Most people outside of the IT industry do not understand what servers are used for. This even applies to most business owners; most never bother finding out about what a server is or what it does. That is, until their company suddenly needs to conduct a major migration or the like.
Here is a short guide on some of the common uses for computer servers:
What a Server Actually Does
First off, let’s look at what a server is. Yes, it is an important piece of computer equipment, but for a lot of people that’s the full extent of their knowledge.
A server doesn’t need to be a scary and mysterious piece of equipment nor does it need to be confusing. Its purpose is in fact very simple: it is a computer that connects to other computers in the “network”, providing much needed resources and services.
It’s that central computer to which all other computers connect to in order to access stored information and shared programs. What exactly it shares and stores is determined when you first set it up.
Types of Servers
There are database servers, print servers, web servers, mail servers, gaming servers, file servers, dedicated servers, shared servers and many more. Servers range widely in price, size and processing power according to the tasks they are designed to perform.
Servers at Home
If you have an old computer at home that you’re thinking of getting rid of, you should consider turning it into a home server. You could use this home server to store your music and videos so that they may be accessed all around the home on any computer on the network, or even as a media computer in your games room or living room.
You can also use a home server to send and receive email messages and store files that can be accessed throughout the home. You could even load your server security onto the server so that all of your computers are protected.
Servers at Work
If you’re running a business, severs will perform similar tasks but on a much larger scale. With a business you are likely dealing with large amounts of data that needs to be stored, so the server acts as a central secure storage location so that employees don’t need to back up their work every day.
Emails and other important information are stored on the server instead of on individual computers, which allows you to purchase equipment with smaller hard drives. Furthermore, it allows all employees to access the information through file sharing. As the business grows, each new computer that is purchased can be easily set up by accessing the information on the network server.
Servers are the unsung heroes of the workplace. Most people would be surprised to find out that servers perform such a wide range of critical tasks, from data storage to hosting websites. It is even more surprising to find out how useful a server can be to your small business, or even in your home. To fully utilise your service, seek the advice of an IT Consulting firm.