Most current networks have what is known as 'thick clients'. These are the nodes attached to the network (mainly PC's), and they are called 'thick', (as opposed to 'thin') because they have their own processor, memory and storage devices.
However, a recent article suggests that networks could be better by the use of 'thin clients'. This is where the users just have a dumb terminal with no memory, processing power, storage etc. for use with multi user operating systems.
There are many advantages and disadvantages in both methods.
The advantages to be gained by using thin clients include; -
*Improved security as there is no removable media at each workstation.
*Licenses can be controlled better.
*It is easy to backup data from central storage media.
*For mobile clients you can use narrower bandwidth for transmission which results in cheaper equipment, as not as much data needs to be transferred around the network as with 'thick' clients.
*Wireless transmission would be faster, - again because less bandwidth is needed.
*Cheaper running costs as it is cheaper to upgrade the software, you need less technical staff, who can be centralised, and you can use old hardware instead of being forced by the software or supplier to upgrade.
The main disadvantages are; -
*When the central server/controller goes down, nothing works and so no work gets done.
*Initial costs are high as maximum processing power, memory and storage are needed for the server.
*You also may need to pay for more licenses than needed.
The advantages to be gained by using thick clients include; -
*If the server breaks down then clients can still work.
*Data can be saved locally.
*Users can use their own removable media at and personalise each workstation.
*Server requirements are less as lass physical storage is...