Net Bandwith: X-Server vs PC Client/Server

Net Bandwith: X-Server vs PC Client/Server

Post by Steve Chan » Tue, 11 Jan 1994 01:22:15



I am trying to choose between two architectures for a project:

1) "Standard Client/Server"

  PC ----------------------- LAN or WAN ---------------- Relational DB
  (Powerbuilder)                                        (Sybase/Oracle)

2) "Application Server"

  PC ---- LAN or WAN ------ UNIX application server --- LAN --- Relational DB
  (running an X server)     (running the App in Motif)          (Sybase/Oracle)

THE QUESTION IS WHICH ARCHITECTURE HAS LOWER BANDWIDTH REQUIREMENTS TO THE
PC'S?

In the first architecture, the application is written on the PC.  All data
has to move from the DB across the LAN/WAN to the PC.  All display is handled
on the PC (TRAFFICE = DATA).  In the second architecture, the data stops
at the application server, only display information for X (Motif) needs to
move across to the PC (TRAFFIC = DISPLAY).

Does anyone have information on how these two architectures will compare with
respect to bandwidth requirements?


who is interested in the results.

Thanks,
Steve

--
===============================================================================

 
 
 

Net Bandwith: X-Server vs PC Client/Server

Post by Keith Warren Ricke » Tue, 11 Jan 1994 07:40:23



Quote:>I am trying to choose between two architectures for a project:
>1) "Standard Client/Server"
>  PC ----------------------- LAN or WAN ---------------- Relational DB
>  (Powerbuilder)                                    (Sybase/Oracle)
>2) "Application Server"
>  PC ---- LAN or WAN ------ UNIX application server --- LAN --- Relational DB
>  (running an X server)     (running the App in Motif)          (Sybase/Oracle)
>THE QUESTION IS WHICH ARCHITECTURE HAS LOWER BANDWIDTH REQUIREMENTS TO THE
>PC'S?
>In the first architecture, the application is written on the PC.  All data
>has to move from the DB across the LAN/WAN to the PC.  All display is handled
>on the PC (TRAFFICE = DATA).  In the second architecture, the data stops
>at the application server, only display information for X (Motif) needs to
>move across to the PC (TRAFFIC = DISPLAY).
>Does anyone have information on how these two architectures will compare with
>respect to bandwidth requirements?

Unless your client does a _lot_ of its own processing, and thus needs
to move a lot of data with little change in the display,
the X client will almost certainly have higher bandwidth usage.
There are good reasons for using X11 (such as, in this case,
being able to use your application on a wider variety of platforms),
but lowering bandwidth isnt really one of them.

just MHO

Keith
--
Keith Rickert            | "That was only one of the many occasions on which



 
 
 

Net Bandwith: X-Server vs PC Client/Server

Post by Gunther Birznie » Tue, 11 Jan 1994 11:20:41


I think your bigger issue other than network traffic is whether your XClient
can run multiple MOTIF applications (On the other of 20 or 50 or 100 at a
time) without a severe degredation in performance... THat is, XWIndows takes a
lot of processing power not only at the PC (XServer) But at the hardware
running the application (XClient).  So even if the bandwidths were similar,
you are probably going to spend a lot more money on making your XClient
hardware superfast and responsive.  

Also, it depends on your organization.  If everyone is PC Based with WIndows
capabable PCs with 8 megs of RAM itself, then it doesnt make much sense (If
the bandwidths are equal) to go with an XCLient way of doing things because
thats what PCs are for! ..One of the MAIN ideas of Client Server is that you
offload processing where it should be... IMHO, GUI Interfaces should be local
(Client Side) if you already have the hardware capable of doing it.

Anyway, I do not know how much network bandwidth XWindows really takes up
(You may want to post on the XWindows newsgroup also) but I am pretty sure
that it varies depending on the type and complexity of data sent.  Obviously
if your appllication is multimedia, you are going to have a lot of processing
time spent on the XCLient and XServer side taking care of the display of
animaition or rapid succession of pictures..Where if you had just
PowerBuilder, you would only have to waste processing power for that on the PC
side.

As a sidenote, also any decent XWIndows emulator for Windows costs a pretty
penny as well and take up plenty of resources and are not all that fast
relatively speaking.

Later,
  Gunther

 
 
 

Net Bandwith: X-Server vs PC Client/Server

Post by Mark A. Dav » Tue, 11 Jan 1994 22:40:31



>Does anyone have information on how these two architectures will compare with
>respect to bandwidth requirements?

Keep in mind that there is more to the system design than JUST the bandwidth...
The more you rely on the distributed systems, the more you will need to
spend on keeping them up and reliable too (IE backups, maintenance,
installation, amount of resources, training, security issues).  This is
often very difficult with MS-"DOS"/MS-"Windows".

--
  /--------------------------------------------------------------------------\
  | Mark A. Davis    | Lake Taylor Hospital | Norfolk, VA (804)-461-5001x431 |

  \--------------------------------------------------------------------------/

 
 
 

Net Bandwith: X-Server vs PC Client/Server

Post by Mark A. Dav » Tue, 11 Jan 1994 22:42:13




>>Does anyone have information on how these two architectures will compare with
>>respect to bandwidth requirements?
>Unless your client does a _lot_ of its own processing, and thus needs
>to move a lot of data with little change in the display,
>the X client will almost certainly have higher bandwidth usage.
>There are good reasons for using X11 (such as, in this case,
>being able to use your application on a wider variety of platforms),
>but lowering bandwidth isnt really one of them.

It really depends on exactly what type of applications are being run and how
they are used.  The description is not that detailed.
--
  /--------------------------------------------------------------------------\
  | Mark A. Davis    | Lake Taylor Hospital | Norfolk, VA (804)-461-5001x431 |

  \--------------------------------------------------------------------------/
 
 
 

Net Bandwith: X-Server vs PC Client/Server

Post by Bernhard Stras » Wed, 12 Jan 1994 01:04:54


|>
|> I am trying to choose between two architectures for a project:
|>
|> 1) "Standard Client/Server"
|>
|>   PC ----------------------- LAN or WAN ---------------- Relational DB
|>   (Powerbuilder)                                  (Sybase/Oracle)
|>
|> 2) "Application Server"
|>
|>   PC ---- LAN or WAN ------ UNIX application server --- LAN --- Relational DB
|>   (running an X server)     (running the App in Motif)          (Sybase/Oracle)
|>
[...]

I would suggest the following:

3) "UNIX Solution"

  PC ---------------------- LAN or WAN ---------------- Relational DB
  (running UNIX)                                       (Sybase/Oracle)

Then you are able to have the clients running on both sides with
less troubles. If you still need DOS - nearly ervery PC UNIX provides
a stable DOS emulatior. Most MS-Windows stuff should run pretty good
under SUN's WABI (I couldn't test this myself up to now, but I hope to
get it soon).

My expierience is that client/server solutions make less problems over
the time (because of changing OS, DB and GUI product releases) if both
parts run under UNIX.

-bernhard

---------------------------------------------------------------
The Xm++ / CommonInteract Project
Vienna User Interface Group
Bernhard Strassl              University of Vienna

                              and Information Systems
---------------------------------------------------------------

 
 
 

Net Bandwith: X-Server vs PC Client/Server

Post by Bill Presco » Wed, 12 Jan 1994 05:19:04


|> 1) "Standard Client/Server"
|>
|>   PC ----------------------- LAN or WAN ---------------- Relational DB
|>   (Powerbuilder)                                  (Sybase/Oracle)
|>
|> 2) "Application Server"
|>
|>   PC ---- LAN or WAN ------ UNIX application server --- LAN --- Relational DB
|>   (running an X server)     (running the App in Motif)          (Sybase/Oracle)
|>
|> THE QUESTION IS WHICH ARCHITECTURE HAS LOWER BANDWIDTH REQUIREMENTS TO THE
|> PC'S?

THE ANSWER IS: IT DEPENDS.

BUT EITHER WAY, THE SECOND ARCHITECTURE IS BETTER.

The second architecture will probably have "lower bandwidth requirements to the PC's."  X traffic is
generally smaller than data traffic.  But anyone giving a concrete answer to this question is on shaky
ground, for two reasons.

        1. You didn't specify enough details
           (what app? # users? size/type of data? volume of graphics? are you backing up the PCs? ...)

        2. It's dynamic; a right answer today may be wrong tomorrow.

That's one reason the second architecture is better.  It is modular.  It allows you to optimize the
network and the application on one side INDEPENDENT of the network and the application on the other,
instead of optimizing for both at the same time.

Here are 10 reasons why the second architecture is better:

I.      The open systems design of the second approach gives you a choice of application servers.
                If your client application only runs on PC's, you become captive to Microsoft.
                The application server model lets you use UNIX, NT, VMS, and so on, or any combination.
                They can all send X display info to the desktop.

II.     The application server model gives you a choice of desktops, rather than forcing you to use PCs.
                PC's can be too expensive to own and administer in large organizations.
                X allows you to use whatever's best for you: PC's, workstations,
                or an optimized, low-cost solution: X terminals.

III.    Clean-layering with a modular design is easier to implement.
                Developing a client/server app is hard enough without bundling the UI requirements
                with it.

IV.     Clean-layering with a modular design positions you well for the future.
                WHOOPS! You need to add another application.  Do the PC's have the horsepower for both?
                With the application server model, ADD another server rather than replace every desktop.

V.      Putting applications on the desktop limits performance.
                No matter how fast a device you put on the desktop, you're limited to that much speed.
                As applications and OS's grow, your device slows down, eventually forcing you
                to replace it.  But with an app. server model, you can configure MUCH faster
                CPU's centrally, and add servers when you need them. It is more scalable.

VI.     Applications on the desktop waste CPU cycles and memory.
                Desktop computers are not shared resources.  They must include enough power
                and memory to run the application--on every desktop.  Not all of the computers
                are in use by all of the users all of the time.  There's a lot of waste.
                In order to beat the performance limits (V.), people sometimes over-configure the
                desktop device, trying to extend its life, wasting even more resources.

VII.    Putting applications on the desktop causes frequent desktop hardware upgrades.
                Anyone running a SPARCstation 1?  A 286 PC?  Running applications demands
                ever increasing horsepower.  The user interface is stable, and does NOT demand
                increasing horsepower.  Therefore, running only the user interface on the desktop--
                with apps on a centralized server--greatly prolongs the life of the desktop device.

VIII.   Putting data on the desktop has more security risks.
                Any desktop computer that allows local I/O puts you at risk of unauthorized removal
                of sensitive data, or of unwitting introduction of viruses.  X terminals eliminate
                this risk altogether, but even PC's running X allow you to develop apps such that
                the sensitive data is controlled and more secure.

IX.     Data on the desktop doesn't get backed up.
                If backing up desktop computers isn't a problem for you, congratulations. It is
                for most everyone else who uses them.

X.      Putting applications on the desktop costs more to administer.
                Running applications on the desktop means running desktop computers. In and of itself,
                that makes the architecture more expensive.  But the administrative costs of putting
                applications, with incumbent upgrades, troubleshooting, etc. on every desk is very
                high as several prominent studies attest.

-- Bill

__________________________________________________________________

Bill Prescott                   Market Development Program Manager

        If you write software based on the X Window System,
                please tell me about your product!

 
 
 

Net Bandwith: X-Server vs PC Client/Server

Post by Mark A. Dav » Wed, 12 Jan 1994 05:22:54




>|>
>|> I am trying to choose between two architectures for a project:
>|>
>|> 1) "Standard Client/Server"
>|>
>|>   PC ----------------------- LAN or WAN ---------------- Relational DB
>|>   (Powerbuilder)                                      (Sybase/Oracle)
>|>
>|> 2) "Application Server"
>|>
>|>   PC ---- LAN or WAN ------ UNIX application server --- LAN --- Relational DB
>|>   (running an X server)     (running the App in Motif)          (Sybase/Oracle)
>|>
>[...]
>I would suggest the following:
>3) "UNIX Solution"
>  PC ---------------------- LAN or WAN ---------------- Relational DB
>  (running UNIX)                                       (Sybase/Oracle)
>Then you are able to have the clients running on both sides with
>less troubles. If you still need DOS - nearly ervery PC UNIX provides
>a stable DOS emulatior. Most MS-Windows stuff should run pretty good
>under SUN's WABI (I couldn't test this myself up to now, but I hope to
>get it soon).
>My expierience is that client/server solutions make less problems over
>the time (because of changing OS, DB and GUI product releases) if both
>parts run under UNIX.

I will second that...., out of the three options now given.  Even Linux is
an option now.
--
  /--------------------------------------------------------------------------\
  | Mark A. Davis    | Lake Taylor Hospital | Norfolk, VA (804)-461-5001x431 |

  \--------------------------------------------------------------------------/
 
 
 

Net Bandwith: X-Server vs PC Client/Server

Post by Mark A. Dav » Wed, 12 Jan 1994 13:10:19



>The second architecture will probably have "lower bandwidth requirements to the PC's."  X traffic is
>generally smaller than data traffic.  But anyone giving a concrete answer to this question is on shaky
>ground, for two reasons.
>    1. You didn't specify enough details
>       (what app? # users? size/type of data? volume of graphics? are you backing up the PCs? ...)
>    2. It's dynamic; a right answer today may be wrong tomorrow.
>That's one reason the second architecture is better.  It is modular.  It allows you to optimize the
>network and the application on one side INDEPENDENT of the network and the application on the other,
>instead of optimizing for both at the same time.
>Here are 10 reasons why the second architecture is better:

[whole lot deleted]

****EXTREMELY**** Well said.  I am saving that posting for future reference.
But, please post in 80 columns! It is a whole lot easier to read :)

--
  /--------------------------------------------------------------------------\
  | Mark A. Davis    | Lake Taylor Hospital | Norfolk, VA (804)-461-5001x431 |

  \--------------------------------------------------------------------------/

 
 
 

Net Bandwith: X-Server vs PC Client/Server

Post by Willard Daws » Mon, 17 Jan 1994 23:36:26



>I would suggest the following:
>3) "UNIX Solution"
>  PC ---------------------- LAN or WAN ---------------- Relational DB
>  (running UNIX)                                       (Sybase/Oracle)
>Then you are able to have the clients running on both sides with
>less troubles. If you still need DOS - nearly ervery PC UNIX provides
>a stable DOS emulatior. Most MS-Windows stuff should run pretty good
>under SUN's WABI (I couldn't test this myself up to now, but I hope to
>get it soon).

My attempts to install PowerBuilder under WABI result only in crashing
WABI.  The effect is *immediate*.  So, if you're expecting to run "most
MS-Windows stuff" under WABI, I believe you're being extremely
optimistic.
 
 
 

Net Bandwith: X-Server vs PC Client/Server

Post by Bernhard Stras » Wed, 19 Jan 1994 22:49:24



|>
|> >I would suggest the following:
|>
|> >3) "UNIX Solution"
|>
|> >  PC ---------------------- LAN or WAN ---------------- Relational DB
|> >  (running UNIX)                                       (Sybase/Oracle)
|>
|> >Then you are able to have the clients running on both sides with
|> >less troubles. If you still need DOS - nearly ervery PC UNIX provides
|> >a stable DOS emulatior. Most MS-Windows stuff should run pretty good
|> >under SUN's WABI (I couldn't test this myself up to now, but I hope to
|> >get it soon).
|>
|> My attempts to install PowerBuilder under WABI result only in crashing
|> WABI.  The effect is *immediate*.  So, if you're expecting to run "most
|> MS-Windows stuff" under WABI, I believe you're being extremely
|> optimistic.
|>

Sorry, I did'nt specify which kind of applications I expect to run
under WABI:

Non-client/server end user programs like word processors, spreadsheets,
drwaing programs etc.

These are the Windows apps which many UNIX users are missing on their
system because of the extremely high pricing of aequivalent UNIX products.
(i.e. compare WordPerfect for MS-Win and WordPerfect for SUN)

I do NOT expect databases and Windows GUI development stuff running
under WABI - maybe it does someday, but I prefer developing new
applications under UNIX...

-bernhard

---------------------------------------------------------------
The Xm++ / CommonInteract Project
Vienna User Interface Group
Bernhard Strassl              University of Vienna

                              and Information Systems
---------------------------------------------------------------

 
 
 

Net Bandwith: X-Server vs PC Client/Server

Post by Peter Ivimey-Co » Sun, 23 Jan 1994 01:29:08




-| |>
-| |> MS-Windows stuff" under WABI, I believe you're being extremely
-| |> optimistic.
-| |>

-| Sorry, I did'nt specify which kind of applications I expect to run
-| under WABI:

-| Non-client/server end user programs like word processors, spreadsheets,
-| drwaing programs etc.

-| These are the Windows apps which many UNIX users are missing on their
-| system because of the extremely high pricing of aequivalent UNIX products.
-| (i.e. compare WordPerfect for MS-Win and WordPerfect for SUN)

Point taken.

-| I do NOT expect databases and Windows GUI development stuff running
-| under WABI - maybe it does someday, but I prefer developing new
-| applications under UNIX...

From what has been seen and heard of WABI so far I would say
"Ask Sun whether WABI supports ANY application, tool or other program."

The literature states that WABI initially will only support 13 apps.

However, I would not assume that it will be usable on all of those.
E.g. some apps take several minutes to load files that load in seconds on
a PC.

Also, certain things - e.g. use of ATM - require you to get hold
of a 'real' copy of Windows and install it.

Of course, WABI will certainly get better given time.

For more info, BYTE is currently doing a comparison of WABI.

--
Peter Ivimey-Cook

Please note that I do not speak for my employer
in any way. My opinions are my own, and will
hopefully stay that way!

 
 
 

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