What is a Server?

Servers 101: Understanding What It Is, Why It Matters & More


How are you able to access any website on the Internet? What is the backbone of modern networks that Businesses and Governments rely upon?

Yes, Servers.

But what exactly are they and how do they work?

Keep reading to find out!

Introduction

In this blog, we will learn all about Servers including:

  • What is a Server?
  • Why should we learn about Servers?
  • Why do they exist?
  • Server Computers VS Desktop Computers
  • How do they work?
  • Types of Servers

Let’s begin by answering…

What is a Server?

A Server is a computer program that provides some resources or functionality to other computer programs.

As a figure of speech, the computers running the server programs are often also referred to as servers. Although that’s technically incorrect.

Why should we learn about Servers?

Servers play a vital role in the information age of today. The following are the main benefits of learning about Servers:

  1. HIGH PAYING Jobs: Understanding servers and how they work can open up job opportunities in IT, especially DevOps that pay top dollar!
  2. Cloud Computing: Due to the enormous business value, many companies are moving their data and applications to remote servers offered by AWS, Azure, GCP, etc. A key part of Cloud Computing is – Servers. Thus, mastering them can be a valuable skill for anyone interested in working in the technology industry.
  3. Security: Servers are often the target of cyber attacks, so understanding how to secure them and protect against potential threats is essential.
  4. Improved performance: By understanding how servers work and how to manage them, you can optimize performance and speed up your website, application, or service.
  5. Cost-effectiveness: By understanding servers, you can make better-informed decisions about the hardware and software you use, which can help lower costs.
  6. Automation: Many server management tasks are repetitive and toilsome. Automating tasks such as configuration and deployment can save time and reduce human error.
  7. Scalability: Knowing how to set up and manage servers allows you to easily scale your infrastructure to meet the needs of a growing user base.

Yes, learning about servers is surely advantageous.

But, you may ask…

Why do Servers exist?

Servers exist to provide a centralized location for storing, managing, and distributing resources and information.

The origins of servers can be traced back to the 1960s when mainframe computers were used by large organizations to store and manage data. These early servers were large and expensive, and were primarily used by government agencies and large corporations.

As technology advanced, servers became smaller, more powerful, and more affordable. This led to the widespread adoption of servers in various industries, including business, education, healthcare, and government.

Today, servers form the foundation of modern networks like the Internet, enabling the ability to connect with people and resources worldwide. There is no doubt they play a crucial role in the functioning of businesses, and industries of all kinds. Without servers, the efficient and effective functioning of these systems would not be possible.


Server Computers VS Desktop Computers

Server computers are quite different from desktop computers that we usually use at home or work. Although both types share similarities, they have major differences in terms of their design, capabilities, and intended use.

Server computers are generally packed in data centers for heat and efficiency. They are often virtualized to handle the shared needs of multiple users and projects. These machines are designed to handle heavy workloads and large amounts of requests and data. They typically have high-performance specifications and are built to run 24/7, ensuring high availability and fault-tolerance. Additionally, servers often have redundancy built in, ensuring that if one component fails, another can take its place, minimizing downtime and disruption to users.

Desktop computers, on the other hand, are designed for personal use by a single user and are typically used for tasks such as word processing, internet browsing, gaming, etc. These computers are not built to handle heavy workloads and data like servers computers. Instead, they are intended for more basic, everyday use and are usually only needed for a few hours a day. They come in a variety of forms and specifications, and can be customized to fit a user’s specific needs and preferences.

Ok, so…

How do Servers Work?

Servers work by running specialized software programs that allow them to handle multiple requests simultaneously.

‘Servers’ are devices or programs that store and distribute resources. ‘Clients’ are Devices or programs that consume those resources by requesting the servers. Together, this architecture is called the ‘Client-Server Model’.

When a client requests some information or resources from a server, the server processes the request and sends the information or resources back to the client. This forms the ‘Request-Response Cycle’.

Take for example Google Search. When you search for something on Google, your browser as the ‘client’ sends a ‘request’ to Google. When a server from Google gets the request over the Internet, it performs its logic/function and sends your browser a ‘response’, which you see as search results.

Types of Servers

There are numerous types of servers, each with a specific purpose. Some of the most common types include:

  • Web servers: These servers distribute web pages and documents that are typically consumed by web browsers. Example: Apache, Nginx.
  • Database servers: These servers store and manage large amounts of data, such as online transactions, inventory, customer information, etc. Example: MySQL, MongoDB.
  • File servers: These servers store and manage files, such as documents, images, and videos. Example: FileZilla.
  • Mail servers: These servers manage and distribute email messages.
  • Print servers: These servers manage and distribute print jobs to connected printers.

And countless other types.

You are probably interacting with a server right now!

Conclusion

Servers have come a long way since the 1960s and have become an essential component of modern networks. Learning about servers can open up job opportunities in fields such as IT and DevOps. It is also becoming increasingly important for businesses and organizations of all sizes.

If you’re interested in delving deeper into the world of servers and Cloud Computing, be sure to subscribe to the TechMormo Newsletter for more valuable DevOps content.

Thanks for making it so far!

We have a LOT more exciting DevOps content on the way! 🙌

See you at the next one.

Till then…

Be bold and keep learning.

But most importantly,

Tech care!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Latest posts