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System Architecture & Hardware Configurations Dr. D. Bilal IS 582 Spring 2007 System Architecture Two major system architectures: Hierarchical Client/Server Hierarchical Architecture Processing and activities are controlled by the host system

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system architecture
System Architecture
  • Two major system architectures:
    • Hierarchical
    • Client/Server
hierarchical architecture
Hierarchical Architecture
  • Processing and activities are controlled by the host system
  • Remote computers connected to host system have limited functions


hierarchical architecture4
Hierarchical Architecture
  • Remote computers connected to the host system emulate “dumb” terminals in communicating with the host system.
  • “Dumb” terminals have no or limited processing capabilities.
client server architecture
Client/Server Architecture
  • Client: a user’s computer
  • Server: a dedicated computer in a network shared by multiple users
    • More than one server can exist in this architecture (e.g., database server, Web server, application server, e-mail server)
client server architecture6
Client/Server Architecture
  • A computing architecture in a LAN or WAN environment
    • Clients on network perform certain processing functions when requesting information from a server in the network
client server architecture7
Client/Server Architecture
  • TCP/IP to establish communications between clients and servers
  • Clients handle the user interface
    • screen formatting, display of results, input/output
    • make requests and send them to the application server
client server architecture8
Client/Server Architecture
  • Server searches for requested information and sends results to the client(s)
  • Server performs database management, information retrieval, transaction and processing tasks.
  • Server delivers access to files, applications, and network communications.
file server architecture
File Server Architecture
  • User requests information from a server
  • Entire database file is downloaded in the computer making the request
    • results in slow communication between the user’s computer and the server.
file server architecture10
File Server Architecture
  • Software programs are loaded onto the server only.
  • Installing updates are done in server
  • Updates take less time to install than those in client/server architecture
client server architecture11
Client/Server Architecture
  • One client may connect to one or more servers: OPAC server, T-mail server, and other servers
  • One server may connect to multiple clients concurrently.
client server architecture12
Client/Server Architecture
  • Each client that is connected in a client/server network must have part of the automation software (e.g., user interface) loaded into the computer

(hard disk) that allows it to perform certain application tasks.

client server architecture13
Client/Server Architecture
  • If all OPACs in a network must have access to the Web, all clients must have a Web browser.
  • If all clients must provide access to e-mail, they must have the e-mail client software loaded on them.
client server architecture14
Client/Server Architecture
  • Servers may be large scale computers, mid-range computers, or high speed microcomputers.
  • True client/server means that the application was originally designed to run on a network (LAN or WAN).
client s functions tasks
Client’s Functions/Tasks
  • Handles the user interface.
  • Translates the user's request into the desired protocol.
  • Sends the request to the server.
  • Wait for the server's response.
  • Present the results to the user.
server s functions tasks
Server’s Functions/Tasks
  • Receives a request/query from the client.
  • Processes the query.
  • Returns the results back to the client.
  • Client presents the results to the user.
two tier
  • Server: Processes database tasks such as search and retrieval.
  • Client: Processes application tasks.
    • A request is generated in the client and transmitted to the server.
    • The Database Management System that resides on the server searches for the desired information and transmits the results of the request to the client.
    • The client present the information to the user on the screen.
three tier
  • Used when applications are in high demand.
  • An additional server is used for application processing tasks.
  • Both the client and the additional server perform application processing tasks.
  • The other server performs the database management tasks (searching, retrieval, etc.).
types of client server thin clients
Types of Client/Server: Thin Clients
  • Computer terminals rather than desktop computers.
  • Do little or no data processing tasks.
  • Process information (input/output).
  • Used to lower PCs and Macs cost used in a network.
types of client server thin clients22
Types of Client/Server: Thin Clients
  • May be used as e-mail stations, Web access stations, and/or OPACs stations.
  • Can co-exist with thick or fat clients in a network.
client server architecture23
Client/Server Architecture
  • Benefits
    • See Bilal, 2002, pp. 33-34.
  • Disadvantages
    • See Bilal, 2002, p. 34.
  • Additional information is found at:
options for hardware configurations
Options for Hardware Configurations
  • Non-networked (a.k.a. stand-alone)
    • Advantages
    • Disadvantages
  • Difference between stand-alone hardware configuration and stand-alone software configuration.
options for hardware configurations25
Options for Hardware Configurations
  • Networked: LAN-based
    • Advantages
    • Disadvantages
  • Networked: WAN-based
    • Advantages
    • Disadvantages