The function of a computer server is to save, retrieve, and send or “serve” files and data to other computers on its network. Various businesses of all sizes use a local network or “intranet” in their office facilities. On a larger scale, the world-wide computer network we know as the “Internet” depends upon a good number of servers over the world. The data, files, and functionality of a particular website are based on web servers.
The inner workings of a server
While the physical properties of different servers may differ greatly, many computer servers (notably those used in large data centers) such as Dell workstation are flat, rack-mountable rectangular devices without any interface for a keyboard, mouse, or monitor screen. Servers typically have high-powered fans to prevent overheating.
Operating Systems and Server Software
A given computer server such as Dell PowerEdge R340 might run any one of several operating systems, including Mac OS X Server, Microsoft Windows Server, or an open-source operating system such as Ubuntu Server or FreeBSD.
The operating system of the server should run special server software. While by far the bulk of computer servers run the open-source Apache Server software, others use proprietary systems such as Windows IIS or Adobe ColdFusion. This software does the distribution and retrieval of files stored on the server. Other server-side programs (such as ASP or Java) may be used to process those files before the result is sent back to the requesting computer.
Providing database access is one of the most significant functions of a computer server. An efficient and compactinformation storage structure is relational database, allowing rapid access to large volumes of data.
In an office setting, a database may be used to save customer contact details and other information, as well as shipping and payment records. Several employees will be able to recover and update information from the database in real-time throughout the day when the business is conducted, by accessing the server over a local network,