Server is a term associated with the computing and information technology industry. It refers to a computer which is typically the largest and most powerful in a network and which provides data or performs certain tasks for other computers. The server is the house of server software. It handles and stores network (common) data and delivers it to the individual workstations or clients. It also provides internet access, printing, faxing or other shared services. This computer is of a dedicated nature meaning it only carries out the task(s) for which it has been set up.

Types of Servers

Servers are of different kinds, named on the basis of the key tasks they execute. Some of the various kinds are described below:

  • Application server – Its function is to run specific software applications.
  • Database server –It processes database queries or provides database solutions to other computers or computer programs.
  • File Server – It receives, sends and stores files. Any network user can store files on a file server.
  • Game Server – Video game clients can connect to this server so as to be able to play online together.
  • Mail Server – It is responsible for access to and transport of mail.
  • Print Server – It controls one or more printers and provides printer services.
  • Sound Server – It provides multimedia streaming and broadcasting.
  • Web Server – HTTP clients connect to this server to be able to send commands and obtain responses, in addition to data content.

Server-Specific Software

Each kind of server runs software specific to its function or purpose. A mail server for example, may run iMail, Exim or some other program that provides SMTP solutions to receive and send mail. On the other hand, the nature of hardware doesn’t matter that much. Even normal desktop computers may be used as servers as long as they have been provided with the suitable software.