What the purpose of Servers

By: Anthony W

In general, a server is a computer program that provides services to other computer program. The computer that a server program runs in is also frequently referred to as 'the' server.

In the client/server programming model, a server is a program that awaits and fulfills requests from client programs. An example of a client/server programs is Accelerated Reader (AR). The application AR located on the client computer requests information from the AR server application.

When planning server implementation there are key factors to consider:

* Server Function: Servers should be used/purchased for specific functions or tasks. For example: One server may be used as a WWW server, another for AR/STAR, another to serve CD-ROM's, and yet others for student data storage.

The idea that you purchase one server and put everything on it is invalid, false, bad, and not a good thing to do!

* Type of Servers: Mac vs NetWare and NT.

NetWare and NT are terrible Mac servers. they have significantly slower throughput for Mac users. However they are great for Windows Clients.

On the other hand Mac Servers do not make good Windows servers. However they are great for Macs.

So what's a person to do in a mixed platform environment? Easy! If most of your clients are Macs - then use Mac servers. If most of your clients are Widows then use NetWare or NT servers. In the real world you will have different kinds of servers to support your clients. So it is reasonable to end up with some kind of mixture of Mac, NT, NetWare, and UNIX servers.

* Where to place the server on your network.

Servers should not be placed in classrooms! Get over it!

For security reasons, servers should be placed in a secure locked area (away from little sticky fingers, and some big fingers).

For performance reasons, servers should be placed on the network so that they have Switched connections to the MDF.

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