Server: what is it?

Server what is it

A computer server is a device that offers a set of services to clients to which it is networked through the Internet or a intranet. The server is usually a computer more powerful than its clients, consisting of personal computers, tablets or smartphones.

The services provided by a server

A server most often offers the following services to its customers:

  • the access to Internet or to an intranet;
  • the email ;
  • data storage and sharing;
  • sharing of peripherals such as hard drives, printer;
  • access control for guarantee cybersecurity ;
  • Games ;
  • electronic commerce.

There are several models of servers. It is possible to classify the various forms of servers according to their size:

  • a small box;
  • a microcomputer ;
  • a mini-computer;
  • a central computer. Mainframe computers exist especially in very large companies, such as airlines.
  • a compute farm also called a grouping of servers, a cluster of clusters or servers. The multilayer cluster is naturally the most complex and the most efficient. There are also clusters with one or two layers.

What is a computer server for?

It would be unthinkable today, for a company or an administration, to do without the most mundane services offered by a server (Internet access, electronic mail, access control, etc.). We observe, on the other hand, that its uses differ according to their nature.

The three server models:

  • the tower server, comparable to a central unit and that you can plug in anywhere;
  • the rack server is more efficient. It needs a room and a storage bay;
  • the blade server, or blade server, is the most efficient and newer. Network connections are built into the chassis.

VSEs, SMEs, large companies, administrations depending on their scale (schools, rectorates, Ministry of National Education for example) generally have their own servers.

Opt for server outsourcing

Outsourcing your server means entrusting the management to a specialized company. This allows some VSEs and SMEs to free up access to their main server, to improve the security of their data at a lower cost. Hardware maintenance is usually taken care of and they can access content on their server anytime and at very high speed.

How does a computer server work?

The computer server operates differently if it is on a peer-to-peer basis, or if it maintains ongoing relationships with its clients, in other words the computers and their users, for which it is responsible.

  • In the server-client architecture, the server responds to requests from its clients.

The server responds to requests sent to it by its clients, in particular through the screen. It uses protocols Communication. The most famous is the Internet Protocol, abbreviated as IP. The servers are generally installed in specialized premises where security is guaranteed.

  • In architecture peer to peer or equal to equal, each device is both client and server.

Continuous operation

While it is difficult to imagine peer-to-peer, server-client operation must continue 24 hours a day. Technological performance does not yet allow such an objective to be achieved. This is why it is essential to entrust the safety of the service to professionals who will intervene in the event of a breakdown.

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