Moving to a Client Server Based Network

Many smaller businesses tend to have a limited understanding of the difference between peer to peer networking and making the leap to a proper client server network. Over the last few months, Microsoft has upgraded its operating systems and applications for servers, notably Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and brining out Service Pack 1 for Exchange Server 2007. In doing so, they have brought out a very powerful, co-ordinated product offering for organisations from small businesses to the largest corporation.

This can provide some of the advantages in time saving and efficiency to small businesses that have, hitherto, only been accessible to larger organisations.

Windows Server 2008

When you put a server in place, you need an operating system specifically designed to operate in a client sever environment, hence Windows Server 2008.

One of the main advantages that this gives, is in security. The new technologies in Windows Server 2008 help prevent unauthorized connections to your networks, servers, data, and user accounts. Any computer that attempts to access you network runs into Network Access Protection (NAP) which makes sure that they comply with your organization’s security policy. As importantly, BitLocker Drive Encryption gives greater protection against data theft in the event that server hardware is lost or stolen, as well as providing more secure data deletion when your servers are eventually decommissioned.

The Server Manager provides a single console that simplifies server set up , configuration and management as well as allowing administrators to automate routine tasks over multiple servers.

If your business relies on remote workers, has satellite shops or offices, or needs to provide access to company data for sales representatives, Terminal Services RemoteApp provides this. Authorised staff can easily access standard Windows-based programs from anywhere by running them on a terminal server instead of directly on a client computer – without the need for a complicated virtual private network (VPN).

Sharepoint, which comes with Windows Server 2008, provides the ability to share applications like Excel spreadsheets, which can be accessed and updated by staff, whether in the office or remotely. It provides a focal point for company and or team activity which can really boost productivity by having one set of documents that every one can access and update directly.

Exchange Server 2007 SP1

MIcrosofts Exchange Server 2007 is another invaluable aid to keeping everyone up to date and coordinated. It provides e-mail messaging, calendar organisation and unified messaging. It provides built in protection against spam and malware attacks with an integrated, IP based block-and-allow list based on sender reputation and are automatically updated. Administrators can also create additional IP allow-or-deny lists if necessary.

The Calendar Attendant helps to reduce conflicting appointments by limiting calendar items (request, declines, accepts) in the inbox to the latest version. It also shows meeting requests as tentative on individual calendars until all the people invited to attend the meeting reply.

In addition to Exchange Management Shell, the Public Folder Management Console lets administrators quickly manage public folders, including creation, deletion, and the replication configuration of individual folders.

SQL Server 2008

Of course, one of the great strengths, and main reasons for having a proper server based network is providing access to a common database for a number of concurrent users. Whether this is to control information , such as stock movements or provide information for customers from an e-commerce website, SQL Server 2008 delivers integrated services that let you query, search, synchronize, report and analyze data. Furthermore, as it is stored in an organisation’s server and accessed by desktops and mobile devices, it can be simultaneously updated and queried without having to manage replication issues.

The reporting engine in SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services allows you to integrate and report on data from a number of functions within the company. Large and complex reports can be produced in various formats, including list, chart, table, and matrix. They can incorporate data from Oracle, SQL Server, DB2 and many other sources and then you can preview, print and publish the reports with the integral report builder. You can also export it easily to Office 2007 products such as Excel to manipulate it into “what if” scenarios or Word for presentations and reports.

Conclusion

Every business has its own, individual, problems and what would be a critical benefit for one company, would be irrelevant to another, so it is not possible to cover all the features and benefits that might be relevant to all businesses. Suffice it to say, that, if you run a small to medium sized business, it would be worth examining the advantages that you might experience by moving to a proper client server network.

N-Tier Client Server Architecture: An Overview

N-tier architecture is an application structure wherein the work for the servers (service- providers) and clients (service requesters) are separated to ease developers in developing web applications. The structure includes a number of levels arranged one upon another and each level is allocated for a distinct set of tasks. Also known as multi-tier architecture, this client-server architecture includes separate sections for presentation, application processing and data management processes.

It is often seen that both clients and servers undergo communication over a common computer network but by using separate hardware. The computing system of the service providers (server) host a number of programs to be shared with the clients. On the contrary, a client may not share any of its personal resources with the server machine and instead, may send incoming request for services from the server. Here lies the use of N-tier client-server architecture which lays down a model for web developers to create customized web applications as per the specific business requirements.

A major benefit of using N-tier architecture is that web developers can easily separate the applications into multiple tiers and can modify them rather than rewriting the entire application. Furthermore, the applications are loosely connected with each other and changes made in one application do not hamper performance of others.

Generally, web application developers use 3-tier application, which includes a programming tier, a logic tier and a data tier. The user interface programming tier translates task to help user easily understand the information related to services. This topmost level of the application structure interacts with other tiers by providing results to all other tiers in the computing network. The logic tier controls the functioning of the application by processing commands, evaluating and calculating specific data. The information from programming layer is later stored in the database servers of the data tier. The stored information is then transferred back to the logic tier for further processing and ultimately to the user’s computer system.

Web applications meant for e-commerce websites are popular examples of N-tier client-server architecture. If you want to have web-application created out of using N-tier application program, then you can seek assistance from software development companies. There are a few software development companies which have skilled engineers to provide flawless combination of various layers for N-tier client-server architecture. You can also hire some offshore web developers who are experienced in handling database including Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL and MS Access.

So, spare out some time to find reliable software development companies and hire web developers to get web applications created out of N-tier client-server architecture.

Categories of Server

In the client/server architecture, the back-end server manages the data resource; it stores, retrieves, and protects data. The server reviews the data requests and, if necessary, generates and sends data requests for other servers. The concept of server developed as organizations needed to share expensive peripherals, such as laser printers, CD-ROM readers, and FAX machines.

The six types of servers are:

1. File
2. Application
3. Data
4. Compute
5. Database

File Server:

File servers manage a work group’s applications and data files, so that they may be shared by the group. They pull large amounts of data off their storage subsystems and pass the data over the network. When data from the file is requested, a file server transmits all records of a file and entire index to the client. The client either selects records (based on query criteria) as they are received or loads the whole file and its index into memory, then reviews it. File servers require many slots for network connections and a large-capacity, fast hard disk subsystem.

Application Server:

An application server is a machine that serves as a host replacement. When applications are downsized from a host, one option is to install the applications on a smaller machine that runs the same software and hook all the users to the new box. This process requires no modifications to the host-based application software. For client/server applications that are classified as host-based, the host is the server to the GUI-based clients.

Data Server:

A data server is data-oriented and used only for data storage and management. A data server is used in conjunction with a compute server and may be used by more than one compute server. A data server does not perform any application logic processing. The processing done on a data server is rule-based procedures, such as data validation, required as part of the data management function.

Compute Server

It passes client requests for data to a data server and forwards the results of those requests to clients. Compute servers may perform application logic on the results of the data requests before forwarding data to the client. Compute servers require processors with high performance capabilities and large amounts of memory but relatively low disk-subsystem capacity and throughput.

Database Server:

This is the most typical use of server technology in client/server applications. Most, if not all, of the application is run on the client. The database server accepts requests for data, retrieves the data from its database, and passes the results of the request back to the client. Compute server s working with data servers provide the same functionality.