What is a Server?
Whenever anyone discusses the concept of network and networking devices, you must have heard how they keep on referring to a specific device named server and how this server plays a crucial role in leading a network.
But what exactly is a server? And is it used in a network? And how do we know who needs a server and when? If you too are confused and boggled up with similar questions, don’t worry! Because we have the answers to it all! So, without further ado, let’s break down this interesting concept named server!
PART. 1- WHAT IS A SERVER?
In the simplest sense, a server is a computer that acts as a leader of the network. It is simply a device that leads the network in a specific direction. But, in a more technical sense, it is a bit more complicated.
If we look at it technically, a server is a networking device and a computer that accepts and responds to the networking request made by all the other computers that are connected to the said network.
These computers that make data requests to the server are called clients. To answer these requests, the server serves information to the client computers.
Client computers are connected to the server through various network types – of which the 2 most famous ones are LAN and WAN ie local area network and wide area network respectively.
But what makes servers so crucial to the network is the fact that they allow clients to access programs, files, and other information whenever needed and required.
Of course, since we have already noticed that literally, every networking device has various other subtypes, how can servers lack versatility, right? So, there are various types of servers as well.
Let’s look at some of them!
PART. 2 – TYPES OF SERVERS
The different types of servers that are available to people are:
- Application server – The Application server is mainly a framework or simply, an environment where applications can run regardless of what they are or what functions they perform. An application server can be used to develop and run web-based applications.
- Domain name server – Firstly, don’t confuse domain name server with domain name system. These two are related yet different. Basically, the domain name server is a part of the entire DNS (domain name system) architecture. The main application of this server is to store a database of different domain names, network names, Internet hosts, DNS records, and other related data and then consecutively translate the domain name into its respective IP address
- Web server – This server is basically a computer or collection of computers used to deliver web pages and other content to multiple users or clients. The web server assists its clients after it receives a request from the connected computers to access a web page. A few renowned web servers are Apache, Nginx, Microsoft web server IIS, etc.
- Dedicated Server – This type of server is more secure as it only allows one party to access it. It is very powerful and highly customizable to base on the client’s needs and can be accessed by the entire company or a specific group of people. The dedicated server is self-explanatory as it is dedicated to one client/party and is not shared with any other unknown clients.
There are many other types of servers as well, namely proxy servers, mail servers, etc to name a few. But all these servers serve the main function of leading the network more or less.
Now, let’s understand why do we need a server?
PART. 3 – WHY DO WE NEED SERVERS?
The most important reason why our networks need a server is to control access to a network, send/receive an e-mail, manage print jobs, or host a website.
In a network, servers can be used as a setup based on your different needs and function, they can also be set up for private access or shared with others.
They also help humans connect and communicate from far apart, they can also help us to perform intensive calculation tasks or be up 24 hours a day to maintain a connection. Plus, whether it’s hosting a data-heavy website, setting up a shared drive for a department, or managing thousands of queries every minute, servers are the vehicles for hosting and processing-intensive workloads that go beyond the capabilities of a traditional computer.
All these specifications must have shown you how necessary servers actually are.
Now that we have answered the question of why we need a server, let’s talk about when it is necessary to get a server for your company’s network. Before investing in a server, you must know that many shared servers that are already online and ready for you to build your required application and perform a specific task.
So, since you are new to this, it would be best to start with a shared space where the cost is lower, but you still get the performance of a server. Plus, you get to understand all the basics that you need to know to work with a server.
However, if you wish to expand your current online business to better serve the traffic or even want to develop your own proxy server for your company, must host your own server. And that is when you need to invest in your own server as it can be a necessary pathway to growing your business. Plus, it also helps you to keep your entire database centralized and helps you share information within your company easily.
And that was our beginner’s guide for servers wherein we decided everything from what servers our do, when you need a server.
We hope you got doubts cleared out! Check out our other articles to know more about various other networking devices like modems, routers, etc.
Let us know what you think about Server and its need in the comment section below!
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