Disclaimer: I'm sure this has been asked here before, but I haven't been able to find it.

I'm trying to create a system where one central computer (master) can initiate commands on other computers (slaves) without them requesting anything first, and have those slaves respond to the master when the task is completed.

My current skill set would allow me to make some form of API on the slaves that get called by the master (WCF, WebAPI, etc), but that feels backwards to me. I believe the proper setup should be a client service on the slaves that connects to a host service on the master. The clients would be an application that runs in the background, and maybe has a notification area icon to get at its configuration easily.

Is there a name for this specific type of client/server relationship? I believe it goes beyond the standard PUB-SUB type in that the clients aren't simply subscribing, but are also replying asynchronously with a result.

1 Answer 1


It sounds like your master server is a Command and Control Server. The probably only common names for the clients in this context are Slave or Bot but this terms are more common in the context of botnets.

  • I was afraid someone was going to say "botnet". Would there be anything inherent in the design of this kind of relationship that would create false positives in anti-malware software?
    – Logarr
    Oct 4, 2018 at 19:35
  • You can use terms like Worker or Subordinate to avoid connotational issues with "master/slave" Oct 4, 2018 at 19:47
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    I don't care about the connotation of the terms. I'm using them specifically because most resources I find for client/server development is for clients that initiate requests, or are something a user keeps active like a web page.
    – Logarr
    Oct 4, 2018 at 20:08
  • The term master/slave also occurs in situations like the Jenkins CI network. So, there is no inherent malware connotation to a master/slave network. Oct 5, 2018 at 6:32

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