What is Server? Types, Examples, and Functions | Uses of Server

Server is a computer program that offers the special functionality for other program or devices, called the ‘Client’. Therefore, we are going to cover about what is server and its types, examples, functions; as well as other uses of server in the networking. After reading this post, you will definitely understood about what is server without any hassle.

Server Definition

Server means highly performing computer machine that helps to deliver many resources, data, or services to another remotely machine, called as the “Client” over the different types of network like as local area network (LAN) or a wide area network (WAN).

server

Servers are capable to run on several types of computer systems, but sufficient hardware should be supported as per demanding of your servers. For example, web servers help to run large amount of web pages in the real time, but this server needs fastest processor and sufficient RAM to manage massive “Load” without getting slow down.

What is Server Tutorial Headlines:

In this section, we will show you all headlines about this entire article; you can check them as your choice; below shown all:

  1. Server Definition
  2. What is Server in Networking?
  3. Types of Servers Based on Shape
  4. Types of Servers and Their Functions
  5. Servers Examples 
  6. How Do Servers Work?
  7. Server Components
  8. Uses of Server
  9. Functions of Server
  10. FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
  • What is server in networking with example?
  • What is server in computer system?
  • What is a server used for?
  • What is server connection?
  • How many types of servers is there?
  • What are the 20 different types of server?
  • What are the different types of server available in data center?
  • What are 10 types of servers and their functions?
  • What are the examples of servers in a network?
  • What is the 5 main function of server?
  • What is the main use of server?

Let’s Get Started!!

What is Server in Networking?

Server software is designed for target specific kind of server, in which hardware is not major concern. You can convert your PC into a server with using of suitable software. For example, if you allow PC to make connection over the home network then it is designated as print server, file server or more.

Server needs minimum necessary two software components like as operating system and Application.  Operating system plays role as a platform that helps to run different server applications. It delivers access to their hardware resources and produces many dependency services which are depended on the application.

Server’s operating system also provides better communication environment in between clients and server application. Operating system is assigned IP address of server and fully qualified domain name.

Types of Servers Based on Shape

Server types is classified into three different categories as per the their shape, like as:

types of server

Tower Servers: This server like as normal desktop computer system, but it contains several server hardware components. Today, tower servers are available in various kinds of shapes that is offering plenty of processing power, and you do not need buy any other additional mounting hardware.

Rack Servers: This server is placed in the horizontal rack. Multiple servers can be installed in this single rack mount server chassis. Main objective of developing it is to host and control enterprise solutions, and these types of server are used in data centers.

Blade Servers: Traditional computer servers hardware is enlarge as well as using heavy other parts of server. But now these days, by removing hard disk, internal cooling, and ongoing miniaturization of computing parts, so these types of servers are converted into single slim server called as a “Blade Servers”.

Types of Server and Their Functions

Here, we will show you 25 different types of server based on their functions and performance; below shown each one, you can check them:

File Server

File server is a computer attached to the network that provides a location for shared disk access, i.e., storage of computer files such as text, image, sound, and video. It is a central server instance in a computer network that enables connected clients to access the server’s storage capacities. The file server takes on the computer or server role to store and make available data BLOBs to clients, serving as a central location to store and share files for a network.

Function: Manages and provides access to files within a network.

Web Server

Web server is computer software and underlying hardware that accepts requests via HTTP or its secure variant HTTPS. It has responsibility for storing, processing, and delivering web content to end users over the internet by the web browser. The primary function of a web server is to host websites, process HTTP requests, and deliver web content to users

Function: Hosts and delivers web content over the internet.

Database Server

Database server is a vital component in modern data management, serving as a central location for storing and managing data, providing efficient data access, ensuring data integrity, and supporting data-driven decision-making

Function: Manages and provides access to databases.

Application Server

Application server hosts applications or software, delivering business applications through a communication protocol. It works like as host for the user’s business logic during the facilitating access to and getting to performance of the business application.  It offers the environment where applications can easily run, regardless of their nature otherwise function.

Function: Hosts and runs specific applications or software.

Mail Server

Mail server is also known as ‘Mail Transfer Agent (MTA)’, mail transport agent, mail router, or internet mailer, is an application that helps to receive, store, and deliver email messages. The mail server performs along with other programs to make a messaging system, and making ensure  the smooth movement for email.

Function: Manages and transfers emails over a network

Proxy Server

Proxy server is a server application that acts as an intermediary between a client requesting a resource and the server providing that resource. It improves privacy, security, and control over network transactions. Instead of connecting directly to a server that can fulfil a request for a resource, such as a file or web page, the client directs the request to the proxy server, which evaluates the request and performs the required network transactions.

Function: Acts as an intermediary between clients and other servers.

DNS Server

DNS (Domain Name System) server is a network device that translates domain names into IP addresses. When a user types a domain name into a web browser, the DNS server is responsible for resolving that domain name into an IP address that can be used to locate the website or resource. DNS servers store a database of domain names and their corresponding IP addresses, allowing them to quickly and efficiently resolve domain names into IP addresses.

Function: Resolves domain names to IP addresses.

DHCP Server

DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) server is a network server that automatically provides and assigns IP addresses, default gateways, and other network parameters to client devices. It is a client/server protocol that allows a server to assign IP addresses to client devices on the network. When a device connects to a network, it can request an IP address and network configuration information from a DHCP server.

Function: Assigns IP addresses dynamically to devices on a network.

Print Server

Print server is also known as the printer server, is a type of server that connects printers to client computers over a network. It accepts print jobs from the computers and sends the jobs to the appropriate printers, queuing the jobs locally to accommodate the fact that work may arrive more quickly than the printer can actually handle. Ancillary functions include the ability to inspect the queue of jobs to be processed, the ability to reorder or delete waiting print jobs, or the ability to do various kinds of accounting (such as counting pages, which may involve reading data generated by the printer).

Function: Manages and controls access to printers on a network.

FTP Server

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) server is computer software that facilitates the secure exchange of files over a TCP/IP network. It runs the File Transfer Protocol (FTP), a standard communication protocol that operates at the network level, to establish a secure connection between devices in client-server architecture and efficiently transmit data over the internet.

Function: Facilitates file transfer between computers.

Authentication Server

Authentication server works in the network service that applications use to make authentication the credentials, count names and passwords of their users. When a client submits a valid set of credentials, it receives a cryptographic ticket that it can subsequently use to access various services.

Function: Manages user authentication and access control.

VoIP Server

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) server is a computer system that enables voice communications over the internet. It converts analog audio into digital data and transmits it over IP networks. VoIP servers receive, store, and distribute voice and video data, allowing users to make calls over the internet. They are also known as PBX (Private Branch Exchange) systems and provide various functionalities such as video conferencing, interactive voice response, and call forwarding.

Function: Facilitates Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) communication.

Backup Server

Backup server is responsible for creating and storing backups of data, files, applications, or databases on an internal or remote server and recovering the backup data when needed. Backup servers typically have abundant storage capacity, primarily consisting of redundant storage drives and backup server applications.

Function: Manages backup processes and storage.

Virtualization Server

Virtualization server is a physical server that is designed to host and manage virtual machines (VMs) through a hypervisor.  Virtualization server makes the partition the physical server into multiple isolated virtual servers, then each one is able to run its own operating system and applications. This allows for the efficient utilization of hardware resources, as multiple virtual servers can run on a single physical server. Virtualization servers are commonly going to use in data centers and enterprise environments for getting to optimize resource allocation, enhance scalability, and streamline IT operations.

Function: Hosts and manages virtual machines (VMs).

Streaming Server

Streaming server is a computer software or hardware that enables the delivery of audio and video content over the internet. Streaming servers can be used to deliver live or on-demand content, and they can support various streaming protocols such as HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP), and Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH).

Function: Facilitates the delivery of multimedia content in real-time.

Collaboration Server

Collaboration server allows to users for working together on the project, sharing information and resources in real-time frame. Collaboration servers are developed to facilitate make communication and collaboration in between the team members, offering the centralized platform for sharing files, data, and other kinds of resources.

Function: Supports collaborative tools and communication platforms.

Directory Server

Directory server is a type of centralized repository of data that helps to users, devices, and resources over the network. It works as the database that contains data related to user identities, access privileges, and other kinds of attributes. The directory server offers the scalable and protective platform for keeping to store and managing this information, as well as allowing the organizations to control access to applications and resources.

Function: Manages a directory service for user and resource information.

Monitoring Server

Monitoring server is responsible for keeping to monitor the entire performance and health of other servers, applications, and network devices. It gathers data on several metrics like as CPU usage, memory consumption, network traffic, and disk usage, and offers the real-time insights into the whole performance of the monitored systems. Monitoring servers can be also used to detect and diagnose issues, getting to optimize system performance, and making to ensure that systems are running perfectly.

Function: Monitors and manages network performance and health.

Firewall Server

Firewall server acts as the network security device that help to monitor and control the incoming and outgoing network traffic; and helping to avoid unauthorized access and protecting against malicious activities. It works as a barrier in between the trusted internal network and untrusted external networks like as the internet.

Function: Implements and manages network security policies.

VPN Server

VPN server is enabled the hosting and delivery of VPN services. It is a physical or virtual server configured to host and deliver VPN services to users worldwide. The server is a combination of VPN hardware and VPN software that allows VPN clients to connect to a secure private network. Unlike most servers, a VPN server usually has more logical and physical communications ports. VPN server software is what allows a server to offer VPN services to users.

Function: Facilitates Virtual Private Network connections for secure access.

Game Server

Game server is the authoritative source of events in a multiplayer video game. It transmits enough data about its internal state to allow its connected clients to maintain their own accurate version of the game world for display to players.

Function: Hosts multiplayer online games, managing player interactions.

Streaming Media Server

Streaming media server is a software application or a host running the media server software that delivers video and audio content to clients who request it. The most common use of media servers is to deliver video on demand (VOD), where the media server retrieves pre-recorded video content from storage and delivers it across the internet.

Function: Distributes streaming media content, such as audio and video.

Collaborative Editing Server

Collaborative editing server enables real-time collaborative editing, simultaneous editing, or live editing of the same digital document by multiple users. It facilitates the synchronization of changes made by different users and ensures that all participants see the same document and have their changes sent to others in real time.

Function: Supports real-time collaborative editing of documents.

Git Server

Git server is a critical component for version control and collaboration in software development that is allowing users to host and keep managing their Git repositories, track changes, and work together on code. It also offers the centralized platform for storing and sharing code, enabling efficient collaboration and version management.

Function: Manages and hosts Git repositories for version control.

IoT Server

IoT (Internet of Things) server is enabled the collection, storage, and analysis of data generated by IoT devices. IoT servers are also going to use for monitor and control IoT devices, analyze data, and trigger actions at the based on the data collected.

Function: Manages communication and data exchange in Internet of Things (IoT) networks. 

Server Examples

There are several examples of servers based on their functions, including:

Server

Examples

File Server

Windows Server with File Services, Linux-based Samba server

Web Server

Apache HTTP Server, Nginx, Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS)

Database Server

MySQL Server, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle Database Server

Application Server

Apache Tomcat, Microsoft SharePoint Server

Mail Server

Microsoft Exchange Server, Postfix, Sendmail

Proxy Server

Squid Proxy Server, Microsoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway

DNS Server

BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain), Microsoft DNS Server

DHCP Server

ISC DHCP, Microsoft DHCP Server

Print Server

CUPS (Common Unix Printing System), Windows Print Server

FTP Server

vsftpd (Very Secure FTP Daemon), FileZilla Server

Authentication

Microsoft Active Directory, FreeIPA

VoIP Server

Asterisk, FreeSWITCH

Backup Server

Veeam Backup & Replication, Bacula

Virtualization Server

VMware vSphere/ESXi, Microsoft Hyper-V, KVM

Streaming Server

Wowza Streaming Engine, Adobe Media Server

Collaboration Server

Microsoft Teams, Slack

Directory Server

OpenLDAP, Microsoft Active Directory

Monitoring Server

Nagios, Zabbix, Prometheus

Firewall Server

pfSense, Cisco ASA

VPN Server

OpenVPN, Cisco AnyConnect

Game Server

Minecraft Server, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) Server

Streaming Media Server

Plex Media Server, Emby

Collaborative Editing Server

Google Docs, Microsoft SharePoint

Git Server

GitLab, GitHub Enterprise, Bitbucket Server

IoT Server

IBM Watson IoT Platform, AWS IoT Core

How Do Servers Work?

Here’s a simplified explanation about how servers work:

Initialization and Boot:

  • When a server is powered on, the hardware components undergo a Power-On Self-Test (POST) to ensure they are functioning correctly.
  • The server’s firmware (BIOS or UEFI) initializes essential hardware components and checks for connected devices.

Operating System Loading:

  • The server’s operating system (OS) loads into memory from the storage device (such as a hard drive or SSD).
  • The OS manages hardware resources and prepares the server to execute applications.

Service Initialization:

Server-specific services and applications, such as web servers, database management systems, or file-sharing services, are initialized and become active.

Network Connectivity:

The server establishes network connectivity through its Network Interface Card (NIC), allowing it to communicate with other devices on the network.

Client Requests:

Clients on the network send requests for specific services or resources to the server. These requests could include accessing a website, retrieving a file, or querying a database.

Processing Client Requests:

The server processes client requests based on the specific services it provides. For example, a web server processes HTTP requests and delivers web pages.

Data Retrieval and Processing:

Servers retrieve data from storage or databases, process it, and generate responses to send back to the clients.

Data Transmission:

The server sends the processed data or services back to the requesting clients over the network.

Continuous Operation:

Servers are designed for continuous operation, ensuring they are available to respond to client requests as needed.

Monitoring and Maintenance:

Server administrators monitor performance, address issues, and perform maintenance tasks to ensure optimal functionality.

Server Components

Servers consist of both hardware and software components essential for their specific functions in a networked environment. Hardware components include the processor (CPU), memory (RAM), storage (HDD/SSD), network interface card (NIC), motherboard, power supply unit (PSU), cooling system, and chassis.

The software layer involves the operating system, server-specific applications, device drivers, firmware (e.g., BIOS/UEFI), middleware for software communication, and various utilities for server management.

Networking components, such as routers, switches, firewalls, and load balancers, enable server connectivity and traffic management. Remote management interfaces and system management software allow for remote access, control, and monitoring of server settings and performance.

Security components involve antivirus software, intrusion detection/prevention systems, and access controls to protect the server from threats. Backup software, redundancy mechanisms, and disaster recovery plans ensure data safety and system resilience.

Uses of Server

Main use of server is to get access, hold and transfer all files and data from other computer machine over the computer network. Local network is used for making connection with multiple computers, in small scale organizations.

Another use: All devices of server are configured for getting listen to all requests from client machines over the network connections. This functionality is presented like as part of operating system that is run on all applications.

Server is also capable to perform other tasks like as one request and response that is enabling with identifying identify of all requestors; client machine must be granted permission to access all data and other resources.

For example: Apache web server responds to browser requests over the internet through other additional applications, and Apache is installed on top layer of operating system.

Server Function

Server has some functions that you should be known about them.

Providing Requests to Client System: A server will serve all requests to client for getting to process, and be it data applications or requests to be executed by the client system. Therefore, most of servers are going to use fastest and protected operating system.

Keeping Store Data: This is another prime function of server is to keep store data or information sent from the client. This stored data might be into complex format types of documents and information. So, server must have massive storage capacity because it is able to store and get access data together along with other clients.

Offer a Database to Operate: Another function of a server is to provide the database for data storage and processing. Mostly, enlarge organizations take benefit of this function to use big data. All data or information, which are stored into a database can be get processed and accessed by their users. So, with helping of this service, most of organizations can design their business products.

Control File or Data Transfer Traffic Flow: The server is also capable to keep manage the communication and transfer of data or information to the client.

Protect form Attacker: The finally function of server is to provide the security your computer system or website from cyber-attack. Each time there is as request for data from client, and then server will identify the IP address and other specious information. Whenever, any suspicious like as malware threat, then server can provide protection to get access to that IP address.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is server in networking with example?

Server is especial program that is running over the networking. It offers the service to other computer software and their users, also named as the ‘Client’; and other hand, the physical computer that a server code of piece works on is frequently, also known as the ‘Server’. For example are application server, web server, dedicated server, and more.

What is server in computer system?

Server is computer enabled with special programs that is going to provide service or functionalities to other computer is called the client.

What is a server used for?

The main objective of a server is to share data and other resources as well as distribute work. There is other scenario whereas uses of servers like as Serving Client Computer Requests, Storing Data or Information, Manage Data or File Transfer Traffic, etc.

What is server connection?

A server connection is special connection whereas two or multiple systems are running; in which one is working as a ‘Server’ and other systems are performing as a ‘Client’. With using of these connections, user are capable to get access information over the enlarge computer network.

How many types of servers is there?

A server is classified into three sub categories like as Tower Servers, Rack Servers, and Blade Servers.

What are the 20 different types of server?

There is a list of 20 kinds of server like as:

  • Web server
  • Proxy server
  • Virtual Machine
  • FTP Server
  • Application Server
  • File Server
  • Database Server
  • Mail Server
  • Print Server
  • DNS Server
  • Gaming Server
  • Collaboration Server
  • Database Servers
  • Mail Servers
  • Audio/Video Server
  • Chat Server
  • Groupware Servers
  • Fax Servers
  • IRC Servers
  • Transaction Servers

What are the different types of server available in data center?

There are several types of server, which are presenting in the data center such as mail servers, web servers, application servers, FTP servers, real-time communication servers, and virtual servers.

What are 10 types of servers and their functions?

Through this post, already we have been explained many servers and their functions, you can check them.

What are the examples of servers in a network?

There are many examples that are going to use over the computer networking like as Proxy server, Virtual Machine, FTP Server, Application Server, File Server, Database Server, Mail Server, Print Server, DNS Server, Gaming Server and more.

What is the 5 main function of server?

A server has many functions, but here we will show you 5 core functions like as:

  • Serving Client Computer Requests
  • Provide a Database to Run
  • Storing Data or Information
  • Manage Data or File Transfer Traffic
  • Safeguard from Evil Attack

What is the main use of server?

The main function of server is to get access, hold and transfer all files and data from other computer machine over the computer network. Local network is used for making connection with multiple computers, in small scale organizations. Server is also capable to perform other tasks like as one request and response that is enabling with identifying identify of all requestors; client machine must be granted permission to access all data and other resources.

The Bottom Lines

Making ensure that you have been fully educated about what is server and its types, examples, functions; as well as other uses of server in the networking with ease. If this post is useful for you, then please share it along with your friends, family members or relatives over social media platforms like as Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, Twitter, and more.

Also Read: What is Database Server: Types, Examples, Functions, & Working!!

If you have any experience, tips, tricks, or query regarding this issue? You can drop a comment!

Happy Learning!!

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