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Enakshi Pal
Enakshi Pal

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An easy approach to the Servers.

Being a casual user on the internet, I am dead sure about the fact that, we all, at some point, have faced ONE internet issue for sure!

Which issue?

Let me ask you. When was the last time you saw some sentences hovering around your desktop/laptop/mobile screen saying – “Server not Found”, “Service Temporarily Unavailable” or “Too many users? Please try again later” ?

Didn’t remember?

Well, it’s okay. We are not concerned about the last time you saw these but, we will definitely look into the term ‘Server’ and also about the issues.

If you go and google the term ‘Server’ the first definition you will see as “A person or a thing that serves” .

Well yes. The definition in itself is correct. So, to make it sound effortless, let me show you an instance.

We all know that the hospitals serve us 24*7 and there is no particular day that a hospital remains closed, right? Yes! This is exactly how our servers, which we will be talking about, work.

They work 24*7 without getting tired! How cool, isn’t it?

Now, let’s come to the point. The word *“Server”** has different meanings in the IT world.*

Let us start with an example.

Suppose you want to use some photos of a Nightingale bird in your project. So, you open your favorite browser and type there “Images of Nightingale bird”, and the moment you click on “Search” button the browser presents you the images of Nightingale bird you wanted.

You think this process was a cake walk? I’m sure it was, BUT! You are unaware about the BTS (Behind The Scenes).
Do not worry! I would surely put on some light to BTS!

The moment you clicked on the ‘Search’ button, you actually have sent the request to the server to search for your desired image and within few seconds the server responds to your request and SERVES you with the desired output you wanted to see.

Client-Server Model

So, basically here you got a glimpse of Web Servers and this is how our Servers work!

Now, let me make you read one thing. A server could be a computer or a computer program as well, that processes the response to the requests made by the client side. But this doesn’t signify a normal desktop, rather it points to a very powerful computer which is specifically designed to run the server software.

Now, after reading the above statement, you might be curious about one thing for sure!

What shall we call them? Servers? Computers? What are they? Which is the perfect word?

So, let me clear this huge cloud of questions!

A computer/desktop is a Single User Request-Response System (SURRS).
By this you can think of a document you need, you open it on your computer and view it. This whole thing is done using a single screen. Nobody else is using your computer, right?

Whereas, a server handles Multiple User Request-Response System (MURRS).
Now, by this you can think of using the simple internet connection on your desktop/laptop or mobile phones. Here multiple users are using the same network. Also, you, being one among the multiple users, are using the same shared network without any trouble on your own device.

This is what our Server does. Fascinating, isn’t it?

So, the main reasons behind calling it “Servers” are…

• Both of the devices are almost same but, their style of serving is different, as in, a server can serve multiple users at a time through the same set of networks.
• Computers have inexpensive configuration. Whereas, Servers have expensive configuration.
• Servers are fixed in place whereas, computers/laptop can be shifted.

Too obvious reasons, right?

Okay so, by now you have got a decent idea about Servers, now let us look at their types as well!

  1. Print Servers
  2. File Servers
  3. Database Servers.
  4. Proxy Server
  5. Mail Server
  6. Web Server
  7. Application Server
  8. Real-Time Communication Server
  9. FTP Serve
  10. DNS Server
  11. List Server
  12. Telnet Server
  13. Open-Source Server
  14. Virtual Server
  15. Online Gaming Server
  16. Chat Servers
  17. IRC Servers
  18. Fax Servers
  19. Groupware Servers
  20. News Servers

Woah! Too many types! Confused about the types?

No worries! Let me give you a small clue to make it easy for you to understand. The name of the servers itself, defines the way or the domain they serve. Easy peasy, right?

A matter of fact is, if something works for 24*7 then there might be some issues as well, right?

“Server not Found”, “Service Temporarily Unavailable” or “Too many users? Please try again later” ?

Server Error

The moment we see these terms hovering around our screen we feel like the world has stopped! A few seconds of downtime would cost a loss of productivity, opportunity and what not to this world!

These issues are quite common and they occur due to a myriad of reasons. I would mention some of them here.
• Man-made error
• Natural disaster
• Software failure
• Equipment failure

When we hear the term “Servers” in technology, we tend to think about the big machines all around and that’s quite obvious. BUT! Did you know?

A matter of fact: You can set up your own server at home as well!

Last but not the least, being a tech person, you are/will be building or might have built some projects using any server-side scripting language (as in PHP, ColdFusion or ASP) at some point.
To test that you surely needed a server environment, i.e., a Local Server Environment.

Primarily, a local server is again a computer which serves a client within a Local Area Network (LAN). This means, that nobody else can access your services. It is called “Local” because, it is on your computer and you are in-charge of managing it!

An example would be: XAMPP, WAMP, MAMP etc.

Without stretching this any longer, having a brief idea about servers before working with them, will definitely keep you one step ahead!

Keep learning!

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