Servers, those things that your computer needs in order to allow you to access data, aren’t as complicated as you may think. You may have one server, while the company you work for can have several. But all a server really is in basic layman’s terms is something that assists with file upload. Let me tell you how.
Computer Servers: Two Types
There are basically two types of servers: the kind that has one designated purpose (so, voila, it is called a designated server), and the kind of server that can have several purposes (known as a non-dedicated server). Your company’s network file server would be considered “dedicated” since no one outside the company is able to access its files. This is also the case for Rust hosting with cheap monthly fee from Fatality Servers, since you and your peers can only access it.
Computer Servers: Many Names
While there are only two types of servers (dedicated and non-dedicated), a server can have many different names and uses (network file server, work-group file server, disk/file server, virtual file server and http file server).
So to understand the reason for different server names, you need to understand how data is stored and retrieved electronically (also known as file upload).
Computer Servers: Where are they, actually?
On your home computer, you may store Word documents and other information internally on your computer (like on the desktop), or externally (like on a thumb drive, diskette, or floppy disk).
When you need to retrieve such a Word document from an external device (like the thumb drive), you insert the thumb drive and your computer begins using its disk/file server to retrieve the data for you.
Without a server, you aren’t going to get that data. So servers, for all intents and purposes, are just data retrievers, whether they are on your computer or sitting in a large office building serving lots of employee computer work stations.
Computer Servers: An Analogy
Another way to think of this data-retrieving process (or file upload) is similar to you going to your refrigerator when you are hungry. When you want meat for a sandwich, you open the meat compartment and retrieve the meat. If you want lettuce as well, you open the vegetable compartment to get that.
File servers just open areas of your computer (like a filing cabinet) to get the data it is looking for.
When your computer wants a Word document that is actually located on your thumb drive, it travels the electronic highway located inside the bottom of your laptop (or in that hard case that sits next to your computer monitor) until it reaches your thumb drive port (that little hole that you stick the thumb drive into), then it is able to open and retrieve data straight from your thumb drive.
Computer Servers and the Internet
But what about data you retrieve from the World Wide Web? How does your computer perform a file upload that way? You may wonder. Well, that type of server is called a virtual server.
Virtual servers are not located or tied to any particular system or network, so when you access them from your home or workplace, you get immediate access to data.
Computer Servers: Just a Big Filing Cabinet?
If you work for a large company, odds are that you and about a hundred other people or more are on the same “network.” That means that there is one computer in the company that is the actual “main filing cabinet” which contains all the company data. And all the other computers are given access to the data at any point in time that it is needed. This is true even if the company has take-home laptops.
Individuals that do not work for the company can’t access this particular file server known as a network file server, since they don’t have computer access to it. This type of server can be compared to a big filing cabinet because it remains locked unless you have the key.
In fact, unless you are using the virtual file server (the internet), all other file servers are nothing more than locked filing cabinets and the only way to access them is to have the key: access or permission from the file server’s owner.