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A server is a piece of equipment that allows you to run an application on
a computer. What you are able to do depends on the type of server you
have been connected to. A server is usually optimized for the users needs
and provides access to multiple users at any one time. The number of
users will depend on the size and processing power of the server. They
are used to offer remote access, database access and more generally in
order to transfer files over a secure network.
In fact, any computer can be designated as a server. There are no special
characteristics other than it being clearly defined and then linked to on
the network. If the server is only going to run one particular
application, then the name of the application will also be known by the
same name as the server. You can also get a private server but that will
be more expensive.
Servers vary in size depending on the processing power needed and the
amount of workload it is expected to handle during operational time. For
example, a batch of server applications may be divided between a number
of separate server computers in exceptional circumstances. However in
most cases, the server application can run on a single computer if the
workload is light enough.
Most network designers will asses the risk of the servers and the
information held on them in order to limit damage that a server crash
would cause. In order to do this, they would split up one server computer
to handle one specific sever application. It is also possible to use a
server computer as a workstation computer, but this uncommon due the risk
and damage that could be associated with this practice. It is also
generally prohibited for security reasons and information safety
One of the best examples of servers is the Internet. The Internet is
comprised of the client to server model where the Internet Service
Providers direct the traffic across the biggest group of networked
computers in the world. When thinking about servers and their role in
daily life, it is useful to picture the Internet as it provides a clear
picture of their use and function.