8 July 2001 WORK IN PROGRESS!
n important concept in Computing is the differentiation between a peer-to-peer connection and a client-server connection. With a client-server connection, servers provide services to clients, and must wait for clients to connect to these services. Typical services might be to allow the printing of documents to a shared printer, or provide access to a networked file system. A peer-to-peer architecture allows for two systems to actively seek connections, without involving a server. An example of a client-server network in human terms might be a travel agent, who will wait for customers (clients) to get in contact with them in order to book the best holiday for them. The clients contact the agents (servers) to book a holiday, who will then find the best holiday for them. A peer-to-peer network would be equivalent to someone phoning a friend (who isn't a travel agent) and asking them of the best holiday that they could get. The friend might then go and book the holiday over the Internet. This is a peer-to-peer network, as the friend does not actively seek questions on holiday arrangements, or in booking holidays.
Chapter 5, Mastering Computing, W.Buchanan, Palgrave.
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