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Server – Brief Explanation

Server – Brief Explanation

What is a Server?

In computing, a computer that is part of a computer network and provides certain services to the rest of the computers in it, called stations or clients, is known as a server. Said computer must have a specific application capable of responding to the requests of different clients and providing them with a timely response, so in reality, several simultaneous servers (software) can operate within the same physical computer (hardware), as long as they have the necessary logistical resources.

What is a Server_

Servers operate based on a client-server communication model (or “architecture”), distributing tasks among available resource providers, thus offering their clients the opportunity to share data, specific information, and access to certain server resources. software and hardware, such as a specific application or peripheral. This is how, for example, web pages and email services work.

Commonly, servers can be classified according to their availability as dedicated and shared. Dedicated servers are those that have all their hardware and processing resources to meet client requests; while shared servers are those that, while receiving requests from clients through the network, attend to processes locally, outside the network.

Characteristics of a Server

Since servers are computers in charge of meeting the demands of network clients, one of their main characteristics is that they must constantly have their resources available so that the network is operational all the time. That is, they must always be on, and always available. This is why sometimes a web page or its resources cannot load: if a server crashes or breaks down, a certain segment of the network it is in charge of will no longer be available to its clientele.

On the other hand, servers are usually high-end computers, equipped with sufficient processing capacity to handle numerous client requests with a minimum range of delay. This also implies having a constant supply of electricity and other physical resources to guarantee its operation. In fact, in many cases, servers are stored in compartments that are very well conditioned for this purpose, including climatically: in a sufficiently cold and dust-free environment, overheating of the system is avoided.

What is a Server For?

The servers, as we have said, are responsible for responding to the requests of the clients of a given network and managing the resources available to it so that each client can access the information or peripherals it needs. In that sense, servers can have very different functions, such as:

File Servers.

They store files or information files and feed them to a network.

Active Directory/Domain Servers.

They manage information related to the network, its users, teams, and internal groups.

Print Server.

Manages a set of printers available for a network, granting access to them and managing the print queue.

Mail Server.

It manages the flow of email between, from, and to clients on a network, sending and receiving messages and storing their history.

Proxy Server.

Its role is as a backup, storing for a time and in cache a copy of the web pages available on the network, to speed up access to them or allow data recovery if the original goes down.

Web Server.

It stores the content necessary for one or more web pages and manages orderly access to it so that client browsers can “render” a website.

DNS Server.

It stores the information necessary to associate a domain name with a series of IP addresses of the computers linked to it (its web servers).

DHCP Server.

Responsible for assigning dynamic (changing) IP addresses to clients connecting to a network.

FTP Server.

It stores specific user information and allows private access to it between teams.

Game Server.

Those specifically dedicated to storing information so that clients can access a recreational program at the same time (generally massive video games).


In conclusion, we explain what a server is, its main characteristics, and what it is for.

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