What is File Server: Definition, Types, Examples, Advantages, Disadvantages

What is File Server: Definition, Types, Examples, Advantages, Disadvantages

What is File Server

In computer network, file server is a super performing computer system that has responsible for storing and fetching all types of files (audio file, images, video, database, and other documents), and these files are used by all client machines which are linked over the network. A file server allows users to transfer all files over the entire network without using any physical medium of file transfer such as pen drive, floppy diskette or other external storage media. We can set up any computer as host that plays role as a file server. In the other word, file server may be a simple computer system that has abilities to send and retrieve all requests for files over the computer network.
file server

Diagram of File Server

File server acts as dedicated system like as network attached storage (NAS) devices. This dedicated server is commonly implemented in enterprise applications because they offer fastest data access as well as offer higher storage capacity compare to non dedicated server.

All file servers have different goal like as share information, backup, remote storage, and more. There are three models, which are widely used; such as

  • When file server consists file structure, and assign few or whole records along with unique key, and it can perform several operations like as read, write, extend, remove, join, and more.
  • If, file server does not contain internal structure of their files, then this server is not capable to resolve complicated operations, but only to perform read and write tasks.
  • When file server contains all file like as hierarchy form, it means tree shape. This is most common model, and it has internal structure of files as well as allowing solve complex operations.

File Server in Computer Network

A network server helps to store all central data files, which are access by other connected network users. This stored all data on the server eliminates all replication of all files over individual computers, so it needs less disk storage space them. This server plays major role in the network servers and other network operating system like as Windows NT, Novell Netware, UNIX, etc.

Today, file servers are more advance with using enlarge power supplies, various racks for installation of multiple hard disks, and more advance cooling system. It likes as Multiprocessor machines, and configured along with more memory unit compare to single user computer system.

Types of File Server

File server is divided into two categories like as Dedicated and Non-Dedicated file server. Dedicated server is designed only for use as the File server, along with their workstation attached for reading or writing files as well as database. Non-dedicated server is designed for use as multipurpose like as file server and database server.

Other Types of File Server are:

XS: This is Input only/Caching server, and it is used in simple CHAIN operations only for input.

XF:  This is Input/output Server, and it has ability to perform various functions like as READ, CHAIN, and SETLL to a file.

X: This is Special Scrub & Edit Server, and they can accept cost center, account numbers, numeric fields, or a data string in any valid data entry or file format, convert them to any format, validate the existence of the master record, and optionally pass the master record or the scrubbed data back to the calling program.

File server mostly uses two methods for getting access of data, such as Internet file server and LAN file server. Internet file server is accessed by FTP (File Transfer Protocol), and LAN file server is accessed by SMB/CIFS protocol.

Some Windows File Servers are:

  • Windows File Server
  • Windows Fail over cluster
  • Windows Server Cluster

Examples of File Server

File server is mostly used in various areas, for examples small scale organizations, schools, and home network as well. We can configure of file server with several methods; for example all computers can be accessed over the “Local Area Network” while automatically setting of file server. In the other way, like as business setting but here data security is main concern, so file server allows to all client machines to log in before getting to access the server. In other method, to need only grant access for specific list of computer system, which are defined as IP address or MAC address.

Advantages of File Server

There are few benefits of file server; such as –

  • Less maintenance of your system
  • Data is highly secured, and easy to get data backup.
  • Easy to data recovery.
  • Easy to handle all files centrally.
  • It does not need change of application programs while changing of physical file
  • Use of versions in future releases to allow programs from a previous release to run against a changed database.
  • Easy to transition from old database to new database.
  • It helps to decrease the storage space pressure of client system.
  • It can be used one file server at once without changing of your entire system.
  • File server can be accessed remotely with using of WebDAV and SCP.

Disadvantages of File Server

There are limitations of file server; like as –

  • It may be costly, if it is used in small companies, where two or three employees work.
  • Require well qualifies IT person to set up and administer.
  • Increase network bandwidth while reading and writing files to and from the file server by all clients.
  • If file server gets halt then all files are lost until it can be recovered from back up.

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