the server itself

Application server characteristics

Application Server Characteristics

  • Server

    • Network operating system

    • Data and database engine

    • Data search is performed at the server by the database engine resulting in a reduction in the network traffic

    • Better control is exercised on the centralized data

  • Client

    • Front-end software formulates the query

    • Process and manipulate the data retrieved

Some application server issues

Some Application Server Issues

  • Because Front-End software is still executed on the client, powerful clients are still required

    • Total Cost of Operation (TCO) is still high

End of module3




Terminal Server and the Thin-Client Concept

A note1

A Note

  • Terminal server is not synonymous with thin-client

    • Microsoft’s implementation is terminal server

  • There are other implementations of the thin-client concept as well

    • Sun Microsystems implementation (Network Computer ??? Java Machine ??)

General implementation architectures

General Implementation Architectures

  • Network PC (NetPC)

  • Network Computer

  • Task:

    • Perform an Internet search to study the difference between the two types of implementations



  • Industry specification for thin-client computing

  • Typical use is for OLTP

  • Basic bare minimum terminal that would access a powerful thin-client server

    • It is also known as server based computing

  • Access Dell and find the properties of a thin-client

Network computer

Network Computer

  • Proposed by Oracle and Sun

  • No CD-ROM players, diskette drives, and expansion slots,

  • Managed centrally

  • Likely to be based on a non-Intel microprocessor

  • Unlike Windows, this may be based on a Java based operating system

Terminal server and remote execution software

Terminal Server and Remote Execution Software

  • PCAnywhere

    • This is not a terminal server application

    • It is a remote execution software

Thin client architecture

Thin-Client Architecture

  • Presence of a thin-client server is often required

  • A server that supports the thin-client architecture

Operation of an thin client server

Operation of an Thin-Client Server

Shared Data and Database Engine



Keystrokes and mouse clicks

Screen images




Commercial examples

Commercial Examples

  • Microsoft Terminal Server

  • Citrix MetaFrame


    • Explore Sun’s thin-client solution

Web research

Web Research

  • Explain the features of the following two thin client implementations

    • Network Computer

    • NetPC

  • Visit and obtain information about Compaq’s thin client offerings

  • Visit and obtain an exploratory information on Citrix’s implementation of thin-clients also know as Metaframe

Key words1

Key Words

  • Embedded OS

  • Application Service Providers

  • Virtual Private Network

Multiple architectural configurations

Multiple Architectural Configurations

NFS File Server

SQL Database Engine

Unix Machine

File Server

Application Server

Terminal Server

End of module4




Client Server Technology

Basis for client server technology

Basis for Client-Server Technology

  • Client-server networks

  • Application servers

  • Information storage and retrieval is at the server

  • Manipulation of the retrieved information is at the client

Client server advantages

Client-Server Advantages

  • Centralized administration and control

  • Better security

  • Powerful network operating system

  • Support for Internet and Intranet

Client server scope

Client-Server Scope

  • Large number of users

    • As per network OS License

  • Large number of servers and clients

  • Larger networks can be supported

    • Clustering and linking or workstations



  • Centralized and powerful

  • User and share level access control

  • Login password

  • Station and time restrictions

  • etc.

Client server reliability

Client-Server Reliability







Different levels of RAID implementation are available

to ensure reliability.

End of module5




Server and Client Hardware

Server hardware

Server Hardware

  • Powerful hardware should be used

    • Because it is engaged in multitasking

    • Largely limited by the scale of economy

  • Hardware changes rapidly

  • It is not possible to give specific examples as to the exact type hardware that should be used

Guideline for server cpu

Guideline for Server: CPU

  • Highest speed at the time of implementation

  • Consider using a server with multiple processors

Guide for server memory

Guide for Server: Memory

  • 1G Bytes –16G Bytes is not unusual

  • Higher memory is recommend

  • Better memory technology

    • SDRAM, RDRAM, DDR, DDR2 RAM etc.

  • Higher front-side bus speed

    • newer computers operate at a speed of 800 M HZ

    • There are newer memory chips that support this bus speed as well

Guideline for server storage

Guideline for Server: Storage

  • Require storage in Gigabytes

  • Use a faster and better storage technology

    • ATA/66,100,133

    • Serial ATA

    • SCSI 1, 2 and 3

    • SCSI 3 operates at 160M Bytes per second

  • Cutting edge of storage technology

    • Fiber channel storage

Raid storage

RAID Storage

  • Multiple disk arrays for fault tolerance

Storage area network san

Storage Area Network (SAN)

  • Storage Area Network

    • Built on fiber channel

Advantage of fiber channel technology

Advantage of Fiber Channel Technology

  • Operates at a speed of 200M Bps

  • Storage bus can span several miles

  • A large number of storage devices can be clustered together

    • Possible to support terabytes of storage

Client hardware

Client Hardware

  • Rule of thumb

    • As powerful as a single user microcomputer required to run the applications

  • Reason

    • A number of applications are still executed at the workstation

  • Exception

    • Thin clients

      • Terminals supported by the Windows Terminal Server

A guideline for choosing client hardware

A Guideline for Choosing Client Hardware

  • Largely determined by the client operating system and the network applications

  • Example: Windows XP, Windows Vista

    • Choose the hardware to satisfy Windows XP requirements on a single desktop

  • Exception is a thin client

    • Network PC

    • Network Computer based on a Java oriented network architecture

Microsoft intel hardware specifications

Microsoft-Intel Hardware Specifications

  • Released on a yearly basis

  • Combined effort between Microsoft and Intel

  • Sample specifications for a particular year

    • Access Microsoft’s website

Web research1

Web Research

  • Visit a server vendor such as and obtain the special features of a server

    • RAID storage

    • Hot-swappable components

    • I/O technology

    • UPS

In summary

In Summary

  • In a file server or client-server environment:

    • the client must be powerful to run the client OS and the associated applications

  • In a thin client environment:

    • CPU, memory and the hard disk storage space could be kept to a minimum

End of module6




Practical Network Operating Systems

Overview of operating systems in a network

Overview of Operating Systems in a Network

  • Basic network operating system

    • Windows 2008

    • Windows 2003 Server R2

    • Windows 2003 Server

    • Windows 2000 Server

    • Windows NT Server

    • Mac OS

    • Linux

  • Client operating system

    • Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000 Professional, Windows ME, Windows 95/98, Windows NT Workstation, Linux etc.

Examples of basic network operating system

Examples of Basic Network Operating System

  • Windows 2008

    • Replacement for Windows 2003 Server

  • Windows 2003 Server

    • Replacement for Windows 2000 Server

  • Windows 2000 Server

    • Successor to Windows NT

Network operating systems continued

Network Operating Systems (Continued)

  • Novell NetWare

    • Still a popular OS

    • Market share is being eroded by the Windows NT Server operating system

  • OS/2

    • Released by IBM

  • Unix/ Linux

    • A true multi-user operating system

Observations on practical operating systems

Observations on Practical Operating Systems

  • Most popular current NOS is Windows 2003/2000

    • Outsells both Unix and Novell

  • Supports the hosting of specialized server operating systems

  • Unix, however, has been popular for a considerable period of time mainly on mini and mainframe computers

    • By way of Linux, it is now emerging as a viable networking operating system for the microcomputer as well

End of module7





Unix the multi user operating system

UNIX the Multi-user Operating System

  • A popular operating system

  • Not considered as a classical network operating system

  • Difference is in the method of execution of the applications

Execution process in a true unix environment

Execution Process in a True Unix Environment

Shared spreadsheet data

Spreadsheet software (Excel)



Shared data and execution

Input (information) from the terminal


Output (results) to the terminal



Display and input of data

Comparison with file server and execution server environment

Comparison with File Server and Execution Server Environment

  • File server

    • Entire execution takes place at the client

  • Application server

    • Execution is shared between the server and the client

  • True Unix operating environment

    • Entire execution takes place at the central unit



  • Clients need not be powerful

    • They operate only as a terminal

  • Operation and data are confined to a central unit

    • Entire computer system can be managed at a lower cost

  • Central storage and execution is gaining popularity

    • Microsoft Terminal Server

Unix as a file server

Unix as a File Server

Storage device

Unix File




Windows NT





Linux as a file server

Linux as a File Server

Storage device

Linux with





Windows NT




Difference between the two implementations of unix

Difference Between the Two Implementations of Unix

  • True Unix implementation

    • Execution of the application takes place on the (Unix) server

    • Shared data is also stored on the server

  • Unix as a file server

    • Only the shared data is stored on the Unix server

    • Execution of the application is performed on the workstations (Clients)

Popular unix implementations

Popular Unix Implementations

  • SCO Unix

  • Red Hat Linux

  • AIX

  • Mac OS 10

Sco unix

SCO Unix

  • Popular implementation of Unix on LANs

    • Especially on the Ethernet network

  • Supports the implementation of a true multi-user Unix environment

  • Could also be used to configure a Unix file server



  • Released as a shareware

  • Refined by many commercial companies

    • Linux is available as a professional network operating system

  • Available at a very low price

  • For example: Apache web server is often hosted on Linux

  • Apache is also a shareware

Popular linux implementations

Popular Linux Implementations

  • Ubuntu Linux

  • Red Hat

  • Mandrake

  • Corel

  • Open Systems (Caldera)

  • SuSe

Chapter major network functional architectures


  • IBM’s version of Unix

  • Often implemented on IBM’s RS 6000 series of computers

  • RS 6000

    • Designed for Unix

    • In power, on par with mini computers

Processor types and unix

Processor Types and UNIX

  • Processor type

    • Reduced Instruction Set Computers (RISC)

    • Complex Instruction Set Computers (CISC)

  • UNIX

    • Usually implemented on RISC processor

  • Linux

    • If not the only UNIX version optimized for non-RISC processors

    • An example in this case is Intel based machine where Intel cannot be classified as a RISC processor

Unix implementations

UNIX Implementations

  • Sun – Sun Solaris

  • IBM RS 6000 – AIX

  • Intel PCs - Linux

  • Mac - Mac OS 10

    • A version of Unix based on the BSD version?



  • Unix is also implemented on mini and mainframe computers as well

End of module8




Practical Server Types

Functional servers

Functional Servers

  • Example:

    • Web server

  • Purpose of a a web server

    • Host a web site

Some server types

Some Server Types













Implementation of file server

Implementation of File Server

  • Basic network operating system

  • This could well be the Windows NT Server operating system

Implementation of specialized servers

Implementation of Specialized Servers

  • Requires additional server software

  • Application server

    • SQL server

    • Basic network operating system

  • Web server

    • Internet Information server

    • Basic network operating system

  • Messaging server

    • Exchange server

    • Basic network operating system software

Implementation of two different specialized servers

Implementation of Two Different Specialized Servers

SQL Server

Basic Operating System




Basic Operating System

Messaging Server

Specialized server implementation on a single physical server

Specialized Server Implementation on a Single Physical Server

Messaging Server

Specialized Servers

SQL Server

Basic Network

Operating System

Basic Network

Operating System


Hosting of two servers example

Hosting of Two Servers Example

SQL Server

Specialized Servers

Web Server

Basic Network

Operating System

Basic Network

Operating System


Factors deciding the hosting of servers

Factors Deciding the Hosting of Servers

  • Load on the server

  • Types of applications hosted on the server

Web research2

Web Research

  • Visit to obtain more information on the different types of servers and their functions

  • Storage Area Network


End of module9




Practical Specialized Server Operating Systems

Specialized server types

Specialized Server Types

  • Web server

    • Microsoft Internet Information Server

    • Lotus Domino Server

    • Apache Server

  • Messaging server

    • Microsoft Exchange Server

    • Lotus Notes Server

  • Database server

    • Microsoft SQL Server

    • Oracle SQL Server

Other specialized server operating systems

Other Specialized Server Operating Systems

  • Mainframe Gateway Server

    • Microsoft SNA server

  • Network Management Server

    • Microsoft System Management Server

    • Client management is an important aspect

  • Firewall Servers

    • Microsoft Proxy Server

    • Prevent unauthorized access from either direction

Internet e commerce related server operating systems

Internet e-commerce Related Server Operating Systems

  • Internet Commerce Server

    • Microsoft Merchant Server

  • Transaction and Load Balancing Server

    • Microsoft Transaction Server

  • Suite of Servers

    • Microsoft Site Server

End of module10


Example of an actual implementation of the different servers

Example of an Actual Implementation of the Different Servers

Application Server

Basic Operating System




Basic Operating System

Messaging Server

File and printer servers

File and Printer Servers








In most cases, File Servers also act as Print Servers.

Servers and services within windows 2000

Servers and Services within Windows 2000

  • File Server

  • Print Server

  • Application Server

  • WWW Server

  • Media Server etc.

End of module end of chapter


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