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FAQ: What is a network server?

What is a network server?

Photo Credit: Marco Bellucci (Creative Commons)

A network server is basically a computer thats purpose is to process requests and deliver data to other workstations on a local network or virtual network. A network server provides shared resources like disc space, hardware access, and email services with other computers (i.e. clients) on the network.

Any computer can be a network server. What makes a network server computer different from a workstation computer is not the hardware but the function of the computer. A workstation is any computer that an employee uses to perform his or her work while a network server is any computer that provides workstations access to shared software or hardware services.

Another difference between a server and a workstation is that network servers usually contain additional processing, storage capacity and memory to handle servicing computers on the network. For example, a server may have more random access memory (RAM) or use a more robust operating system (OS) than the typical workstation. The bigger the network, the more computing power required to handle the load.

Examples of common network servers include:

  • Web servers
  • Proxy servers
  • FTP servers

We hope you have found our explanation of a network server helpful in your research. If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to contact AMRCON for help or get a free network audit to discover ways to improve your business network.