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What Is A Server? – Work, Physical, and More

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A server is a computer program or device that provides a service to another computer program and its user, also known as the client. The physical computer that a server program runs on in a data center is also frequently referred to as a server. That machine might be a dedicated server or used for other purposes.

In the client/server programming model, a server program awaits and fulfills requests from client programs, which might be running on the same or other computers. A given application in a computer might function as a client with requests for services from other programs and as a server of requests from other programs.

How Servers Work

The term server can refer to a physical machine, a virtual machine, or software performing server services. How a server works vary considerably depending on how the word server.

Physical And Virtual Server

A physical server is simply a computer used to run server software. The differences between a server and a desktop computer will discuss in detail in the next section.

A virtual server is a virtual representation of a physical it. A virtual server’s includes its operating system and applications like a physical it. These are kept separate from any other virtual servers running on the physical it.

Creating virtual machines involves installing a lightweight software component called a hypervisor onto a physical server. The hypervisor’s job is to enable the physical server’s to function as a virtualization host. The virtualization host makes the physical server’s hardware resources — such as CPU time, memory, storage, and network bandwidth — available to one or more virtual machines.

An administrative console gives administrators the ability to allocate specific hardware resources to each virtual server. It helps dramatically drive down hardware costs because a single physical server’s can run multiple virtual servers instead of each workload needing its physical server’s.

Software Of Server’s

At a minimum, a server requires two software components: an operating system and an application. The operating system acts as a platform for running the server application. It provides access to the underlying hardware resources and provides the dependency services that the application depends on it.

The operating system also provides the means for clients to communicate with the server’s application. The server’s IP address and fully qualified domain name, for example, are assigned at the operating system level.

Desktop Computers Vs. Servers

There are both similarities and differences between desktop computers and servers. Most servers are based on X86/X64 CPUs and can run the same code as an X86/X64 desktop computer. However, unlike most desktop computers, physical servers often include multiple CPU sockets and error-correcting memory. Servers also generally support a far greater quantity of memory than most desktop computers.

What Does A Servers Do?

Servers can do everything a standard desktop computer can do and more. Vice-versa, computers can run server processes but do so far less productively. Generally, servers offer the following features to the networks they serve:

  • Scalability to serve a growing or fluctuating number of devices, users, and workloads
  • High processing power with rising CPU and RAM specs to handle network workloads
  • Reliability to ensure critical systems remain online and available
  • Collaboration between personnel with access to shared network resources
  • Cost savings over time because servers can reduce stress on network devices

The Client-Server Model

Servers that power other devices on the network are call host servers. The in-network devices receiving resources from the host server’s are known as clients—the following graphic looks at how servers and clients work within a network.

Why Are Servers Always On?

Because they are commonly used to deliver required services, most servers are never turned off. Consequently, when servers fail, they can cause many problems for the network users and the company.

How Do Other Computers Connect To A Server?

With a local network, it connects to a router or switch that all other computers on the network use. Once connected to the network, other computers can access that it and its features. For example, with a web [server], a user could relate to it to view a website, search, and communicate with other users on the network.

The domain name makes it easier for users to connect to it. Because the name is easier to remember than an IP address. Also, domain names enable it operator to change the server’s IP address without disrupting how users access it. The domain name can always remain the same, even if the IP address changes.

Home Computer Act As A Server

Although it is possible to have your home computer act as a [server], keep the following ideas in mind.

  • Your computer and the related software must always be running to be accessible.
  • When your computer is use as it, its resources (e.g., processing and bandwidth) take away from what you have available to do other things.
  • Connecting a computer to a network and the Internet can open up your laptop to new types of attacks.
  • If your service becomes popular, a typical computer may not have the necessary resources to handle all requests.

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