Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Thin Clients or Fat Networks

Author:Erik Neu
Posted:7/8/1999; 8:34:13 AM
Topic:Thin Clients or Fat Networks
Msg #:8330
Prev/Next:8329 / 8331

I take no credit for original thought here. The below is excerpted from Bob Lewis' column in Infoworld ( But it REALLY hit home for me, and I also believe I have read Dave W comment on the shortcomings of GUIs in HTML.

>>Architectures that ignore the capabilities built into intelligent desktops in favor of servers at the wrong end of a WAN link may or may not be thin-client architectures. They are fat-network architectures every time, though, because they require faster (read "more expensive") WAN connections and bigger (read "more expensive") servers to achieve a user experience that's a fraction as satisfying as the one you can achieve through a local GUI.

IS has fallen in love with fat network architectures because they're easier to manage than n-tier client/server architectures. Never mind that an increasing fraction of the workforce is mobile, where bandwidth is limited to modem speeds. Our total cost of ownership has gone down! Break out the champagne. >>

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