A properly configured and sufficiently powerful server installation can facilitate collaborative working, efficient communications and informed decision making. It does these by providing:
- Interfaces for discussions, document sharing and presentations
- Communication tools like emails, instant messaging, voice and video conferencing
- Access to a knowledge base of an organizations accumulating experience in running the business
- Processing business transactions and keeping track of changes databases and email
A server installation can be a daunting task that must be done in a carefully planned manner. It involves both hardware and software know-how and familiarity.
What is a Server?
In the context of computing, a server is an application or computer that services client computers by accepting service requests and responding to them. Thus a Web server accepts requests for Web pages from numerous computers on the Internet and responds by retrieving and sending the requested pages.
In an organizational context, servers store applications and data that can be accessed by workstation computers connected to it. Practices like enterprise computing, where information generated anywhere can be accessed by any client workstation on the enterprise network, is made possible by the use of client-server computing.
Server computers run specific server applications such as file servers, Web servers and email servers. There are also appliance servers such as routers and print servers. There are several server applications in the market such as the traditional UNIX servers, Apache Web server, Linux-based servers, Microsoft IIS Server and so on. Each of these applications needs to be installed and configured in its own way.
Server computers are typically more powerful and reliable, using faster processors, more memory and disk storage, redundant power supplies and hard drives, modular design, and so on.
Server installation involves not only installing a compatible set of hardware components but also configuring the installation to meet the special requirements of the organization. It can be a local installation confined to a single premises or a global installation spanning offices all over the world.
The workload on the system also affects the configuration. One single computer can run all the server applications where the load on the servers is light. Where the workload is very heavy, a single server application might require several computers. The safest option is to use one server computer per server application.
There are several other issues that need be considered while configuring a server, such as security issues, the special features of the particular operating system, and so on.
Server installation is thus a task that requires specialized training with the particular server application and also considerable experience of likely problems that might arise with regard to disaster recovery and data recovery if the need should arise.
Servers are specialized applications that provide different kinds of services to the client computers connected to it. There are Web servers, file servers, email servers, etc looking at things from a functional viewpoint, and UNIX, Linux, Microsoft IIS, etc servers looking at specific products available in the market.
Server installation involves not only putting in place the hardware components of the network but also configuring the whole system to meet the requirements of the particular operating environment. It requires both specialized training in the particular operating system and a good deal of practical and technical experience in setting up networks.