A server is a computer that provides data to other computers. The entire structure of the Internet is based upon a client- server model.
Web server helps to deliver web content that can be accessed through the Internet. The most common use of web servers is to host websites, as the internet is not only used to fetch the information but there are other uses such as gaming, data storage or running business applications.
The primary job of a web server is to deliver web server is to deliver web pages to clients. The communication between the client node and server node takes place using the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). The delivered web pages include images, style sheets and scripts in addition to text content.
A web server commonly known as HTTP server or application server is a program that servers content using the HTTP protocol. This content is generally in the form of HTML documents, images, and other web resources. but can include any type of file. The content served by the web server can be pre- existing (static content) or generated on the fly (dynamic content).
- Apache web server- the HTTP web server: Apache software foundation developed the free and open source web server and can be installed and made to work on almost all operating systems including Linux, Unix, Windows, FreeBSD, Mac OS X and more. Almost, 60% of the web server machines run the Apache web server.
- Apache Tomcat: Apache Tomcat is free and open source web server that can run on different operating systems like Linux, Unix, Windows, Mac OS X, Freebsd. It was developed to support servlets and JSP scripts. It can serve as a standalone server.
Services Provided by The Servers.
Today many services are being provided by the web server. Many of the server are based on cloud computing which is popular amongst the researchers, scientists & entrepreneurs.
Cloud Computing is distributing over a network, and has the ability to run a program or application on many connected computers at the same time.
It is used, where various computing concepts that involve a large number of computers are connected via real-time communication network such as the Internet.
Various services provided by the web server are:
- Cost Efficient: Web server is the most cost efficient method to use, maintain and upgrade. Traditional desktop software costs companies a lot in terms of finance. On the other hand. It is available at much cheaper rates, Besides, there are many one-time-payment, pay-as-you-go and other salable options available, which makes it very reasonable for the company.
- Resource Sharing: Web Server has the capability to store unlimited information such as Google Drives, Cloud computing etc. The space where the data can be stored is shared by the other users at the same time like hard disk can be shared on physical network as LAN.
- Data Sharing: With the help of web servers one can easily access the information from anywhere, where there is an Internet connection using Google docs such as Documents, Excel sheets, Drawings, power point presentations etc.
- Backup and Recovery: As all the data now a days is stored on web servers, backing it up and restoring the same is relatively much easier than storing the same on a physical device. Hence, the entire process of backup and recovery much simpler than other traditional methods of data storage.
Types of Servers
- Mail Server: Mail Server provides a centrally-located pool of disk space for network users to store and share various documents in the form of emails. Since, all the data is stored in one location, administrators need only backup files from one computer.
- Application Server: An application server acts as a set of components accessible to the software developer through an API defined by the platform itself. For Web applications. These components are usually performed in the same running environment as its web server(s), and their main job is to support the construction of dynamic pages.
- File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Server: FTP uses separate control and data connections between the client and the server. FTP users may authenticate themselves in the form of a username and password. But can connect anonymously if the server is configured to allow it. For secure transmission username and password must be encrypted using FTP and SSL.
- Database Server: A database server is a computer program that provides database services to other computer programs or computers using client-server functionality, and some DBMSs (e.g., Mysql) depend on the client-server model for database access. Such a server is accessed either through a “front end” running on the user’s computer where the request is made or the “back end” where the request is served such as data analysis and storage.
- Domain Name System (DNS) Server: A name server is a computer server that hosts a network service for providing responses to queries. It maps a numeric identification or addressing component. This service is performed by the server in response to a network service protocol request.
The primary function of these DNS servers is the translation (resolution) of human- memorable domain names and host names into the corresponding numeric Internet protocol (IP) addresses. The secondary function of DNS is to recognize a namespace of the Internet, used to identify and locate computer systems and resources on the Internet.