What is a Server?

What is a Server and what are its Types:

A server is a computer or a computer program designed to manage requests made and deliver the same to another computer with the use of the internet or a locally available network.

In a layman’s term, a server means a web server where web pages are accessible on the internet with the help of a web browser. But there are various types of servers including the local ones, for example, file servers which store information within an internet network.

With the help of the correct software installed, any computer can function as a server. Generally, by a server, we mean huge, high powered machines which push and pull information from the internet.

Most computers support one or more servers that perform particular tasks. But larger the network the more likely it is that multiple servers can be connected, each with specified job work.

Technically, a server is a program/software which handles a specific task. The hardware which supports this software is also called a server because the server program which manages thousands of clients together requires hardware that is robust than the one which is used for common purposes.

Different Types of Servers Available:

While some servers are dedicated to performing one function, there may be servers which perform multiple functions.

  • Web Server: Web servers are those servers which show pages and run applications with the help of web browsers. For example Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, etc. Web servers not just serves as a search engine, delivering the content searched for, but also provides uploading and file back up functions too through a cloud storage facility or as an online backup service.
  • E-mail Server: E-mail servers functions as a medium of sending and receiving e-mails. If you have the facility or program to run e-mail on your computer then the software connects to an IMAP or POP e-mail server to download the e-mails received. Similarly, the software connects to an SMTP server to send e-mails through the server.
  • FTP Server: File Transfer Protocol Tools (FTP) enables the transfer of the FTP server can be accessed remotely through the FTP file program.
  • Identity Server: Identity server perform login and security functions for authorized users only.

Apart from commonly used in corporate servers, there are servers which are used in households such as online gaming servers, chat servers, audio, and video streaming servers to name a few. Since uptime is critical for most servers, they run 24*7, except when they are shut down for maintenance purposes, which users are duly notified by some websites. Servers might shut down on its own too without any prior warning for example during DDoS attack.