Single- and dual-processor servers - GLOSSARY

Client: Effectively the same as client process. Because
powerful PCs are so cheap, the trend is to increase the size and power of clients, moving
more processing tasks to the desktop.


Client process: A program that communicates with a
server and instructs it to perform an operation such as search a database or print a
document.


Intranets: A simple way to connect separate networks
through standard Internet protocols and tools such as Web browsers.


Middleware: The category includes programs such as
network operating systems and communications protocols, which should be transparent to end
users and visible only to the network manager. Application software performs end user
tasks.


Network operating system: Software that connects
network computers by providing routing, messaging, file and print services as well as
handling overall network management tasks.


Server process: The software that directs some part of
the network to perform the task requested by a client.


Thin client: An Oracle Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc.
concept of using either Java-based clients running on network computer (NCs), which are
essentially under-powered PCs, or on standard PCs with Java software. Because powerful
Pentium PCs with lots of memory and large hard drives cost only a few hundred dollars more
than network computers, most of the steam has gone out of the NC movement.


Three-tier architecture: The client-server network
configuration used in most large installations. The only way to maintain good performance
is by having one or more subservers manage network traffic between the main servers and
end users. Three-tier architecture is essential when connecting a new PC client-server
network to a legacy mainframe, for instance.

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