What is a server?

What is a server?

The term server refers to a powerful computer system or program that provides services or resources to meet the needs of other computers, known as clients, on a network. The services range from providing websites to data management and storage.

Detailed explanation with examples of uses

Servers play a vital role in the digital world. They are the backbone of almost every network communication that we use every day. Without these IT systems, hardly any applications on our smartphones would function properly. They are incredibly versatile and can provide different types of services.

A typical example is a web server. This is responsible for providing the content of websites. For example, when you enter “www.cadolto-datacenter.com” into your web browser, your request is sent to the Cadolto Datacenter web server. The DNS server receives this request and sends back the appropriate data so that your browser can display the website correctly.

Your email inbox is another example of the everyday need for this IT technology. An email server is responsible for sending, receiving and storing emails. When you send an email, it is first processed by the email server, which ensures that it gets to the right recipient.

In the business world, a dedicated server can act as a file server, enabling files to be stored and shared centrally. For companies, this may mean that employees can access certain documents and data stored based on the client server model, regardless of where they are. With the increased use, in particular, of cloud computing on various computers for everyday work, this technology is vital for companies.


What exactly is a server?

A server is a powerful computer system or program designed to provide services or resources to other computers, called clients, on a network. These services include website provision, data storage, file sharing, email services and much more.

Does a server always have to be a physical computer?

A single server can be a physical machine (server with hardware) or a program on a physical or virtual computer. For example, virtualisation technologies enable multiple virtual servers to run on a single physical counterpart.

Is a server always active and online?

Ideally, servers are online and active 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, especially when the functionality of important services needs to be guaranteed. However, in some cases such as personal home IT hardware or smaller corporate servers, they can also be shut down or restarted for short periods.