Computer Network Architecture

Computer Network Architecture: Computer network architecture is a design in which all the computers are organized in a computer network. The architecture defines how computers must communicate with each other to obtain maximum benefits from a computer network, such as better response time, security, scalability, transfer data rate, connectivity, etc.

There are two most popular computer network architectures used.

  1. Peer to Peer Network
  2. Client-server Network

Peer to Peer Network

In a peer-to-peer network, each computer acts as its client and server, i.e., it can perform both requests and responses. A Peer-To-Peer network has no dedicated servers, but all computers act as a server for the data stored in them.

Peer to Peer network is a network to which all computers are used the same resources and rights as other computers. Its network designed primarily for the small local area.

The following Figure depicts a Peer-to-Peer Network, with each computer network acting as both client and server.

Computer Network Architecture

Advantages of Peer to Peer Network

  1. Less Costly: There are no dedicated servers, so the network is cost efficient.
  2. Simple Setup & Maintain: It is simple to set up and maintain.
  3. A network administrator is not required.

Disadvantages of Peer to Peer Network

  1. Security is another problem on this network because malware can easily be transmitted through the network.
  2. It usually doesn't work well with more than "10" users.
  3. We can’t access the shared data once the computer crashes or automatically turns off.

Client-server Network

In a Client-Server Network, one central computer act as a hub that is known as a server, and all other computers are known as a client. A Client-Server network has a dedicated server providers. All shared data is stored in the server, which is shared with the client computer when the client computer makes a request. The server is responsible for managing all data, such as files, directories, printers, etc. All clients connect via a server.

The following Figure depicts a Client-Server Network.

Computer Network Architecture

Advantages of Client-Server Network

  1. Security in a client-server network is better because a server manages shared resources.
  2. The client-server network improves the overall performance of the system with the help of a dedicated server.
  3. Data backup is secure, as every computer does not need to manage the backup.

Disadvantages of Client-server Network

  1. The entire network is down in case of server failure.
  2. It difficult to set up and maintain.
  3. The client-server network is costly, as it requires a large memory server.


Difference Between Peer to Peer network and Client-Server network?

Peer to Peer networkClient-Server network
It is used in small networks with less than "10" computers.  It usually used on both small and large networks.  
In Peer-to-Peer Network, each computer is used to store its own data.  A centralized server is used to store data in a Client-Server network.  
A Peer-To-Peer network is cheaper than a Client-Server network.  A Client-Server network is more expensive than a Peer to Peer network.  
A Peer-To-Peer network is less stable and secure than Client-Server.A client-server network is more stable and secure than Peer-To-Peer.
Peer to Peer doesn't need a server.A powerful computer that acts as a server.