Introduction to Server (Computing)

Internet: (is an acronym for International Network) Network is a group of two or more computers connected (linked) together to interact and share resources. Internet – a global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities, consisting of interconnected networks using standardized communication protocols.

Technology: echnology (from Greek τέχνη- techne and λογία- logia) is the collection of tools, arrangements, procedures and the application of scientific knowledge used by humans in developing equipment and machinery. The term can either be applied generally or to specific areas: Examples include construction technology, medical technology, internet technology and information technology.

Internet-Based Technology: Refers to the communications infrastructure of the Internet, which is based on the IP (Internet Protocol) protocol. IP (Internet Protocol): a set of rules governing the format of data sent over the Internet or other network. Internet technology is the umbrella that covers all the internet related technologies, such as: the internet, the web, Email, Usenet, IRC (Internet Relay Chat), Remote access etc.

Web Server Computing
Web Server Computing | Image credit: WiseGeek

The Internet:

– History and evolution

Domain Names

Web Hosting

– Routing

– Protocols

Web Hosting: is the activity or business of providing storage space and access for websites. Web Hosting Service – A web hosting service is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their website accessible via the World Wide Web (www). Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server owned or leased for use by clients, as well as providing Internet connectivity, typically in a data center.


The internet has come a very long way, it has been a turning point both positively and negatively for many organizations and individual as well. Many processes take place at the background while we surf the net for variety of purposes, the ordinary internet users are less concerned with the background processes. It is like driving a car when you don’t know exactly how it works. The pages we navigate through on websites or web applications are just the finished products on the internet.

An instance is when you visit an eatery, you order whatever you want to eat or drink based on the menu. You are less concerned with the number of those who prepared the dish or whatever you order, what you are most interested in is to be properly served. The menu could stand as the device browser or application, the order you made is equivalent to the request sent via the browser or application (i.e you order from the menu). The finished product are the meal and the drink you are served as a result of your order. The meal or the drink is similar to the content delivered to you via the device browser based on the request (order) you sent to the internet.

A server is a running instance of an application (Software) capable of accepting requests from the client and giving responses accordingly. Servers often provide essential services across a network, either to private users inside a large organization or to public users via the Internet.

There are many types of servers, they are classified based on the kind of work they perform; some are multipurpose (they are designed to perform several tasks) while others are dedicated (i.e perform specific task or purpose).

Functions of Server

Servers (either local or internet) have more processing power, speed, storage and memory than the clients they serve. Servers perform three major purposes, which are:

i. they accept requests from clients

ii. they process the accepted requests

iii. and give response

– Servers serve as storage facility for storing large information over a long period of time

– Servers are also responsible for the provision of security services for the information and other resources

– Servers share the available resources among the clients

– Servers manage the available resources

Types of Server

Classification by Task or function

Servers can be classified by the task or function they performed, some examples are given below;

1. Web Server: A web server is the computer that processes request via HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol), and the basic protocol used to distribute information on the internet (World Wide Web).

2. Application Server: Sometimes referred to as a type of middleware, application servers occupy a large chunk of computing territory between database servers and the end user, and they often connect the two.

3. Mail Server: mail servers move and store mail over corporate networks (via LANs and WANs) and across the Internet. It handles transport of and access to mail.

4. Game Server: a server that video game clients connect to in order to play online together

5. Database Server: provides database services to other computer programs or computers.

6. Communication Server: they are used for computing communication networks

7. File (File Transfer Protocol) Server: makes it possible to move one or more files securely between computers while providing file security and organization as well as transfer control.

8. Collaboration Server: server dedicated for project collaboration, it is also called ‘groupware’.

9. Sound Server: sound server is software that manages the use of and access to audio devices. It commonly runs as a background process.

10. Print Server (Printer Server): is a device that connects printers to client computers over a network.

11. Real-Time Communication Server: formerly known as chat servers or IRC (Internet Relay Chat) Servers, and still sometimes referred to as instant messaging (IM) servers, enable large numbers users to exchange information near instantaneously.

12. Virtual Server

13. List Server

14. Telnet Server

15. Fax Server

Server classification by size

servers can also be classified by sizes;

1. Rack Server

2. Tower Server

3. Miniature (home) servers

4. Mini Rack Servers

5. Blade Server

6. Mobile Server

7. Ultra-Dense Server

8. Super servers

Common Servers

Popular Servers

The list below displays the list of common servers that people are familiar with. They in no particular order,viz;


Microsoft IIS (Internet Information Service)


Sun Servers

Google Web Server (GWS)



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