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Host based networks vs. client server networks

Updated April 17, 2017

Host-based networks and client-server networks differ in the type of application architecture they utilise. As their names suggest, host-based networks have a host-based application architecture, while client-server networks have a client-server application architecture. Both types of networks are made up of servers and clients. Client-server networks include web browsers and e-mail clients. Host-based networks are more likely to suffer from server bottlenecks than their client-server counterparts.

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Application Programs and Application Architectures

Application programs comprise four functions: data storage, data access, program logic and presentation logic. The application architecture lays out how these four functions are distributed among the servers and the clients. A server can be a mainframe, a minicomputer, a microcomputer or a server farm. A client can be a simple terminal, a microcomputer, a workstation, a network computer or a transactional terminal.

Host-based Network

In a host-based network, the server performs all four application program functions. The client merely captures the user's keystrokes and sends them to the server. Because all processing is done by the server (or host), the server can become a bottleneck in such a network.

Client-Server Network

In a client-server network, the application program functions are divided between the server and the client. The server handles data storage, and data access. The client handles presentation logic. The program logic may be split between server and client, or assigned to one of the two.

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