The Diversity of Servers

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In computing language, a server is a device or program that provides functionality to other devices, which are called clients. The server – client process consists of requests from the client, to which the server responds, allowing access. Over a large network, the server has to handle a huge number of requests, and the specification would determine the server’s ability to handle the volume of traffic. Servers are used in a number of ways, here is a list of some of the more common applications.

Database server

This stores and shares large amounts of data across a network, enabling users to access spreadsheets and other files. Most database servers run on the query language, where the data is converted into server readable form, and the request is executed. The server can be accessed from the “front end”, by the user, or the “rear end” by the server administrator.

Mail server

As the name implies, a mail server is dedicated to sending and receiving emails. Large web-based email providers like Yahoo and Gmail would have an army of mail servers to handle the enormous flow of traffic. Here is some more information about servers, and their role in the modern world.

Network server

If there are several computers connected to a network, one computer would take on the role of server, and it would administrate to the other computers, or clients, allowing internal communication, file sharing and other services. Many of these networks are connected to the Internet, and the server would be responsible for anti-virus and firewall protection.

Web server

Every website must have a host, or web server, and many small companies share the resources of a single web server, which makes for a cheaper alternative to having a dedicated server, although to be fair, having your own server has many advantages, and is much preferred to sharing. A fine example of the latest technology is the enterprise class managed dedicated servers from CWCS, which are state of the art servers designed to handle large volumes of traffic.

Proxy server

This acts like a mirror and help transmit large amounts of data to several networks. A proxy server would act as an intermediary between client and server, or it might be used to circumvent access control, or simply to add performance by taking some of the load away from the main server.

Application server

This is used for cloud-based applications, and as the program is hosted on the application server, the user can interact with the program without the need to have it installed on their computer.  Cloud-based computing is becoming more and more popular, as it allows any number of users to interact in real time, with all updates available to users worldwide.

File server

A file server stores and shares files and folders, allowing users to access across either a closed network or the Internet. These are typically used by large corporations with massive amounts of data, and can involve a series of networks, all accessing the data simultaneously.

The server is an integral component in computing, and hardware development has allowed them to keep pace with current trends, providing a range of services for the IT industry.

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