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Appliance computing is a type of computing platform that provides the entire client workstation with software resources over the Internet.
Appliance computing is a hybrid cloud computing software as a service architecture that provides core software services to end users. These services are hosted online, and are accessed and executed via a Web server. The computers in this architecture are known as appliances, or thin clients, because these client workstations generally consist of only an operating system and a Web browser. This setup makes remote management easier and less expensive.
Appliance computing may also be called Internet computing architecture.
The client in appliance computing is typically is a thin, or dumb, client, with little or no processing power attached to it; it is able to access the server over the Internet and use software applications installed and hosted on that server.
An appliance computer tends to be a low-cost machine with limited functionality. Although this may make it cheaper and more efficient for business, critics argue that its lack of flexibility could become an IT management issue in the future.
Appliance computing is commonly implemented in stock exchanges where a central super computer provides appliances or software services to thousands of connected thin clients/dumb nodes.