What is Server?

May 8, 2023 - (Free)

A Server is a computer program or device that, through a network, offers resources or functionality to other programs or devices known as clients. Servers are frequently used for many different purposes, including web hosting, email, file sharing, database management, and many others. They might be anything from small, specialized systems to massive, intricate devices that accommodate numerous users and applications simultaneously.

The purpose of servers is to be scalable, available, and reliable. They frequently employ specific software and hardware elements that allow them to manage huge traffic levels, deliver quick responses, and guarantee data integrity and security. In order to guarantee that services are still available in the case of hardware or software failures, they frequently include redundancy and failover measures.

Both physical and virtual servers are available. Virtual servers are software-based instances that run on top of real servers or clusters of physical servers, whereas physical servers are actual computers that are kept on-site or in a data center. Multiple virtual servers can run on a single physical system thanks to virtualization technology, which can lower costs and increase resource efficiency.

What is a server

Types of Servers

The major categories of servers are shown below:

1. Web Server

web server

Public domain software is used to access the internet through an open-source web server. These servers establish a connection between your computer and any saved data from an internet website. Information for the internet is stored on web servers and is retrieved using “HTTP” code before being transferred to your web browser. One of the most popular server types is this one.

2. Virtual Machine (VM)

Virtual machine (VM)

Virtual machines only store and connect data in virtual spaces, as their name implies. A hypervisor, commonly referred to as a virtual machine monitor (VMM), is software that allows IT teams to run hundreds of virtual machines on a single piece of physical hardware. Because they are the most economical sort of server to run, this server virtualization technique is commonly utilized for data transit and storage.

3. Application Server

Application server

Through virtual server connections, these servers link clients to software programs. This enables users to access applications without downloading data to their own hardware. Application servers are the best choice for corporations because they can efficiently host big amounts of application data to numerous users at once.

4. Mail Server

mail serverThrough email service platforms, a mail server stores and delivers mail for customers. Individual users can access their email without running any systems through their own devices because mail servers are configured to maintain a network connection.

5. Domain Name System (DNS) Server

Domain name system (DNS) server

These servers translate readable computer domain names into IP addresses written in computer code. The DNS server uses user-supplied search information to locate the requested address and send it to the client device.

6. Gaming Server

Gaming server

Servers are used by large gaming networks to link users from around the world. Games with multiple players are hosted on these servers.

7. Print Server

Print server

To print across a network, a print server establishes remote connections with nearby computers. Businesses now have the option of using a single printer to support a whole department thanks to these servers. When put in an office space, some printers even have their own built-in server that is prepared to connect to a network.

8. Database Server

Database server

Database servers act as substantial data repositories that businesses may access and use to operate a variety of applications. Any database architecture is not necessary for a database server to function.

9. Proxy Server

Proxy server

Between a host server and a client server, proxy servers operate as a bridge. After passing through the proxy’s server, data from a website is sent to the IP address of your machine. Since the information is requested and then transported from the source to the proxy server rather than straight from a client to another user, this method adds an extra degree of protection. Various hazardous internet organizations can be blocked by a proxy server.

10. File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Server

File transfer protocol (FTP) server

To transfer files from one computer to another, FTP servers are utilized. Downloaded files are extracted onto your device from the server while uploaded files travel from your PC to the server. In order to connect computers to each other securely and transfer data, this process is known as file transfer protocol.

11. File Server

File server

Multiple users’ data files are kept on a file server. They enable quicker file writing to computers and faster data retrieval. When many users need access to files that are more conveniently and securely saved on a server than on a personal computer, corporations frequently utilize this basic sort of server.

12. Monitoring and Management Server

Monitoring and management server

Servers for management and monitoring perform a variety of tasks. They first take user requests, record, and track digital transactions. Others only keep an eye on user activity and take no active part in it. Network administrators who examine network health to look for dangers or flaws in the system can use monitoring servers to respond to their requests.

13. Collaboration Server

Collaboration server

An easy way to connect is through a collaboration server when work needs to be shared among numerous individuals. You can exchange and store files, programs, and other substantial amounts of data with these servers.

14. Chat Server

Chat Server

A chat server is an instance of a server configured to offer resources for a particular chat service. The server receives messages submitted by a chat client user and forwards them to the intended recipient or recipients. IRC and XMPP are the two most widely used chat programs.

15. Cloud Server

Cloud Server

A strong physical or virtual infrastructure that distributes applications, processes data, or stores data is referred to as a cloud server. A single physical (bare metal) server is divided into several virtual servers using virtualization software to construct certain cloud servers. Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) models are used by cloud service providers to make virtual or bare metal servers accessible to consumers.

16. Media Server

Media Server

A media server is a hardware device or software program that stores and makes digital material (video, audio, or photos) accessible through a network.

Smaller personal PCs or NAS (Network Attached Storage) for the home are examples of media servers. Media servers can also be servers that offer video on demand.

17. Backup Server

Backup Server

A computer type that controls the backup of files, data, databases, or programs is a backup server. The storing and retrieval of data for connected computers, servers, and devices are often managed by a backup server, which typically combines hardware and software.

18. Groupware Server

Groupware Server

Software called a groupware server enables users to collaborate online or over an intranet, regardless of their physical location, in a virtual setting. The size and nature of the project largely determine how many clients must be connected to this server.

19. Telnet Server

Telnet Server

Over an IP network, a Telnet Server enables command line access to an embedded module. A two-way interactive command line interface (CLI) via a virtual terminal connection is provided across a network using the Telnet protocol.

20. SSH Server

SSH Server

Data exchange between two computers over an untrusted network can be done safely using the SSH protocol. The identities, data, and files that are sent are secure and protected via SSH. It is supported by almost all servers and the majority of machines.

21. LDAP Server

LDAP ServerA software protocol called LDAP, which is vendor-neutral, is used to search for devices or information on a network. LDAP is the solution, whether you want to create a centralized authentication server for your business or want to make it easier for users to access internal servers and printers.

22. VoIP Server

VoIP Server

Over your broadband connection, a VoIP system transforms analog speech impulses into digital ones. Calls are connected to different telephone networks via a VoIP server.

23. DHCP Server

DHCP Server

An automatic distribution and assignment of IP addresses, default gateways, and other network characteristics to client devices is performed by a DHCP server, a type of network server. To reply to broadcast requests from clients, it uses the widely used Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, or DHCP.

24. IoT Server

iot server

IoT Data Server is a “Data Integration Controller” made up of a very dependable industrial computer and data integration software without scripting. Standard data management features designed specifically for data collecting, processing, saving, noting, and publishing are included.

25. Identity Server

Identity Server

OpenID Connect (OIDC) and OAuth 2.0 standards are implemented by Identity Server, an authentication server for ASP.NET Core. It’s intended to offer a standard method of authenticating requests to all of your applications, whether they are API endpoints, web, native, mobile, or other.

26. VPN Server

VPN server

A VPN server is a type of server that enables remote users to create a private network connection over the internet that is safe and secure. All internet traffic for a user who is connected to a VPN server is sent through the VPN server, which encrypts the data and masks the user’s IP address. This can be helpful for safeguarding sensitive information and for remote access to resources on a private network.

27. Storage Server

Storage server

Storage servers are used to store an organization’s data and applications. They act as warehouses for stores of data and software. The storage servers may be in situ or ex situ, that is, they may be kept virtually on a cloud network or physically within the organization’s network premises.

28. Remote Access Server

Remote access server

A type of server known as a remote access server (RAS) offers a number of services to customers who are connected remotely across a network or the Internet. It functions as a central server or remote gateway that links distant users to the LAN inside an enterprise.

29. NAS Server

NAS server

A file-level server connected to a computer network that offers data access to a diverse range of clients is known as network-attached storage. The term “NAS” can be used to describe both the systems and technologies involved, as well as a specialized device designed with such functionality.

30. E-commerce Server

E-commerce server

A server containing software intended to run an online store is referred to as a commerce server. Among the services it offers are credit card processing, inventory control, a consumer shopping cart system, and a checkout page.

31. Authentication Server

Authentication server

An application known as an authentication server makes it easier for an entity trying to enter a network to be authenticated. An object like this may be a user or another server. A dedicated computer, an Ethernet switch, an access point, or a network access server can all function as an authentication server.

How Do Servers Work?

Servers connect users to various data functions in a variety of ways. They store a lot of data for businesses and make it available to users online or across internal networks. When users ask them to retrieve specific files from previously stored or connected data sources, they do so. Additionally, they cooperate with an operating system to better hear and react to user demands.

Installing software that creates new responsibilities, such as responding to website requests from an internet browser, can improve a server’s capability. Servers can also function as security measures to confirm users’ identities prior to granting access to a network.

Server Components

These components make up physical servers:


The motherboard of a server connects every component. The amount of storage and the number of hard drives that can be connected to a server are determined by the size of the motherboard.

Central Processing Unit (CPU):

The overall operations of a server are managed by the CPU. It serves as the hub of a server device’s processing. Processing speed is how CPUs are evaluated.


The quantity of storage a server has is determined by this component. Memory and the motherboard must be compatible.

Hard Drives:

A computer’s hard disk houses both user and software data. It makes use of a controller card for the best processing capabilities. A server that stores a lot of data can require numerous hard drives.

Network Connection:

In order to operate, a server needs to be connected to a network. A strong network connection will guarantee that a server can receive and process user requests. If the motherboard doesn’t already include a network adapter, the server will need to have an external network connection installed.

Power Supply:

A larger power supply is required for servers that distribute data to many clients than is necessary for a typical home computer. A power source of at least 300 watts is required for most servers.

Where are Servers Stored?

A server and other network equipment are frequently kept in a closet or glass house in a company or corporate setting. These spaces aid in separating delicate computers and equipment from users who shouldn’t have access to them.

A data center houses servers that are remote or not hosted locally. These servers have hardware that is managed by a different business and configured remotely by you or your business.

4 Indices That Your Company Needs a Server

How can you tell for sure if your small business needs a server now that you understand what a server is? Here are some of the most typical indications that you should buy a server:

1. Your Business is Growing

Business is growing

When your company has less than ten employees, managing your PCs and IT is rather straightforward. You may easily call on your team to get things done when you require software upgrades or want to switch to a new antivirus program. The same thing applies to sharing files. All you need to do is pass the external hard disk around.

But as you’ll quickly discover, these jobs don’t simply get a bit harder; they get a lot harder whenever your crew size hits 10, 15, or 20. Your team is probably already slowed down by having to share data or keep track of software upgrades, as you may have noticed.

These procedures and more can be made simpler by a server. It significantly simplifies the management of a fleet of computers on your network, whether they are located on- or off-site.

2. You Want to Automate Backups

Do the members of your team regularly backup their laptops and desktops? Most likely, they don’t do it frequently enough. It’s simple to get distracted while your mind is racing, as anyone who has ever worked on a computer and forgotten to hit the save button will attest.

Unfortunately, the results of losing data and the downtime brought on by attempting to recover it can negatively impact your company.

That procedure can be automated for you by a dedicated server. In addition to backing up the server, you may automate backups for all of your machines to a single hub. That can greatly cut down on downtime and lessen the effects of data loss.

3. Your Team Needs to Access the Same Data

Even tiny firms require a central location to store their data. It facilitates better organization and gives team members access to the information they require when they require it.

For small organizations, that can entail choosing cloud storage so that your data is flexible and accessible. However, a server with a domain controller can be more practical after your organization has expanded beyond twelve seats.

A domain controller is a server computer that answers to authentication requests, which makes it easier for your company to manage user permissions. It is capable of running Active Directory, Windows Server software, file and print services, and more. All of these elements make it much simpler for you to handle many devices.

4. You Want to Centralize Network Security Management

Centralize Network Security

When you just have five or six employees, installing security software on every device in your network might not be a big concern. However, it becomes a time-consuming task once you pass a dozen.

You can apply security updates to the entire network from a single computer by using a server. From there, you can control spam filters, run malware checks, and install software across the network. Because of this, managing network security becomes much easier, even if your team is larger.

My Computer can it be a server?

Yes. With the appropriate software, any computer—including a desktop or laptop used at home—can operate as a server. To share files with other users on your network, for instance, you may install an FTP server program on your computer.

Although it is conceivable, bear the following things in mind when using your personal computer as a server.

  • To be available, your computer and the associated server software must always be operating.
  • Your computer’s resources (such as processing power and bandwidth) are employed as a server, which reduces the amount of time you have for other tasks.
  • Your computer may become vulnerable to new kinds of attacks if you connect it to a network and the Internet.
  • A standard computer might not have enough capabilities to process all of the requests if the service you’re offering becomes well-known.

How Do Other Computers Connect to a Server?

In a local network, the server is linked to a router or switch that is also used by the other PCs. Other computers can access that server and its features once they are linked to the network. A user might connect to a web server, for instance, to see websites, do searches, and interact with other users on the network.

Similar to a local network server, but operating on a much wider scale, is an Internet server. InterNIC or the web host assigns the server an IP address.

Users typically access servers through their domain names, which are registered with domain name registrars. A DNS resolver automatically converts the domain name (such as “computerhope.com”) to the server’s IP address when users connect to the domain.

Because a domain name is simpler to remember than an IP address, it makes it simpler for users to connect to the server. Additionally, domain names allow the server owner to modify the server’s IP address without affecting how users access the service. Even if an IP address changes, the domain name can always stay the same.


a server is a computer system or software application that offers various services to other hardware or software components in a network. It is made to host applications, manage data storage, and give users remote access. Small personal servers and enormous data centers are only two examples of the many types and sizes of servers. Anyone working with computer networks, web development, or data management needs to understand the purpose and operation of a server. The speed of your system can be improved with the help of a basic understanding of servers, regardless of whether you operate as a network administrator, software developer, or website owner.