What is a Server: Nowadays, there is so much information available in the form of audio, video, and text, which we can access just with a click of a button.
However, there is a place or physical location where all this information gets stored, which is called Server.
For example – the article you are reading right now is also stored on a server somewhere.
All these huge and gigantic data on the Internet is stored in Servers. Therefore, It is also known as the backbone of the Internet.
In this article, you will get the complete idea of different types of Servers, why do we need them and how do they work.
So, let’s start with the definition first.
What is a Server
Server Definition: A Server is a program or hardware who’s job is to accept the request from the client and give the data or service in response to the client request over the network(LAN or WAN).
In simple words, a computer that Serves the request of any other computer(client) in a network is called a Server. The request may be of a Web Page or any other service.
Advantage of using Servers
Now the important question arises is that what does a Server do and why do we need it.
As you know that all the computers are connected with the help of a giant network called the Internet.
So, the Server is one of the computers in this network which provides services to all other computers.
With the Internet, we all are connected. However, we still need a medium to communicate with each other, and here comes the role of the server.
For example – You and your friend are using the Internet and you want to communicate with your friend.
However, you can’t communicate with your friend without using any website or application.
So, you need an application, like – WhatsApp, which will help you in communicating with your friend over the Internet.
WhatsApp will take your message and send it to your friend. So, the Server of WhatsApp is responsible for taking the message and delivering it to the targeting user.
So, without Servers, the Internet is of no use. As you are connected over the Internet, but you need a Server to set up communication.
Now, let’s take a look at how does a Server work.
How do Servers work
To understand the working of a Server, you should first understand the interaction between the Browser and the Web Server.
As you know that web browsers are used for accessing different websites over the Internet. But inside the hood, how does a web browser work.
In your browser, when you type in the address or URL of the website you want to access. Then firstly, that request gets to the DNS (Domain Name System). In DNS, the URL gets converted into the IP address.
Every single device which is connected to the Internet has a specific IP Address. IP Address is the identity of the devices over the Internet.
So, after getting that IP address associated with that URL or web page. The request gets transferred to the corresponding web server.
The web server takes a request and collects the data or elements of the requested web page.
So, in response to the client request, the server starts transmitting the requested web page.
On the client-side, the web browser receives the desired page and shows it to the user.
So, this is the overall process behind the client and server interaction.
Every second there are thousands if not millions of requests fetched by servers. So, how is it possible that it responds to all these requests in no time?
All this is possible with the help of powerful hardware and software (Linux Distribution) installed onto the Servers.
Unlike our traditional computers, It uses a special storage technology called RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks).
The advantage of using RAID is that it reduces the risk of data loss. In RAID, the same data gets stored on multiple disks.
So, anyhow if one disk gets malfunctioned or stopped working. Then, the other one will be ready to replace it without interrupting the flow of data or any data loss.
This is the reason, It makes use of RAID technology.
As thousands of requests needed to be served by the Servers. So, for managing these operations, large RAM and Powerful CPU are used.
Types of Server
Below is the detailed list of different types of Server used nowadays, each having it’s own work and service:
- File Servers – It is used for storing, uploading, and downloading a file.
- Application Servers – It is similar to the web server and capable of performing all the tasks that a web server can do. However, it is used for handling complex applications, like – Java Web Application and accessing the database as well.
- Database Servers – It is a dedicated server that is used for storing, accessing, and retrieving the database of an application.
- Web Servers – It is responsible for handling all the web page request which you make in your browser. For example – if you type in the URL of the website, then firstly the request will get to the webserver and the webserver will respond by giving that particular web page back to you.
- Proxy Servers – It helps in improving privacy and security. It is like a firewall between the client and the Internet. If you are using a proxy server then firstly your request will go through it, before getting to the Internet and Similarly, a response from the destination server before reaching you. So, it acts as a barrier between you (client) and the Internet.
- Print Servers – It is responsible for handling all the print-related jobs in a network.
- Mail Servers – It is responsible for handling the sending and receiving of emails in the network (Internet).
- DNS Servers – It stands for Domain Name System and is used for storing all the records in the database of the domain names and their associated IP address.
How to turn your Computer into a Server
You can turn your computer into a server.
Any device which provides services to other computers in a network is a server.
So, if your Phone, Laptop, or Computer is providing any kind of service to other computers in a network, then it is a Server.
The architecture of the server is no different from your personal computer. It also has RAM, Processor, Storage, and Operating System in it.
You can make a web server in your home and host your website in it. However, there are many challenges as well.
For example – If you turned your computer into a server, then you can’t afford to close your computer even for a single second.
Your Internet connection should also be 24/7 running and fast enough to take all the requests on your website and respond to it.
You also need powerful hardware that will execute all the necessary processes.
So, you need a modification in the hardware as well as software of your computer to turn it into a Business Server, which will be quite expensive for sure.
So, if you are thinking of creating a website, then you should go with the dedicated server.
As it provides high storage capacity, processing capability, and various other features that are necessary for handling and managing your website on the Internet.
However, if you want, you can create a local Server in your home in which you can store the Images, Videos, or Songs and you can access that data from any device in your home. Like – Tablet, Phone, or PC.
Hope you like the article. We also have a detailed article on Working of Computer, which you must take a look at.