How does a client server infrastructure work?

  • Communication between clients and servers is facilitated by network protocols, ensuring secure and efficient data transmission.
  • Clients send requests to servers, which process these requests and provide responses back to the clients.
  • Servers have high processing capabilities, storage capacity, and network connectivity to handle multiple client connections.

A client-server infrastructure is a fundamental network architecture where client devices interact with centralised servers to access services, resources, and data. In this model, client devices, such as computers, smartphones, and IoT devices, send requests to servers, which process these requests and provide responses back to the clients. In a client-server infrastructure, communication between client devices and servers follows a structured model that enables efficient data exchange and service delivery. 

Client request

A client device, such as a computer, smartphone, or IoT device, initiates a request for a service or data by sending a message to the server. The client device identifies the specific service it requires or the data it needs from the server. The request is transmitted over a network, typically using communication protocols like HTTP, FTP, or TCP/IP.

Server processing

Upon receiving the client’s request, the server routes the request to the appropriate service or data source. The server retrieves the requested data from databases, files, or other sources or performs the required computations to generate the requested output. The server allocates computing resources to process the client’s request efficiently, ensuring timely responses.

Response to the client

Once the server has processed the request, it sends back a response to the client device. The response is typically formatted according to the communication protocol used, ensuring compatibility between the server and client devices. The response is delivered over the network to the client device, which then interprets and acts upon the received data. 

Also read: What are the main components of IT infrastructure?

Client-side processing

The client device interprets the server’s response and processes the data accordingly. Clients may present the data to users through graphical interfaces, web browsers, or other applications for user interaction. Some processing tasks, such as data validation or local computations, may be performed on the client side before or after sending requests to the server.

Communication protocols

Communication between clients and servers relies on standardised protocols that define the rules for data transmission and exchange. Protocols like HTTPS ensure secure communication by encrypting data during transmission, protecting sensitive information from unauthorised access.

Also read: How is cloud computing different from traditional IT infrastructure?

Scalability and flexibility

Client-server architectures can implement load balancing techniques to distribute client requests among multiple servers, ensuring optimal resource utilisation and performance. Redundant servers can be deployed to ensure high availability and fault tolerance, minimising downtime and service disruptions.

Examples of client-server applications

Clients access database servers to retrieve, update, or manipulate data stored in databases. Clients interact with cloud servers to store data, run applications, or access computing resources on-demand. Multiplayer online games use a client-server architecture to facilitate real-time communication and gameplay interactions between players.


Summer Ren

Summer Ren is an intern reporter at BTW Media, covering tech trends. She graduated from Cardiff University and had experience in the financial industry as well as video production skills. Send tips to

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