7 Tips From Semalt On How To Design Your Server Architecture

Server architecture is the foundational layout or the model of any server. It determines how the server is created and deployed. When different components come together to make a server, there needs to be a design, and these components ultimately determine the service it ends up providing. 

What Are Web Servers? 

Servers are computer systems that provide data to other computers. These computers may serve data to systems on a local area network or a wide area network.

Server architecture primarily helps in designing and evaluating the server and the operations it has been designed to perform. This also includes evaluating the services it is meant to provide in whole before it is being deployed. Some of the features to look out for includes but isn't limited to:
  • The physical capacity of the server 
  • The installed component of a server 
  • Types and layers of applications and operating systems 
  • Authentication and its security mechanism 
  • Networking and its other communication interface with other applications and services. 
Before we jump into discussing the various components of a server, let's look at some of the applications that servers can handle. These services include: 
  • Webserver 
  • Database access
  • Transaction processing system
  • Decision support systems 
  • Distributed file services
  • High-performance computing 
All these are important applications of servers; however, we will be focusing on the web servers, considering that you are most likely reading this article. 

The internet has many uses, and we've made several attempts to characterize these uses. However, we can draw two main conclusions on the two main categories of web users, namely:
  • The document server providers: These servers provide research and navigation capabilities. Some examples are search engines. 
  • Transactional servers: these servers are used in handling commercial tasks such common in e-commerce websites, order follow-ups, and invoices.
These categories aren't exclusive, and most times, users depend on both of them to fully perform tasks on the internet. For example, if a user is searching for online stores to buy certain products, they will first have to make use of search engines. By doing this, they have used the document saving aspect of servers before they find and place orders which is the transactional aspects of servers. A dated study which six sites and although it is old, it shares some important data such as:
  • The hit rate for a server is about 88% 
  • The average size of the transfer is below 21kb. 
  • The speed of accessing data decreases as its size increases 
  • There is the locality of reference. 
  • There is a locality in the source of the request. 
  • About half the files are requested more than once by the customer.
As it is clear from the data given above, internet traffic and servers' activities aren't straightforward. This isn't because human beings who use the internet aren't straightforward either. 

Client-Server Architecture 

Servers do not act on their own but wait for requests to arrive from clients' computers before responding. Ideally, servers provide standardized and a transparent interface for clients so that they wouldn't need to be aware of the specifics of the system (we mean the hardware and software components) this way; clients wouldn't have to worry about what does what. Instead, they just send requests and get the desired results. Considering that clients or users may be at their work stations or in a hurry, servers need to be located at optimum locations and on powerful machines. This ensures that they get their results as quickly as possible. 

For example, in-hospital data processing, a doctor's computer can be running an application program on the intranet where a patient's record is inputted. The server computer is running another program that manages the database where this information is permanently stored. Because this server is dedicated to the hospital, many doctors, nurses, and residents can simultaneously access the server's information. 

Why Use A Client-Server Architecture

Gone are the days when the printed paper was the most efficient way of storing or recording information. Today, we live in an era where technology plays a critical role in business applications. Businesses now consider having websites a necessity in their survival, and they are willing to invest highly in getting the most out of their websites. This is one reason a company like Semalt is so important. With the whole world racing to achieve online dominance, you need professionals whose jobs are to do just that in unique ways. By having an online presence, organizations sustain their market position by reengineering their organizational structures and business practices to make their business goals a reality. Change is inevitable!!! 

In short, it's a basic need to evolve with the change of technological aspects. Therefore organizations should undergo a mechanism to retrieve and process their corporate data to make business procedures more efficient to excel or survive in the global market. The client/server model is a way to bring out a logical perspective of a distributed corporative processing system where a server handles and processes all the client requests. It can also be viewed as a leap into the future in the data processing industry. 

Client/server computing can be used as the most effective source of tools that empower employees with authority and responsibility. Client/ server computing is also in desperate needs in areas such as workstation power, workgroup empowerment, preservation of existing investments, remote network management, and market-driven businesses. 

Client/server computing has a vast progression in the computer industry, and it leaves no area or corner untouched. Typically, we would require hybrid skills to develop client/server applications, including database design, transaction processing, communication skills, graphical user interface design, and development, etc. We make use of advanced applications, which means we will need advanced expertise for distributed objects and component infrastructures. The most common client/server strategy today is PC LAN implementation optimized for the usage of certain groups and batches. This has given a threshold to many new distributed enterprises because you can say it eliminates host-centric computing.

Characteristics Of A Client-Server Architecture

  • Different amounts of hardware and software will be needed depending on the Client and server machines.
  • You may have situations where the client and server machines may belong to different vendors.
  • There can be an increase in the client machines and the migration to a more powerful server or a multi-server solution.
  • Clients or their server application interacts directly with a transport layer protocol. That is used to establish communication and to send or receive information between the client and the server.
  • Lower layer protocols are then used to send or receive individual messages. Therefore, a computer needs a complete stack of protocols to function optimally. 

Three-tier Client-Server Architecture

The traditional client/server architecture has two levels, namely the client level and the server level. Client/server systems also sue these three their designs:
  • A client that interacts with the user
  • An application server which contains the business logic of an application
  • A resource manager that stores data

Client-Server Vs. Peer To Peer 

One main distinguishing factor between the client-server architecture and peer-to-peer systems is that the client-server architecture is designated to clients that request services and servers that provide services. In the peer to peer systems, on the other hand, peers act as both service providers and service consumers. 

The client-server system, there is a dedicated file server which provides a level of access to the clients, providing better security than peer to peer systems where security is solely handled by the end-users. 

In a distributed architecture, we use one or more dedicated machines as our servers, while the other machines are used as clients where they can communicate through the server. 

Simply put, Client issues request to a server, and the server replies or performs some service.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of The Client-Server Architecture

Organizations often seek opportunities to maintain service and quality to maintain their status or improve their status in the market. One way to achieve this is with the help of technology, which is the client/server model making all the difference. Using a client/server computing server in an organization has proven to positively increase productivity thanks to its cost-effective user interfaces, enhanced data storage, vast connectivity, and reliable application services. When implemented properly, it's capable of improving organizational behavior with the help of professionals who can manipulate data and respond to the errors appropriately.

Other advantages include:
  • Improved Data Sharing
  • Integration of Services
  • Shared Resources amongst Different Platforms
  • Inter-Operation of Data
  • Data Processing capability despite the location
  • Easy maintenance
  • Security
Thanks to Semalt, our clients do not need to learn the intricate details of their server structure. With our web management services, we can identify problems affecting your website and provide professional counsel on how to resolve them. Visit our website today and get answers to any question you might have on how to improve your website and get it on the first page of SERP. Our team is willing to hear you out and evaluate your website. Visit us today and set your website on the path to greatness.