A server computer is a computer, or series of computers, that link other computers or electronic devices together. They often provide essential services across a network, either to private users inside a large organization or to public users via the internet. For example, when you enter a query in a search engine, the query is sent from your computer over the internet to the servers that store all the relevant web pages. The results are sent back by the server to your computer.

Many servers have dedicated functionality such as web servers, print servers, and database servers. Enterprise servers are servers that are used in a business context.

Types of servers

In a general network environment the following types of servers may be found.

  • Application server, a server dedicated to running certain software applications
  • Catalog server, a central search point for information across a distributed network
  • Communications server, carrier-grade computing platform for communications networks
  • Database server, provides database services to other computer programs or computers
  • Fax server, provides fax services for clients
  • File server, provides file services
  • Game server, a server that video game clients connect to in order to play online together
  • Home server, a server for the home
  • ISA server, provides the two basic services of an enterprise firewall and a Web proxy/cache server
  • Name server or DNS server
  • Print server, provides printer services
  • Proxy server, acts as an intermediary for requests from clients seeking resources from other servers
  • Sound server, provides multimedia broadcasting, streaming.
  • Standalone server, an emulator for client–server (web-based) programs
  • Web server, a server that HTTP clients connect to in order to send commands and receive responses along with data contents

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