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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Peer-peer or client server?

    I have networked 4 PCs (Win 98 & ME) in an advice organisation where I am a volunteer worker. This is so that printers can be shared. We now want to extend the network to up to 16 PCs, and share access to an Access-based database and some other applications. The question is should we continue with a peer-peer network, or switch to a "managed" network using a Windows 2000 server? Is there anywhere I can find a good description of the advantages and disadvantages of each approach?

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Peer-peer or client server?

    Very brief outline <A target="_blank" HREF=http://ioc.unesco.org/oceanteacher/resourcekit/Module2/Computers/Network/software.html>here</A>.

    I would take slight issue with their 'server disadvantages':

    Dependence - When server goes down, operations will cease across the network. - presumably you would have data stored on a single PC anyway, so the same would apply. However, a true server can be configured more easily for raid support on your HD's.

    Expense - Dell, for example, sell entry-level servers for the same price as a basic PC.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator WebGenii's Avatar
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    Re: Peer-peer or client server?

    Just a thought - you might want to ask the question about sharing access to the Access (no pun intended) database and what system is best. I could swear I heard someone muttering about this exact situation at work a few weeks ago.
    [b]Catharine Richardson (WebGenii)
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  4. #4
    ileacy
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    Re: Peer-peer or client server?

    FWIW I am going through some similar upgrades and planning at this time. My conclusion is to migrate critical systems to Windows XP Pro and depending on size of network and budgets, dedicate a system as a server. Sharing a resource like a printer is not critical, sharing a database is.

    Win9x is just too unstable to provide a critical service.

  5. #5
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: Peer-peer or client server?

    Catharine I agree. In a former position we used an access database for scoring credit card applicants. The system fell over all of the time, and in frustration we called in some pretty big guns to look over all of the code - including Microsoft themselves. All agreed that the programmer had done a sterling job and that there was nothing wrong with the code. It was agreed in the end - reluctantly I might add - that Access is not a great shared system. I had 10 users banging away all day, and if 2 users happened to press enter at the same time the system would crash. My <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15>

  6. #6
    Star Lounger
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    Re: Peer-peer or client server?

    Thanks for your advice everybody. Are you saying that Access is no good with multiple users period, or that it it only works properly on a dedicated sever?

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    Super Moderator WebGenii's Avatar
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    Re: Peer-peer or client server?

    I'm saying I'd advise asking the question on the access forum. Your original question was about whether to choose a peer-to-peer or server based network. Lot's of experts in that forum that can tell you what the implications of your choice will be.

    Cheers
    [b]Catharine Richardson (WebGenii)
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