What is a server? – Definition, Types, User guide, And More
A server is computer equipment that is part of a network and provides services to other client computers.
It’s called a dedicated server, dedicating all its resources to serving requests from client computers.
However, a shared server does not dedicate all its resources to serving client requests, and a user uses it to work locally.
Type of Servers
There are a large number of types of servers or roles that they can play. In the following list, we list some of the most common.
- It is one that stores and serves files to computers on a network.
- Active Directory / Domain Server: It maintains the information about the users, computers, and groups of a network.
- Print Server is responsible for serving printers to client computers and queuing the print jobs they generate.
- It is in charge of managing the users’ email flow, sending, receiving, and storing an organization’s emails.
- It manages the sending, reception, and storage of faxes.
- Its function is to cache the web pages accessed by network users for a specific time; thus, the following times they access the same content, the response is faster.
- Stores web content and puts it at the service of those users who request it.
- It is the one that provides database services to other programs or client computers.
- Allows you to establish the relationship between the domain names and the IP addresses of the computers on a network.
- It has a range of addresses with which it automatically assigns the IP network configuration parameters to the client machines when they make a request.
- Its function is to allow the exchange of files between computers; usually, its application is linked closely to Web servers.
How does a server work?
- For a device to work as a server, it must configure to listen for clients’ requests in a network environment.
- Its functionality can exist as part of the operating system: in the form of an installed application, a role, or a combination of both.
- For example, Microsoft’s Windows Server operating system provides the necessary features to listen to and respond to client requests.
- It also installed roles or services to increase client requests that it can answer.
- In another example, an Apache webserver responds to requests from the client’s internet browser through an additional application, Apache, installed at the top layer of the operating system.
- When a client requests data or functionality from a server, it does so by sending a request over the network.
- It receives the request and will respond with the corresponding information.
- It is the client-server connection request and response model, also known as the call and response model.
- Often it will perform numerous additional tasks as part of a single request and response.
- Such as verifying the requestor’s identity, ensuring that the client has permission to access the requested data or resources. And also, correctly formatting or returning the required response from the expected form.
Structures of Server
Its concept is almost as old as that of the network.
A network’s goal is to allow one computer to communicate with another to distribute.
Computing has evolved a lot since then, resulting in different server and hardware structures.
Mainframe or minicomputer (AS / 400)
- Original servers, mainframe equipment, and minicomputers were in charge of managing almost all the operational tasks.
- Except for interaction with the users through a screen and a keyboard, which lefts to the system’s client.
- The next great wave of servers comprised computer-based servers. In many respects, these were no more than desktop computers but more extensive and more powerful.
- They were also generally more expensive and had much more memory and disk space than most client computers.
- Each of it remains a self-contained unit with its motherboard, processor, memory, disk drives, and power supply.
- These servers were often stored in air-conditioned rooms called server rooms and then bolted into racks or racks for better storage and accessibility.
- The original hardware servers took up a lot of space and stores in racks that could weigh tons.
- However, over time, the emergence of faster transfer media in the hardware led to removing parts of these stand-alone servers.
- It can eliminate hard drives, remove internal cooling, continually miniaturize computing components, and reduce servers to a single “thin server” known as a blade servers.
- Although the stores in racks within its rooms, blades are smaller and more easily replaced.
- It was already trying to separate the servers from the standard model of individual hardware machines with its operating system before virtualization entered the scene.
- Technological advancements, such as network-attached storage functionality, eliminated the server’s need to have its storage system.
- Virtual servers still require a hardware layer, but that layer now runs a different hypervisor process.
- In some cases, like Microsoft’s Hyper-V, we have an entire operating system that runs on the hardware itself.
- ” Bare-metal hypervisors ” can be installed directly on its hardware in other cases .
- In both cases, the hardware itself often spread across multiple blade servers, network storage systems, and power supplies.
It creates an environment where it is impossible to know where one individual server ends and another begins.
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