Client server distributed system architecture
There are separate dedicated servers and clients in a client/server network. Through client workstations, users can access most files, which are generally stored on the server. The server will determine which users can access the files on the network. Client/server networks can become as big as you need them to be. Some support millions of users and offer elaborate security measures. There are an almost infinite variety of client/server networks, but all of them have a couple of things in common. For one thing, all have centralized security databases that control access to shared resources on servers.
Peer to Peer distributed system architecture
Peer-to-peer networks are appropriate only for very small businesses or for home use. A peer-to-peer network can support about ten clients (workstations) before it begins to suffer from some serious performance and management problems. A peer-to-peer network has no central server. Each workstation on the network shares its files equally with the others. There’s no central storage or authentication of users. Peer-to-peer networks should be installed in homes or in very small businesses where employees interact regularly. They are inexpensive to set up (comparatively speaking); however, they offer almost no security.