A server, as the name implies, is a computer device that serves other computers connected to it in a network. A server can also be defined as a computer device in which the server software or server program is running in.
The server is a central system in a group of computers (network) of an organization/business and provides the services to other computers.
What makes server different from a normal computer?
A server is also a normal computer system. But the hardware differentiating between the normal computer device and a server are special server programs/software on server and storage system. Normal workstation has comparatively lower hard drive memory to store information than the server.
A server might contain more than one hard drives integrated together to act as one hard drive. The number of hard drives integrated depends on the amount of information the organization/business has to hold. This group of hard drives is called RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks). It is so designed, to keep back up of the information and revoke it back in case of crashes in individual hard drives.
Types of servers
There are different types of servers. Following are some of the most commonly used servers in real-time.
1. Application servers
Application servers are huge repository of data. It also acts as the mediator between the front end (user) and the back end (database). It processes the requests of the user by using the resources and information from the database and sends back response to the user.
2. Web servers
Web servers receive the request from the browser and serve the user with the static web pages he/she requested for. The requested page is brought to users from the server. Communication between the user and server is done using HTTP protocol.
3. Cloud servers
Cloud servers available on cloud (cloud computing). Cloud server is ready to use by any user. There are different types of servers available on the cloud.
4. File Transfer Protocol (FTP) servers
FTP servers are a kind of the oldest servers for Internet services. FTP servers help transferring files among computers securely.
5. Groupware servers
Groupware servers are used to connect different systems/users using network connection and helps coordinate work. This is useful for the organizations who have branches of their business at different geographical locations.
6. Chat servers
Chat servers enable users to chat in an environment built by servers. Users can exchange data and have discussions by using chat servers.
7. Audio and video servers
Using audio and video server, a website can post the audio or video files (multimedia content) on its website.
8. Virtual servers
Virtual server is a special kind of server, which is neither a dedicated server nor a shared server. It is shared by multiple website owners and each user of uses it as a dedicated server.
9. Telnet servers
Telnet servers help users to log into the host system and work on it remotely.
10. Proxy servers
A proxy server acts as a mediator between the client program and the external service provider. It is used to filter unwanted services and control unauthorized accesses.
11. Fax servers
Fax servers are very useful for a small or start up businesses, whose usage of telephone is less and cut the cost on it.
These servers are widely used. Small businesses can choose servers that are helpful for their businesses, baring in mind the budget you can allocate.