What is a server?

Mar 19th 2021

We hear the word server more or less in our lives. Although we have become accustomed to it, most people should not understand what a server is. Here are four aspects about the server. What is a server and what's it for? Is the server the same as the computer? What is the difference between a cloud server and a physical server?

1. What is a server?

Wikipedia says that the server refers to:

The computer software that manages resources and provides services to users is usually divided into file servers (which enable users to access files on other computers), database servers, and application servers. ②The computer running the above software, or called the network host (Host). The server usually uses the network as the medium. It can provide services internally through a local area network or externally through a wide area network. The greatest feature of a server is its powerful computing capability.

What exactly is "it"? Non-computer professionals may still be at a loss because they do not understand such professional explanations.

This magical thing is probably a black box with strong capabilities. Any network service we do needs to be connected to the server through the server.

Simply put, the server is a more advanced computer, but the computer is the client that sends the request, and the server is the server that accepts the service request and gives feedback in time.

For example, the Weeknd released a new song, you can only listen to it on apple music. If you just mute in your heart that I want to listen, Apple Music will ignore you because it cannot receive this service command.

We want to listen to this song, but who do we need to tell it to be useful? The answer is, it's useful to tell the Apple Music server. You can only hear it if it receives this command and gives you feedback.

So what way do we need to let the apple music server receive our service commands? Naturally, go to apple music through our computer or mobile phone to search for the Weeknd's new song, and you are in the process of searching, the server will receive To your service request. If the server itself has the resources and permissions of the song, it will show the song to you accordingly.

2. What is the role of the server?

Wikipedia: The composition of the server includes processors, hard disks, memory, system buses, etc., and is similar to general computer architecture, but due to the need to provide highly reliable services, processing power, stability, reliability, security, and scalability, Manageability and other aspects require higher requirements. In the network environment, according to the different types of services provided by the server, it is divided into a file server, database server, application server, WEB server, etc.

Through this, we know that the server includes functions such as storing data and processing data. It is the center of all network behaviors. Through the development of magical hands, the messy data is drawn into a data network and then outputted to achieve the product. Effect.

3. Is the server the same as the computer?

In terms of appearance, servers are larger, while computers are usually smaller.

The server's stability and security and data processing capabilities have higher requirements. For example, we can browse Amazon in the middle of the night, and the website of Apple Music can be accessed 24/7. During holidays, thousands of people grab high-speed rail tickets online because the servers behind these websites can run stably for a long time and can withstand them. Many people visit at the same time. If our computer is not turned off for a long time, it is easy to break. Therefore, the stability, quality, and performance of the server have more stringent requirements than ordinary computers.

Server, we can understand it as a computer that is more advanced than ordinary computers, but it has a higher standard of workmanship on various hardware. Since it is a more advanced computer, the internal hardware of the server is naturally similar to that of a computer, mainly composed of CPU, memory, motherboard, hard disk, etc.

The CPU, like our brain, is the core of the server; the motherboard is like the bones of the human body supporting the entire body, and all parts of the server are based on it; the power supply is like the blood of the human body, providing a stable DC to the host. . Memory and hard disk are like the memory center of the human body. Memory in memory is short-lived, while the hard disk is long-term.

If memory is compared to a bookshelf, the library is equivalent to a hard disk. Memory is mainly used to temporarily store data, just like a book that a person often uses on his bookshelf instead of in the library. That is to say, the data called in the server will be read from the hard disk, sent to the memory, and then the memory is sent to the CPU.

A computer usually only has one CPU installed, and the server is more inclined to the processor to process data. Its motherboard can install multiple CPUs, multiple memory, hard disks, etc., which has strong scalability. This is also determined by the nature of its work. Think about it, the company network cannot remain unchanged, especially in the current information age. If the server does not have certain scalability, and when the business volume increases, it will not be competent. A server worth tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands will be eliminated in a short period, which is unbearable for any company. To maintain scalability, it is usually necessary to have a certain amount of expansion space on the server.

4. Cloud server and physical server

We purchase a cloud hosting online to provide services that our server can provide from the huge resource pool of the service party. We don’t need to buy a physical server or maintain it too much. The cloud hosting party we purchased is responsible for the maintenance of the server. We Only play the role of the user.

The advantage of cloud hosting is that they are cheap, but companies that attach great importance to data security may choose physical servers.

We don't know if you have watched the "Silicon Valley" TV series. The start-up team built their servers at home, and those bulky things are physical servers (Baidu servers here are physical servers). His advantage is that it has powerful performance, data security, and stability.

From this point of view, no matter what kind of server, their role is the same, but the company chooses the one that is more suitable for it according to its own needs. At present, small companies or companies that do not have technical personnel will choose to purchase cloud hosting. Larger companies or companies that value data will buy physical servers.