Definition of Server Computer: Types and Features

Last Updated on 3 weeks by Touhid

What is the definition of server computer? A server is a computer or hardware device that stores data and provides services to the client’s computer. There are different types of server computers such as web servers, application servers, database servers, print servers, and mail servers.

In this post, today we’ll clearly define the definition of a server computer, types, features, and main components of a server computer.

Definition of Server Computer

In computing, the definition of a server computer is a server that is typically connected to one or more clients through the internet or local area network (LAN) to access the resources. The server computer stores different types of resources such as text, images, video, and files. Servers can share those resources to the client computers and the client can access the resources through the network.

In a data center, a server is a high-configuration computer or storage that runs services to serve the workstations. To access the resources, first of all, clients send a request to the server, and the server responds to the request and finally sends the resources to clients.

A server can host different types of application software, internet games, and websites. The application can be ERP software, accounting software, budget management software, library management software, financial software, etc.

If you want to share something or give access to the resources to workstations or automate your office, then you need a server. Typically, the workstations can be connected to a server through a local area network or the internet.

Definition of server computer

Types of Server Computer

Different types of servers are used for different purposes such as education, business, and office. The list of most common forms of servers is as follows:

  • Web Server
  • Application Server
  • Database Server
  • Mail Server
  • DNS Server
  • Print Server
  • Virtual Server
  • Proxy Server

Web Server

A web server is a type of server computer that is used to host webpage contents. Clients send HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) requests for HTML web pages through the internet and web servers respond to the client requests and show the webpages on the client’s browser.

The main purpose of a web server is to receive the client’s request and display the HTML web pages on the client’s browser through the internet.

When you host a static website then, you need a static web server and when you host a dynamic application then you need a dynamic web server. Dynamic web server means, you need an additional web server called application server.

Nowadays, the most popular web servers are Apache web server, IIS server, Nginx , and LiteSpeed.

Read more about Web Server.

Application Server

The definition of an application server computer is a server that is typically designed to host web-based dynamic applications. The application server acts as an intermediary between the web server and the database server.

If you send a dynamic request to a web server then the web server sends the request to the application server. Then the application server receives the request and sends it to the database server will inform the web server again.

Generally, an application server handles the dynamic requests from a web server and delivers the business logic of any application.

Database Server

A database server is a type of server computer that is used to store and manage the database on a server. The database server can host one or more databases and only authorized users can access the database server.

Typically, a database server has two sides one is the software side and another one is the hardware side. On the software side, the database server is the back-end part of the database application. And on the hardware side, the database server is the highly configured computer system, which is used to store and manage the database.

Mail Server

A mail server is a server that is used to store, send, and receive email over the Internet. The mail server is also referred to as an e-mail server.

A mail server can send and receive (outgoing and incoming) emails from the same or other mail servers using standard email protocols such as SMTP, POP3, and IMAP.

The SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) protocol is used to send outgoing emails and the IMAP and POP3 protocols are used to receive and store incoming emails from client computers.

Email server computer is used stores, send and receive emailDNS Server

A DNS (Domain Name System) server is a type of application server that’s used to convert hostnames into Internet Protocol or IP addresses. For example, the hostname abc.com is converted into the IP address (103.105.200.112). It’s easier to remember a domain name or hostname rather than an IP address.

The DNS server contains one or more domain names, and each domain has a unique public IP address. If a web server hosts multiple web applications, then the DNS server can add multiple domain names using that web server’s IP address. In that case, the web server must be configured using port numbers.

Print Server

In computer networking, a print server is a networked computer or host computer in a computer network that connects workstations with printers over a network. The print server is also referred to as a network printer.

A print server can connect multiple computers and allows them to complete their print-related jobs without moving the files and users. Typically, a print server may be used in small and large office networks or home networks.

Virtual Server

Virtual servers share resources such as hardware and software with other operating systems (OS) to host multiple applications. The term virtual server is located at someone else’s location which is shared and accessible by authorized application owners.

Simply put, one physical server resource (such as RAM, Hard Disk, and Processor) can be allocated into several virtual machines that can run different operating systems. The use of virtual servers is cost-effective, simplified, time and resource-saving, easy to configure, and ensures availability in case of disaster recovery.

Nowadays, virtual servers are the most popular hosting platforms for software and website hosting. Most organizations are using virtual servers to reduce the hardware cost and optimize the hardware resources.

Proxy Server

A proxy server is a server computer that acts as an intermediary between client and server. To access the resources (such as web pages, and files) the client directs requests to the proxy instead of requesting to a server. A proxy server processes the request, filters the content, scans for viruses, and malware, and finally displays the contents on the client web browser.

The proxy server provides user privacy, ensures network security by hiding the real IP address, filters malicious websites, and can access geographically blocked or restricted websites.

Proxy server computer acts as an intermediary between client and server.

Features of Server Computer

In this post, we’ve defined the definition of server computer for web, application, mail, printer, database, etc. Now, we’ll mention the main features of server computer.

The main features or function of a server is storage, access and managing the data files through the computer network. The other features of a server computer are mentioned as follows:

  • It is a high configuration computer.
  • One server computer can connect to multiple workstations.
  • Server computer has data transfer and backup capability.
  • Operating system and other software can be updated on server computers.
  • The server can process the client requests.
  • It ensures the security of data and resources from unauthorized access.
  • It ensures the availability of data and resources.

Components of Server Computer

The main components or parts of a server are the motherboard, processors, memory, hard drives, network connections, graphics cards, and power supply. There are mainly three types of server hardware such as tower server, rack server, and blade server.

Some other categories of server are hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) and mainframes. These types of server’s hardware are used based on business and data storage requirements.

Conclusion

Finally, a server is a computer system that stores resources and serves them to another system or to the client computers. A server is essential to store data and host applications and provide services to the user. In this article, we have discussed about definition of server computer. Hope the article may help you to gather some information about server computers.

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