A server is a computer with some special features. It is built with these special features because it is used to manage networks and the computers connected to the network. In organizations, schools, or colleges, many machines are used for different purposes. Often, the need for communication between them arises. This is where the server comes into the picture. All these machines are connected to each other through a server, which facilitates the communication between them, and people can work in sync with each other even though they are physically far apart. However, this is just the general idea about a server.
The appropriate computer server definition would be - A computer or software program that caters to a certain need of the client. A file server stores files of the client. If it is a print server, multiple clients can use a single or multiple printers through it. Thus, a server serves a specific purpose. Amongst its various uses, an important one is managing a network of machines, which are called the clients of the server.
Computer servers are classified depending upon various factors such as their purpose, where they are being installed, etc. The following list will give you some more information about servers.
As its name suggests, it stores the files of all the client machines. It may be used as a backup storage or for general purpose use. It usually has supportive hardware like external hard disks and other forms of external storage devices. It runs special software meant for servers like the Windows Server 2003.
A web server is similar to a normal server that works with a number of clients. The difference is that here the network is the entire world wide web and the server takes requests from many clients at a time through HTTP. These servers have a monstrous configuration.
A database server is an important component of a client server model. It is not a computer but it's a program which has two parts, one is the server part installed on the server and the other a client part installed on the client computer. The program performs all the database related tasks like database management, analysis, etc.
This server stores multimedia files so that the client computers in the network can access them simultaneously. It is used in many fields such as entertainment, education, etc. This server deals only with the tasks related to video files. Live news is broadcasted through such servers.
Home Computer Server
Simply put, a home computer server is a home computer used as a web server. A web server hosts hundreds of web sites but the home server will host only a single website or sometimes a couple of them depending upon its configuration.
This is only an introduction to the types of servers, and there are many more types and subtypes like proxy server, time server, access server, fax server, etc. There are further subtypes of these servers depending upon their exact use. However, for the purpose of this article, we require an insight on merely the fundamentals.