We're going to be discussing what a server is, as it relates to the world of computer systems and computing. In this regard a server is a computer program that operates to attend to the needs and demands of other applications (these are known as clients). Those computer programs may be running on a different computer system or on the same one as the server program. A server could also be a physical computer, or a couple of computers, whose purpose is to run one or more computer programs operating together on the same network.
A computer server is usually a combination of both software programs and hardware, like a file server, mail server, print server or a database server. Each one of these serve different and unique purposes. An example of this would be when you send a request into a search engine, that request is sent from your personal computer over the net to one or more servers that have the relevant pages saved on them.
The answer or results are then delivered back, by the server program, to your computer. You are probably wondering why servers are essential. They're needed so that the Internet runs correctly. If there were no servers saving web pages on them, you could not send out a search, since there would be nothing available for you to look for. This is merely the substantial public need for servers to be available. Servers also store programs that tell search engines how to work, as well as how webpages are rated so that the system knows what order to send the results of a search.
Servers are also necessary for the private use of organizations. They hold significant databases of the various types of information that these businesses need to retain and have quick access to. There could be individual servers for each type of information databases and a server that regulates how they are accessed.
It is also the server which allows a business to have a network of computers linked together to be able to access the data. The networking program is a server program and enables or limits the flow of internal information to only the computers with stored access clearance. If servers are so important, what occurs when a server fails? If a server breaks down, someone has to find out why and make fixes so it can be brought back online.
Out on the internet there are back-up servers. When one goes down and its information or directions aren't available but the Internet system will redirect their request and seek the information it needs by using another server on the system that can do nearly exactly the same thing that the server that crashed does. It's this back-up system (called a redundancy) that keeps the Internet functioning 24 hours a day.
When we're referring to a server inside a company breaking down, it might cause a lot of the work being done to come to a critical stop. Just as the servers on the web, the server will have to be fixed and brought back online so the company network system can get back to work. It's for this very reason that corporations have taken a lesson from the internet and have redundant backup rack server products set up and a system that will instantly switch to the back if the main server goes down.