What Are Servers, Clients, and Appliances?
Systems on the network can usually be described as one of the
system types in this table.
A system that provides services to other systems
in its network. There are file servers, boot servers, web servers, database servers,
license servers, print servers, installation servers, appliance servers, and even servers for particular applications.
This chapter uses the term server to mean a system that provides boot
services and file systems for other systems on the network.
A system that uses
remote services from a server. Some clients have limited disk storage capacity, or
perhaps none at all. Such clients must rely on remote file systems from
a server to function. Diskless systems and appliance systems are examples of this
type of client.
Other clients might use remote services (such as installation software) from
a server. However, they don't rely on a server to function. A
stand-alone system is a good example of this type of client. A stand-alone
system has its own hard disk that contains the root (/), /usr, and
/export/home file systems and swap space.
A network appliance such as the Sun
Ray appliance provides access to applications and the Solaris OS. An appliance gives
you centralized server administration, and no client administration or upgrades. Sun Ray appliances also
provide hot desking
. Hot desking enables you to instantly access your computing session from
any appliance in the server group, exactly where you left off. For more
information, see http://www.sun.com/software/index.jsp?cat=Desktop&