What is Server in Networking?
A server is a computer, or a software package, that provides functionality for other programs or devices, called “clients”. This architecture is called the client–server model. Servers can provide various functionalities, such as sharing data or resources among multiple clients, performing computation for a client, and handling requests from the client(s). Servers are often used to manage networks, and they can be found in almost every facet of our lives.
- For example, when you view a website on the Internet, the web page is sent to your computer from a web server. When you send an email, it is stored and transmitted by an email server.
How Does Server Work?
The Working of a server is based on client-server architecture. Here, the server offers services to the clients and it also keeps track of all requests from the clients. The client sends a request for service to the server, such as sending an email or retrieving files from remote locations.
The server then processes the request and provides data in response. This data is then sent back to the client, which displays it in a readable form. This process is repeated for every request from the client until the server completes all requests or times out due to a lack of activity.
What are the Types of Server?
The types of servers can be classified into physical and virtual.
Physical servers are the actual hardware devices that host various software applications, while virtual servers are hosted on a shared platform such as a cloud-based system or cluster.
Physical servers can be further divided into two categories: dedicated servers and shared servers
- Dedicated servers are solely used by one organization.
- Shared servers are used by multiple organizations.
Virtual servers can be further divided into three categories: public cloud servers, private cloud servers, and hybrid cloud servers.
- Public cloud servers are owned and maintained by a third-party provider.
- Private clouds are managed and maintained internally by the organization.
- Hybrid clouds combine both public and private elements to create a custom-tailored solution.
Some Other Types of Servers in Network
- DNS Server: It is a domain name server or domain name system. It translates the domain names into IP addresses thus allowing the website to be accessed from anywhere in the world.
- File Server: File servers store and share files for users on a network, such as word-processing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, images, audio clips, and videos.
- Application Server: Application servers are used to host and run applications, such as web-based software and database applications.
- Database Server: Database servers are used to store, manage and retrieve data from large databases.
- Proxy Server: It acts as a gateway between the client computers on a network and the internet.
- Mail Server: Mail servers are used to send and receive emails.
- FTP Server: FTP servers are used to store, manage, and transfer files over a network.
- Print Server: Print servers are used to share printers on a network so that multiple users can access them.
- VoIP Server: VoIP servers are used to enable voice calls over the internet.
- Media Server: Media servers are used to store and stream media such as videos, images, and music.
What are the Advantages of Using Servers?
There are many advantages of using servers in networking, such as:
- Increased Performance: Servers enable fast and efficient data transmission, which leads to increased performance for client applications.
- Scalability and Flexibility: Servers can be scaled up or down depending on the organization’s needs. This allows organizations to easily adapt to changing needs.
- Security: Servers provide enhanced security for data and applications, as they are kept in a secure environment.
- Cost Savings: Server systems can be more cost-effective than other solutions, such as buying individual computers or hardware components. They also require fewer maintenance costs than other solutions.
- Improved Collaboration: Server systems allow multiple users to collaborate on the same project in real-time, increasing productivity.
- Reliability: Servers are reliable and will continue to function even if one component fails. This eliminates downtime and allows organizations to stay productive.
What are the Disadvantages of Using Servers?
There are also some drawbacks to using server systems, such as:
- Cost: Server systems can be expensive to purchase and maintain.
- Security Risks: Although servers offer enhanced security, they can still be vulnerable to hacking or malware attacks.
- Reliability: Despite the improved reliability of server systems, they are still prone to downtime due to power outages or natural disasters.
- Complexity: Server systems can be complex to manage and maintain, so they may require the expertise of a qualified IT professional.
- Flexibility: Due to their complexity, server systems may lack flexibility compared to other solutions such as cloud computing.
What are the Use Cases of Servers?
The use cases of servers vary depending on the type of server and its purpose. Some common use cases include:
- Web hosting and file sharing: Servers are used to host websites, store files, and share them with multiple users.
- Email servers: Email servers manage the sending and receiving of emails between users.
- Database servers: Database servers store, manage, and process data for applications.
- Application hosting: Servers can be used to host software applications so they can be accessed by multiple users simultaneously.
- Media streaming: Servers are used to stream audio and video content to multiple viewers at once.
- Cloud computing: Cloud servers allow organizations to run virtualized applications and services in the cloud.
- Backup servers: Servers can be used to store backups of critical data, ensuring it is secure and easily recoverable if needed.
- Network management: Servers can be used to manage an organization’s network, including user authentication, security settings, and more.
- Internet of Things (IoT): Servers can be used to store, process, and manage data from connected devices.
- Machine learning: Machine learning servers can be used to power deep learning applications.
- Data analysis: Servers can be used to analyze large amounts of data quickly and accurately.
- Virtualization: Virtual servers allow organizations to run multiple applications on the same physical server.
List of Some Physical Servers
- HP Proliant ML350 Gen10
- Dell PowerEdge R740
- Fujitsu Primergy RX2560 M4
- Supermicro TwinPro 2U
- Cisco UCS C220
- Lenovo ThinkSystem SR650
- IBM System X3650 M4
- Huawei FusionServer RH2288H V3
- Inspur NF5280M5
- Huawei FusionServer X6800 V6
List of Some Cloud Servers
- Amazon Elastic Compute (EC2)
- Google Compute Engine (GCE)
- Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines (VMs)
- IBM Cloud Virtual Servers
- Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Compute
List of Some Server Software
- Microsoft IIS
- Oracle WebLogic Server
- IBM WebSphere Application Server
- Wildfly (formerly JBoss)
- NGINX Plus
- Apache Tomcat
- Varnish Cache
- MySQL Server
- PostgreSQL Server
Tips for Setting Up and Maintaining Your Server
When setting up and maintaining a server, it is important to keep in mind the following tips:
- Invest in high-quality hardware: Ensure that your server’s hardware is reliable and powerful enough to handle the load.
- Keep your software updated: Regularly update your server’s operating system, applications, and security patches to ensure it is secure and running smoothly.
- Monitor performance: Monitor your server’s performance, including processor speed, memory usage, and disk space. This will help you identify any potential problems before they become serious issues.
- Backup data: Ensure that all of your data is regularly backed up in case of a disaster or data loss.
- Use a Server rack: Racks provide a secure and organized way to store your server’s hardware components.
- Use a reliable hosting provider: If you are using a cloud server, make sure that the hosting provider is reliable and offers good customer service.
- Hire an IT professional: If managing your own server is too complex or time-consuming, consider hiring an experienced IT professional to help set up and maintain your server.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need a server?
A server is an essential part of any business or organization as it can help manage, store, and process large amounts of data quickly and securely. Servers are also used to run applications and services so they can be accessed remotely by multiple users.
Can I build my own server?
Yes, it is possible to build your own server. However, this may be complicated and time-consuming if you are not familiar with the hardware or software involved.
How much does a server cost?
The cost of a server will depend on its size, type, and the components included. Generally speaking, servers can range from several hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.
Can I use cloud servers instead?
Yes, cloud computing is becoming increasingly popular as it allows organizations to access powerful servers without having to invest in on-site hardware.
A server rack is a structure that allows multiple servers and other hardware components to be securely stored in an organized fashion. Server racks provide easy access and good ventilation for the hardware, which helps to reduce downtime and increase efficiency.
Do I need a server rack?
Yes, if you are using physical servers rather than cloud computing solutions it is recommended to use a server rack for optimal storage and organization.