A client-server architecture/system is one where the server maintains all models of the backend datasets and business logic around taking and providing information to fulfill a service request from a client which in turn shows the representation thereof.

The client/server model has quickly grown in popularity throughout the 1990s and today serves as a favoured choice for most organisations’ (Subramanian, Lacity, 1997) operations.

There is a statement which asserts that “there are no unusual managerial issues related to the introduction of client/server systems”, however, this evaluation is not a valid one because of the change in style from the previous centralised mainframe approach that was extremely popular in yesteryears by comparison to today’s model which focuses on a more distributed and multi-machine configuration.

Infact, there are a lot of managerial issues and consequences that arise from the emergence of client/server systems and their introduction into commonplace organisational computing systems; such as:

  • The acquisition of changing development tools
  • Hidden infrastructure costs
  • The multitude of skills required by staff to design and maintain the systems in a wide variety of ever changing languages and technologies
  • Scalability concerns
  • Increased scope around security exploits
  • Multiple locations and vendors concerns around firmware patching
  • Multi zone database replication and syncing
  • Managing multiple vendor relationships (McGuire, 2000)
  • Lack of accountability (ThriveNetworks, 2011)
  • More concerns around performance of the server to guarantee network latency remains low
  • Identify attached clients and their configuration (Burkitt, n.d.)

In the abundant days of centralised mainframe systems, it was a complex time in computing, particularly as certain technical limitations were still being learnt around the best ways to design large computing systems.

However, today we have an alternative approach to systems design with client/server modelling which contrasts the straightforward process around distributed application services on any amount of machines located in any amount of locations around the world.

Albeit it that client/server systems appear more controllable and flexible, there are a multitude of obstacles that need to be focused on by highly specialised professionals.

Managerial issues remain pivotal in the complex and ever changing technological world which client/server modelling paints a favourable and controlled view towards, however, it is important to realise the many security concerns that come with the added potential of untrusted clients requesting information from a network (Tsay, 1994).

 

References

Subramanian, A., Lacity, M, C. (1997) Managing client/server implementations: today’s technology, yesterday’s lessons [Online] UMSL.edu, Available from: http://www.umsl.edu/~lacitym/lacityjit2.pdf (Accessed on 9th December 2017)

McGuire, T, J. (2000) Chapter 12: Client/Server Systems [Online] SHSU.edu, Available from: http://www.shsu.edu/~csc_tjm/summer2000/cs334/Chapter12/Chapter12.html (Accessed on 10th December 2017)

ThriveNetworks (2011) Server and Network Management Challenges and How to Overcome Them [Online] ThriveNetworks.com, Available from: https://www.thrivenetworks.com/blog/2011/11/10/server-and-network-management-challenges-and-how-to-overcome-them/ (Accessed on 10th December 2017)

Burkitt, M. (n.d.) White Paper: Thin client/server computing lets you take control [Online] ComputerWeekly.com, Available from: http://www.computerweekly.com/feature/White-Paper-Thin-client-server-computing-lets-you-take-control (Accessed on 10th December 2017)

Tsay, B. (1994) Client-server systems: opportunities and challenges [Online] CPAJournal.com, Available from: http://archives.cpajournal.com/old/16458930.htm (Accessed on 10th December 2017)

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