Server Definition & Meaning

(ser ver) (n.) A server is a type of computer or device on a network that manages network resources. Servers are often dedicated, meaning that they perform no other tasks besides their server tasks. On multiprocessing operating systems, however, a single computer can execute several programs at once. A server in this case could refer to the program that is managing resources rather than the entire computer.

Different Types of Servers

Different types servers do different jobs, from serving email and video to protecting internal networks and hosting websites. There are many different types of servers, for example:

Top 5 Server Definitions to Know

1. What is a Web server?

Web servers are computers that deliver (or serve up) Web pages. Every Web server has an IP address and possibly a domain name. There are many Web server software applications, including public domain software and commercial packages.

2. What is a proxy server?

A proxy server is a server that sits between a client application, such as a Web browser, and a real server. Proxy servers have two main purposes: to improve performance and to filter requests.

3. What is a dedicated server?

A dedicated server is a single computer in a network reserved for serving the needs of the network. For example, some networks require that one computer be set aside to manage communications between all the other computers.

4. What is an application server?

An application server is a program that handles all application operations between users and an organization’s back-end business applications or databases. This type of server is typically used for complex transaction-based applications.

5. What is a cloud server?

Cloud servers are services made available to customers on demand via the Internet. Rather than being provided by a single server or virtual server, cloud server hosting services are provided by multiple connected servers that comprise a cloud.

6. What is virtualization?

Virtualization can make one server act like many, with a server hosting many virtual machines that themselves act like a server. Containers take that a step further by creating an encapsulated application with its own operating environment. On the other end of the spectrum, many servers can act as one cluster, a technology usually used in high-performance computing.

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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