Thin Client vs. Fat Client Network Design

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Thin Client vs. Fat Client & Network Design Considerations

Introduction Network computing was created in an effort to allow users of a computer application to share data more easily than using stand alone computers. Clients on a client/server network store their application data on a central server. There are two categories of clients on a network. They were originally categorized by their hardware design, but today clients are categorized by the software application design and where the bulk of the processing is done and where the bulk of the application software is stored.
A thin client, sometimes called a lean client, is a low-cost, centrally-managed computer. The term derives from the fact that small computers in networks tend
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A product made by Citrix Systems actually simulates a Microsoft Windows desktop from a thin 400KB client. The Citrix product does have server capacity problems when sending multimedia over a network, but basic word processing and accounting programs are practical over a Citrix network.
This transition has made it once again easier to operate in a centralized processing computing environment. Today further enhancements to HTML are allowing more graphic intensive applications to be created. Macromedia Flash, Shockwave, and ActiveX Controls are enhancements to HTML which are allowing for a thin client application to have dynamic graphical interfaces. Load balancing systems such as Coyote Point Systems Equalizers are allowing reliable networks with redundant servers and application load spread over multiple servers. Lower telecommunication and standard routing protocols such as BGP have allowed remote offices relying on network access to have redundant routes to the internet or central servers.
Part B
Selecting computer hardware and software for a company is an important management decision. This decision will have a direct impact on operational efficiency and competitive advantage. The most important management and organizational issue to consider is total cost of ownership. In considering a fat client or thin client network application design, managers must know what their total cost of ownership is. In many cases a thin client design has a higher up

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