Client-Server Model

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.

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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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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.