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Client-Server Model

Definition - What does Client-Server Model mean?

The client-server model is a distributed communication framework of network processes among service requestors, clients and service providers. The client-server connection is established through a network or the Internet.

The client-server model is a core network computing concept also building functionality for email exchange and Web/database access. Web technologies and protocols built around the client-server model are:

  • Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
  • Domain Name System (DNS)
  • Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)
  • Telnet

Clients include Web browsers, chat applications, and email software, among others. Servers include Web, database, application, chat and email, etc.

Techopedia explains Client-Server Model

A server manages most processes and stores all data. A client requests specified data or processes. The server relays process output to the client. Clients sometimes handle processing, but require server data resources for completion.

The client-server model differs from a peer-to-peer (P2P) model where communicating systems are the client or server, each with equal status and responsibilities. The P2P model is decentralized networking. The client-server model is centralized networking.

One client-server model drawback is having too many client requests underrun a server and lead to improper functioning or total shutdown. Hackers often use such tactics to terminate specific organizational services through distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

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