The digital era means that, without a doubt, users need more and more technological resources . We use technology for everything and live connected to the network. Therefore, the web server is a resource that we ask for help at all times and that we don’t even know is there . Do you want to know what we are talking about?
A server is a computer element designed to serve the user who connects and wants to receive certain information in response to a demand he makes. There are for all uses and all sizes, although that is its essence.
However, explaining only this you may have been wanting to know much more. We encourage you to continue reading to know exactly what a server is , what are the types that exist (which will let you know which ones you use and how) and which are the companies that control the supply of services servers worldwide.
What is a web server? Definition
A server is a set of software and hardware elements that, as the name implies, are made available or serviced by other computers.
What it does, in essence, is pay attention to the queries made by the computers (clients) it serves, seeking information and giving a satisfactory response to the demand. This is the general operation although, of course, we find many types of servers, which, following this directive, will have some or other resources.
They work following the model known as «client-server» , which is nothing more than the formal way of saying that there is a client that makes a demand and a server that provides information in response.
This implies, of course, that have to be in constant operation , because the demands do not have hours, they are made at all times from anywhere in the world, millions of consulting per second which are performed and those that, if a server shuts down or fails, would remain unanswered.
The servers remain in standby mode , so that they are always available to immediately respond to any client’s query.
What are the main functions of a Web server?
The main function of the server is what we have indicated, study a demand and give it an answer Since this concept refers to both hardware and software, we can know the functions of both.
- The hardware server (host) is the physical equipment , part of a network, which supports the software server as well as the operating system and other elements that may be necessary for the set to work according to the services it offers.
- The software server , meanwhile, is a program to which customers they will have access locally or in a network, that is, the service offered or the way to access it.
Web server types
We have already seen that much of what this concept implies will be given by the type of resource, because, although their working method is the same, the products and services they offer are very diverse.
We must say that the same team can contain servers of different types although, for convenience and simplicity, it is usual to separate them.
In any case, let’s see how they are classified according to use, the role they play and their size:
The main classification of this resource is given in relation to the use offered to us. Based on this element, we find servers of the types:
- DNS . They resolve the conversion of domain names to IP addresses and vice versa, so that you can offer a response to the user who makes this query, obtaining your access to the sites you demand.
- Proxy . It is an intermediary that offers its IP address so that the user can make inquiries in an anonymous way, without exposing their information. However, they have several other functions such as keeping track of bandwidth, filtering communications, distributing loads to offer more available resources at the same time, storing data in cache …
- Use . It takes care of the logical part of the computer science that any client needs, accepting solutions and offering answers that go to a work place where the logic of the presentation is made.
- Web . Its function is the organization and storage of web pages as well as its delivery in response to customer inquiries. Its communication is based on HTTP and HTTPS with transmission, in general, of documents in HTML.
- Of files . It is responsible for the storage and distribution of all types of files that a set of clients, belonging to the same network, consult, so that they obtain identical responses and remote access to such information.
- games . They are designed especially to enable the synchronous interaction of online players. They manage all the data referring to the information of each game as well as that which users create as they participate.
- Database . It has no mystery. It serves as an immense warehouse of diverse databases to which customers of all types can access through software on the network. Among these solutions, the most commonly used, by far, are Oracle and MySQL, followed by DB2 and Microsoft SQL Server.
- Backup . As the name implies, it is a “just in case”, a reserve of available space to save what you can lose from any server.
- Security . Its services are based on the use of software specialized in malware detection and retention.
- Email . It works to modules that interact with each other in order to achieve the sending and receiving of emails. Of course, the completion of everything necessary for these processes to be carried out is achieved and, finally, the messages, their attachments and their senders and recipients are stored. The protocols they use are SMTP, IMAP and POP.
- Fax . It does the same with faxes.
- Telephony . It does all kinds of functions related to this resource such as voice response, answering machine, network control, message storage, call routing …
- Real time . Maintain and manage spaces for the exchange of information instantly (chat type).
- Groupware . They are designed so that they can facilitate a group of computers with the same objective in group work.
- Telnet . Specialized in allowing the user to log into one device to control another, that is, to work on a computer remotely.
- Cloud . They offer a service that is performed in their facilities, so that the user does not require storage space or need to install operating systems or software. Whatever comes to mind you do it “in the cloud”.
Based on their role, we would find servers:
- Dedicated . The total power is dedicated to the services offered to customers, managing the various resources of the network involved in it.
- Not dedicated (shared) . Only part of its power goes to the customer. The rest is used in workstations, being able to respond, for example, to requests from local users.
This classification has no greater mystery, because it allows us to simply know the types of servers that we can find according to their size, although this is information that does not imply anything for the user who will use any of them, Well, by hiring an X service, the rest of the server has no influence on us.
In any case, we find the following, being the first three, by far, the best known and used:
- Rack. The electronic hardware is embedded in a frame less than 50 cm.
- Tower. Similar to a desktop computer, they are tower-shaped, closed.
- Blade. It is very dense, designed to make the most of the space. They already increase their size and, with it, their capabilities.
- Small business servers . Quite cheap and with good performance for SMEs.
- Servers for large companies . Solutions for very high needs, typical of multinationals and other large corporations.
- Scalable servers . They are powerful at the beginning but can increase as the customer needs vary.
- Mainframes . Its services offer support to different emerging technologies such as blockchain or machine learning.
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Alternatives to the conventional server: «clouds servers» or cloud hosting
A server on cloud is any of the ones just mentioned, with the peculiarity that its tool stays in the virtual world, making the client does not have to consume resources.
For this to happen, the different providers work with a large physical infrastructure where they have hardware servers, which are controlled with software, virtualizing a platform where the different services are located that are offered.
In other words, you hire a service so that, in another place, what you do is saved . In this way, a company (or yourself), has access to a custom server capable of satisfying particular needs, with scalable resources , that is, they can increase as they are needed. .
These resources are comfortable, easily accessible (using a loguin from the device you want), very safe, highly professional and, without a doubt, quite economical considering the virguerías that they offer.
Some clear examples would be Drive, the Google suite , or Dropbox , the famous storage service for all types of data at that we can access via web.
How can we use server hosting for our own website? < / span>
Having a website means owning a lot of information , plus every minute that passes, in fact. For that reason, thinking about hosting on a server for all that data is something we all end up doing.
It goes without saying that we could set up our own server on our computer, in fact, we can do it even on the smartphone. However, what we are going to be referring to in this section is the fact of hosting such information on third-party servers.
If you have read the rest of the post, you will have verified that a web page, in addition to the obvious web server service, you can use others depending on the information you handle , even if you choose each One of them separately is quite cumbersome and it is usual to hire a combined service with which you can carry out all the necessary actions to work the information on your website and keep it hosted at the same time.
In any case, there are several types of servers dedicated to web hosting and, depending on each one, the way they are used will change.
Here are the most used:
This is hosted on a physical machine that is divided into several virtual machines , each being a VPS server (Virtual Private Server). In this way, it gives the feeling of having a single server.
The hiring of this service guarantees an amount of processing, RAM, hard disk, etc. specific and that you will use only you and that is obviously part of a much larger set of resources. That is, the physical machine has X resources and, by dividing it, these are also divided, corresponding to each contracting party, one of those parts.
To use this type you need a client to connect to the remote server. This client depends on the operating system you have chosen at the time of contraction. It can be from “ Windows Remote Desktop ” to an SSH client like Putty.
On these servers, we are responsible for their use . We can use it from FTP, Web, DNS, etc., but we will be the responsible for installing and managing these services . The server provider only guarantees the access and resources of the VPS, that is, it only puts the canvas and you already personalize choosing what would be the color of the tempera and you would apply them, to keep the simile.
Like the previous one, in this case a single machine shares its resources between the different websites hosted on it, but without guaranteeing at all times the total available resources since these are distributed according to the demand at the moment .
This means that the machine shares all its resources with the different clients, without sharing them , so that its one user uses many it is possible that you have few. Obviously, this means that it is a cheaper service than in the previous case.
These are recommended for people who do not have advanced computer skills or do not want to waste time configuring the server. At the time of registration it can already be used as a web server, being previously configured.
In this case, you are given the canvas and the specific colored tempers are placed in the center of the table; you take whatever you want whenever you want and the rest do the same. To access and upload the website you need an SFTP or FTP client, such as Filezilla .
The concept is the same as in the case of the VPS server, with the proviso that the machine is not divided into virtual units to rent each one but you will only have all her . This is, as the name implies, this server is dedicated to you, you have its resources one hundred percent.
This makes, unlike in the previous case, let’s talk about a much more expensive service because we talk about one machine per customer.
It is very similar to VPS, with the proviso that instead of dividing a physical machine into several virtual machines, the virtual machine is divided into several physical servers .
This guarantees greater consistency, so that if a physical server fails or has a traffic increase, it will not affect the proper functioning of this. In addition, we find everything we have already explained in the section on cloud hosting .
It is a collection of services provided by Amazon and that work, unlike the rest, on demand. This means that, depending on the use of the resources you have contracted with them, the economic expenditure varies .
One of the services found in AWS is web hosting , although there are many more, as many as you can imagine. And it is normal, since Amazon is considered the largest server service provider in the world.
The way we have to connect and manage the services is through the AWS Amplify console that Amazon provide, preconfigured and, if desired, with the option to fully customize your space and your resources.
What are the best and most popular server brands in the world? < / span>
Obviously, and as with any product and service on the market, there is a huge competition that makes us have hundreds of options to hire a web server.
Therefore, it is common to look for information related to the companies that provide better server services. In this regard, we want to let you know the following.
It has always been at the forefront in terms of computing, being a pioneer with the launch of all kinds of products during the second half of the last century. Currently, its most prominent product, in fact, is the server, having immersed itself in the hosting in an exceptional way.
With IBM you have: