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Chapter 1. COMPUTER NETWORKING OVERVIEW > Clients and Servers: What Does It All...

Clients and Servers: What Does It All Mean?

Although a number of the PC operating systems now available (such as Windows and the Apple OS) provide for peer-to-peer networking (discussed in the next chapter), in most cases one thinks of a network as being made up of clients and servers. A client is a computer that allows a user or users to log on to the network and take advantage of the resources available on the network. A client computer will run a client operating system (such as Windows 2000 Professional or Windows Me). The purpose of the client is to get a user onto the network; therefore, client computers don't usually have the processing power, the storage space, or the memory found on a server because the client does not have to serve up resources to other computers on the network.

Tip

Because client and server computers both have processing capabilities, the workload on a PC network can be distributed between the client and the server. This differs from the centralized computing provided by mainframes and minicomputers, where the central computer provides all the processing power for the users logged on via dumb terminals.



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