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Server (computing)

Computer to access a central resource or service on a network / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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In computing, a server is a piece of computer hardware or software (computer program) that provides functionality for other programs or devices, called "clients". This architecture is called the client–server model. Servers can provide various functionalities, often called "services", such as sharing data or resources among multiple clients or performing computations for a client. A single server can serve multiple clients, and a single client can use multiple servers. A client process may run on the same device or may connect over a network to a server on a different device.[1] Typical servers are database servers, file servers, mail servers, print servers, web servers, game servers, and application servers.[2]

A computer network diagram of client computers communicating with a server computer via the Internet
Wikimedia Foundation rackmount servers on racks in a data center
The first WWW server is located at CERN with its original sticker that says: "This machine is a server. DO NOT POWER IT DOWN!!"

Client–server systems are usually most frequently implemented by (and often identified with) the request–response model: a client sends a request to the server, which performs some action and sends a response back to the client, typically with a result or acknowledgment. Designating a computer as "server-class hardware" implies that it is specialized for running servers on it. This often implies that it is more powerful and reliable than standard personal computers, but alternatively, large computing clusters may be composed of many relatively simple, replaceable server components.