Mainframes

  • An extremely large, powerful computer
  • Capable of processing thousands of transactions a second
  • Can store terabytes of information on the mainframe
  • Usually used to support extremely large amounts of users

Client Servers

  • Distributed system with both client and server software
  • Client sends requests to the server
  • Server processes requests from many clients at once
  • For example, clients can be web browsers
    • The browser could access a bank server and access account information

Comparison

  • Mainframes are more powerful and scalable compared to Client Servers
  • Mainframes save energy
    • All the computing is centralized into the mainframe
    • Client servers have computations happen on every client
  • In regards to price
    • Mainframes are extremely expensive
    • Mainframes can cost upwards of $1,000,000
    • Client Servers, while expensive, can be much cheaper
  • Mainframes are better suited to for large-scale businesses and organizations
    • Any company that processes millions of transactions a day should be utilizing the power of mainframes
    • A client server would not be able to keep up as well
  • Software Support
    • Client servers are up to date with the latest technology
    • Mainframes usually only support COBOL and Java
    • Client servers can support virtually every language you could want to use
  • Client servers put more computational stress on the clients
    • Mainframes take care of all of the computations on its own
  • Mainframes are more reliable than client servers
    • Mainframes are required to be up 99.9999% of the time
    • It's difficult to create a client server with such reliability
  • Client servers are easier to set up