Types of Servers

Types of Servers

Servers of different types exist today. Servers can perform multiple jobs, such as hosting websites, sending and receiving emails, safeguarding internal networks, etc. On the other hand, dedicated servers focus on one objective/functionality.

Some of the key server types are:

  1.  Web Server
  2. Database Server
  3. Email Server
  4. Web Proxy Server
  5. DNS Server
  6. FTP Server
  7. File Server
  8. DHCP Server
  9. Cloud Server
  10. Application Server
  11. Print Server
  12. NTP Server
  13. Radius Server
  14. Syslog Server
  15. Physical Server

Web server

Web servers are designed to run websites and apps through client programs (web browsers) such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, or Safari. They are responsible for storing, processing, and delivering web content to users. They support protocols such as HTTP, FTP  and SMTP that are key to information exchange between network devices. Some examples of web servers include Apache HTTP Server, Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS), and Sun Microsystem’s Sun Java System Web Server.

Mail server

A mail server facilitates email storage and management for clients. It uses different protocols for sending and receiving emails. For example, the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is used to send an email. The server relies on the Post Office Protocol (POP3)l to store and receive an email.

Application server

An application server provides an environment that helps develop, process, and run web-based applications, irrespective of their functionality. The server executes computer programs or scripts essential for running PHP, Java or .Net applications.

Database server

Database servers offer database services to client computers. Users can access, modify, store, and retrieve data from a database by executing a query; for example, an SQL Server Database servers are responsible for handling the security and recovery of database management systems (DBMS). They store digital files, application files, and non-database files. Large organizations use these servers to safeguard their sensitive and valuable corporate data. Some examples of database servers include Microsoft SQL, MySQL, MongoDB, and SQLite.

DNS server

DNS servers are domain name servers. These computers resolve server names that reside in a network. DNS servers are an integral part of the internet as they translate user-understandable URLs into their corresponding IP addresses.

Proxy server

A proxy server acts as an intermediary between local networks and worldwide networks. It provides a communication interface between interacting networks by accepting requests from one network and forwarding them using its own IP address. These servers cache frequently accessed web pages, which helps faster loading when accessed in the future. As a result, the network’s bandwidth is reduced significantly.. These servers also keep clients anonymous as their original IP address is replaced with a proxy.

DHCP server

Dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP) servers dynamically assign IP addresses to clients. The advantage of this is it minimizes the errors that manual handling may bring along, such as typo errors or IP conflicts.

DHCP servers maintain configuration updates of network devices; for example, they update or change expired IP addresses or manage the IP addresses of devices that move from location to location. These servers also play a key role in network administration since they can simultaneously address multiple client requests.

File server

File servers are typically used for storage purposes. Hence, they neither run computer programs nor perform computational tasks.

Gaming server

Gaming servers connect the global online gaming community. They support multiplayer games such as Counter-Strike, Minecraft, etc. Moreover, these servers manage player and game data while synchronizing player activity in the virtual world. ScalaCube, HostHavoc, and Cloudzy are popular game server hosting solutions that rent game servers for games such as ARK, Rust, and others.

Print server

Print servers connect printing devices to clients on a network. These servers use different protocols to accomplish print jobs, such as  Internet Printing Protocol, Line Printer Daemon protocol, or JetDirect. Popular brands in the print server market include IOGEAR and HP.