What Is A Server?
First, a server is a system that receives requests from a computer terminal (such as a computer) and transmits a response. This exchange operates via a local or vast area network. These exchanges can be based on resources such as databases, services, or computer programs. The client is the device that makes the request and receives a response from the server. This Client-Server architecture can be illustrated with a web browser (the client), which will request a computer server that hosts a database.
What Is The Difference Between A Server And A Computer?
Several hardware elements will differentiate computers from servers (even if a computer can become a fundamental server):
The OS (operating system): The OS constitutes a differentiating element between a computer and a server. A server has a specific operating system designed to respond to requests from users who access the server over the network. The central operating systems servers can use are Microsoft, Apache, and Linux.
Hardware: The hardware requirements of servers depend on the service they must provide. The processor contributes significantly to the data processing capacity. However, other aspects such as RAM, BUS speed, and hard drive read/write rates contribute significantly. Servers often have multiple processors to increase this processing capacity.
Servers often have higher RAM requirements than desktop computers to meet multiple client requests. Conversely, the graphics capabilities of a server are optional services.
Servers generally have higher bandwidth requirements. Indeed, the multiple connections and data exchanges require higher network capacities than those of a computer.
What Is A Server Used For ?
Servers are used to manage the computer resources of a network and their sharing. A user can configure a server for a multitude of services like:
control access to a network and file sharing,
manage print jobs and access to printers,
host a website, database, etc.
The different types of servers
Due to the diversity of uses, there are several types of servers. Among the most common, we can cite:
File Server: A file server is a repository for storing and accessing files.
Indexing/Searching Service: The indexing service lists all files on a server or network. Then, it organizes them to be easily located by running a search query. The king of indexing services is Google.
Internet server: Provides a website hosting and management service. Users access websites through a web browser using the HTTP communication protocol.
Database Service: A database is a collection of information organized to easily access, manage, and update. These databases can integrate with other applications and systems.
Email Server: An email service allows users to send, receive, and view emails using the SMTP protocol. The service can run from a web browser or an email client like Outlook.
Print server: A print service allows multiple employees to access a single printer. A print server will typically administer various printers.
Telephone server: the IPBX can be considered a server hosting the IP telephone system.
Virtual Server (VPS): This is the result of the hypervisor. The latter is software capable of dividing a physical server into multiple virtual environments. VPS servers can host any service, such as web, email, or file servers.
Finally, game servers: a game server is used by clients or players to run multiplayer video games on the Internet.
The format of a server will, therefore, vary from a simple computer to a computing farm. Note that a device can be both a server and a client. Finally, a server can be designed to perform a single task, such as a mail server or multiple jobs.
How Does A Server Work?
When a client needs service from a server, it sends a request over the network.
A server will not only receive the request and transmit the response. He will perform other necessary tasks such as:
Verification of the customer’s identity,
Proof of authorization to access the requested information or files
The formatting of the response is required.
Unlike a computer, a server will have to process requests from multiple clients. For this reason, the computing power requirements are therefore more significant. The CPU, RAM, and storage disks will impact server performance like a computer.
Where To Host Your Servers?
Acquiring servers is a costly hardware investment for a business—space, Inverters, cooling systems, etc. Not to mention operating costs. For this reason, more and more organizations are using the services of service providers to manage their servers. However, two models will present themselves: dedicated or shared servers (see on-premise vs. cloud ).
What Is Dedicated Server Hosting?
This server model provides a service where you rent access to a physical server inside a data center. The service provider installs the operating system while the client manages the rest. The latter ultimately rents a physical infrastructure, including all the hardware necessary for a data center ( power supply, cooling, and network connectivity ). A certification system (Tier) will evaluate the degree of security a data center offers.
Thus, The company has a dedicated server to run its applications or host its websites. This exclusivity offers the advantage of benefiting from absolute control over its infrastructure.
The advantages of these servers are:
Ideal performance for applications and websites
Vast resources are available
However, this service requires strong technical skills.
Also Read: What Is Business Process Standardization?