If you’re starting out in the world of technology and computing, one word you will likely hear often is “server”. We’ll learn about what is a server? and the various kinds of servers. A type of computer that is used to host websites or applications on a network, allowing users to access them remotely. But what is a server and what types of server are there? And how can they be used? In this blog post, we will break down what a server is, discuss the four main types of servers, and go over how they can be used in different scenarios., so let’s start with what is a server?
Table of Contents
I. Meaning and Definition of server
A server is a computer or program that provides a service to another computer, program, or user. Servers are usually used to provide shared services within an organization or across organizations. For example, a file server may provide storage space and access control for shared files while an application server may host business applications that can be accessed by authorized users from any location.
A server is a piece of hardware or software that processes requests sent over a network and responds to them. A client is a device that submits a request and waits for a response from the server.
The storage, processing, and management of network data, devices, and systems are done by powerful computers referred to as servers. Through the provision of sufficient resources for network devices and systems, servers act as the driving force behind businesses. Servers provide crucial scalability, efficiency, and business continuity features for enterprises.
A) What is a server and What are Use of Servers
A computer that serves other computers on a network is referred to as a server. They can provide file storage, application hosting, email, and other services. One physical server that is exclusively used by one website is known as a dedicated server. To use a server, you will need to connect to it using a client.
Network resources are managed by servers. A user might install a server, for instance, to handle print jobs, transmit and receive an email, or host a website. They are very adept at doing complex calculations. Some servers—often referred to as dedicated servers—are devoted to a single project or website. However, a lot of servers in use nowadays are shared servers that manage numerous websites, DNS, FTP, and email in the case of a web server.
Most servers are never shut off since they are frequently used to supply services that are continually needed. As a result, when servers malfunction, they can be quite problematic for both the firm and the network users. In order to address these problems, servers are frequently configured to be fault tolerant.
B) Main Eight Server types in detail
- Web server
A web server is a computer that stores website files and makes them accessible to users on the internet.
The website you’re visiting right now is powered by a web server. This kind of server specializes in giving customers access to web content. Web servers only process client “GET” and “POST” requests (among other verbs). When a client simply wants to retrieve data from the server and has nothing to send, they issue a “GET” request. On the other hand, a “POST” request is made when a client really has data to provide to the server and anticipates receiving a reply.
For instance, completing a web form and pressing the submit button constitutes a “POST” request from the client to the server. Web servers are frequently “headless” machines.
This protects the server’s memory and makes sure there is enough of it to run the operating system and applications. “Headless” refers to the fact that it doesn’t function like a typical home computer but rather serves content. Only command line terminals can be used to connect to these systems by their administrators. Keep in mind that these servers are just like your home computer in that they can run any kind of application. As long as they adhere to the main “rules” of the web, they can operate on any operating system.
- Database server
Usually, a database server works in conjunction with another kind of server. Simply put, this type of server exists to store data in groups. There are various ways to store data, all of which follow different ideas. One of the more well-liked types is SQL, short for Structured Query Language. On these servers, databases can be created by database programmers using scripting written in the database language.
In order to retrieve data as users want it, web applications typically connect their server-side components to a database server. Keeping web servers and database servers on different computers is a smart idea. Database servers should be self-contained for security reasons.
A hacker will find it simple to retrieve or edit the data contained in the database server even if they just have access to the main webpage. MySQL, MariaDB, Microsoft SQL, Oracle Database, and others are some common database servers.
- eMail Server
SMTP, often known as the “Simple Mail Transfer Protocol,” is frequently used by email servers. Although there are several alternative protocols, SMTP is still the most common one used by contemporary mail servers. An email server powers mail services. These servers do little more than receive emails from one client and transmit the information to another server.
Email transactions typically lose certain information, such as web layout, because data is simplified when transferred through SMTP. Nowadays, email servers are frequently used in conjunction with web servers. Users are now able to access “web clients” that graphically display the data on a web page. Some more recent web programs can even imitate an email client on a personal computer without any installation.
- Web Proxy Server
The “Simple Mail Transfer Protocol,” sometimes known as SMTP, is extensively used by email servers. Even though there are a few alternatives, SMTP is still the most popular protocol used by modern mail servers. Mail services are powered by an email server. These servers primarily do nothing more complicated than accept emails from one client and forward the data to another server.
Because data is streamlined when transported through SMTP, email transactions generally lose certain information, such as web layout. Web servers and email servers are widely used together these days. The contents of a web page can now be graphically displayed for users via “web clients.” Even without any installation, some more contemporary web applications can mimic an email client on a computer.
- DNS Server
Through the use of a “Domain Name Service” server, also referred to as a DNS server, domain names are translated into their corresponding IP addresses.
Your browser contacts this server when you enter a domain name and hit Enter. Users won’t need to memorize IP addresses, and businesses are free to select suitable names. Customers typically have access to DNS servers through Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Many firms, however, provide this lookup service at no cost (such as the well-known Google DNS server with IP 18.104.22.168). Individuals who are particularly concerned about keeping their online anonymity commonly utilize these alternative DNS servers.
DNS servers are contacted as well during domain name registration. Some DNS servers are more “authoritative” than others because of the hierarchical way that DNS servers operate. A higher-level DNS server that serves as a reference for other, lower-level DNS servers is where the domain name is registered. Through a process that takes between 24 and 48 hours, this registration frequently spreads over the world.
- FTP Server
FTP servers, often known as “File Transfer Protocol” servers, have only one function: to host user file exchanges.
There are other secured implementations of the protocol that are frequently utilized instead because these servers do not provide any kind of encryption by default (such as FTP which is FTP over secure SSH protocol).
After logging in with an FTP client, users of this type of server are able to upload files to it and get files from it. Additionally, users can explore the server’s files and download any particular files they like.
- File Server
An FTP server is not the same as a file server. Modern servers of this kind are frequently able to “map” networked files onto discs. This implies that users can browse folders using the file browser on their home computer. This type of server’s key benefit is the ability for users to upload and download shared files. The administrator has control over file permissions. File Servers are typically seen in Linux or Windows Active Directory setups in business networks.
- DHCP Server
The Dynamic Host Communication Protocol (DHCP) is used by DHCP servers to set up client PCs’ network settings. Instead of making client computers in a big network manually setup static IP addresses and other network characteristics, a DHCP server in the network dynamically configures these network settings to LAN computers.
C) Pros and cons of using a server
A server is a computer that provides data to other computers on a network. Servers can provide various functions, such as file storage, print services, email, web hosting, and more. Servers typically have more powerful hardware than client computers, and they run specialized software that helps them perform their tasks more efficiently.
Pros of using a server
Increased reliability: When important data is stored on a server, it can be backed up and protected from power outages, hardware failures, and other potential disasters.
Improved performance: Servers are designed to handle large amounts of traffic and data requests quickly and efficiently. This can free up resources on client computers and improve overall network speed.
Greater security: Data on a server can be better protected from unauthorized access with security measures like firewalls, encryption, and user authentication.
Cons of using a server
Increased costs: Setting up and maintaining a server can be expensive, especially if you need to purchase additional hardware or hire IT staff to manage it.
Complexity: Servers can be complex to set up and configure properly. This can make it difficult for non-technical users to get them up and running.
Compatibility issues: Not all software programs are compatible with servers, which may limit your options for what you can use on your network
D) When to use a server?
There are many reasons why you might need to use a server, but the most common reason is to host a website or application. A server allows you to store all the files and data associated with your website or application in one central location, making it accessible to users from anywhere in the world.
Another common reason for using a server is to create a database. This is often used by businesses to store customer information, inventory data, financial records, and more. By storing this data on a server, it can be accessed by authorized users from any location.
Finally, after learning and understanding what is a server and what use of servers people is aware and some businesses use servers to create email accounts for their employees. This provides each employee with a unique email address that can be used to communicate with customers, vendors, and other employees. It also allows businesses to maintain control over their corporate email system and ensure that only authorized users have access to it.
A server is essential for any business that needs to store and manage its data. So there is important to know what is a server and what are many types of servers, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages depending on the specific use case. Web servers, application servers, storage servers, and mail servers are all common types of servers used in most businesses today. Understanding which type of server will work best for your business can help ensure efficient operations as well as maximize performance levels. With this knowledge in hand, you’ll be able to better leverage a wide range of services available through cloud-based solutions or internal resources.