Network Server: Wiki, Types, Applications and Selection Guide
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Understanding Network Server from Scratch

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Whether you realize it or not, the network server plays an important role in our daily networking life, which is often regarded as the heart of the Internet. As the business grows and IT needs to catch up, network servers are needed to store more files and run more applications. In that case, choosing the right server matters a lot. However, given the various network servers with different functions and feature sets, it may seem to be a daunting task. To solve that, some rudimental knowledge of network server and selection guide will be the focus of this article.

What Is a Network Server?

Let’s get started with two fundamental questions: “What is a server?” and “what does a server do?” Server, commonly known as an Internet server, is essential to almost everything related to the computer. It is a super computer in essence that used in a network to provide service to a client. When compared with client computers, servers are usually built from higher-grade components that have more processing power, memory and storage to handle more exhausting jobs. In a computer network, the client computer (which is not acting as the server) is requesting information or services from the server. Servers basically store all the information you use every day.

what is a server

Components of A Server

Servers are made up of similar components like a regular client computer, such as a motherboard, processing chip, memory, etc. And the function and performance of a server are closely related to those server hardware. Let’s take a review of each.

Motherboard The main electronic circuit board to which all the other components are connected. The major components on it include the processor (or CPU), a standard IDE hard drive controller, and input/output (I/O) ports for devices such as keyboards, mice, and printers.
Processor The brain of the server. It is the one that most people think of first when deciding what type of server to purchase. Each processor core acts as if it’s a separate processor. Most servers use dual-core (two cores) or quad-core (four cores) chips.
Memory The total memory capacity of the server depends on the motherboard. Most new servers can support at least 12GB of memory, and some can handle up to 32GB.
Hard Drives Servers often adopt SCSI as the hard drives for better performance. And SATA drives are also being used in servers due to their reliability and performance.
Network Connection One of the most important parts of any server. Many servers have network adapters built into the motherboard. If not, you’ll need to add a separate network adapter card.

Network Server Types

According to the structure, there are three commonly seen types of server in the market: tower server, rack server, and blade server.

types of server

Tower Server: Built in a stand-alone chassis, the tower server is the most basic type of servers with the cheapest price. It looks like a traditional PC, but with a minimum server components inside. Usually, this type of server does not come with additional components like expansion cards, high RAM, or peripherals. In that case, the tower server features with great scalability, which can be customized to meet users' specific needs to add additional components. The obvious deficient is that its big and bulky form-factor makes it a little bit space-consuming.

Rack Server: The rack server is used to be mounted inside a rack. Usually, a standardized rack is about 19" wide, and the height is measured in rack units, or “U". 1U stands for 1.75“. This means the rack server also comes in different rack units, such as 2U and 4U. Within a rack, this server type can be stacked over the another along with other devices such as storage units and SAN devices, which can greatly save the space. Since there are quite a few devices are placed in the rack, the additional cooling system should be deployed in the rack, which greatly raises the energy cost.

Blade Server:  As the latest server in the market, the blade server is more like a kind of hybrid server.  It‘s a server chassis inserted with multiple modular circuit boards that are also called as server blades. And each blade is a self-contained server on a card, containing many devices like processors, memory, and network card, which serve for a single application. This structure can greatly improve the processing power and reduce the energy spent. Rack server vs blade server, the blade also complies with the rack unit standard to house other equipment, which makes it a space-saving server. However, with such a high component density, the blade server requires a lot in climate control, which increases the costs in cooling, heating, and ventilation.

What Can a Network Server Achieve?

There are enough reasons to buy a server once your business reaches a certain stage. Since we’ve known what a server is, how can we benefit from using a server? Well, there are many valuable reasons to invest a server for your business, let’s take a look at the key factors.

Network Security: The server allows you to manage file access on one system rather than on each workstation individually, which saves time and effort. And all users can store their documents within their own personal folder on the server. So the data stored in a user's personal folder can only be viewed by themselves. And those data can get backed up with the rest of the network data, thus nothing will be lost due to a crashed workstation.

Improved Reliability: Servers are equipped with redundant power supplies and storage system. It will use multiple hard drives working in a RAID configuration to prevent data loss or interruption in workflow. Many servers are built with hot-swappable hard drives and power supplies to facilitate replacing the faulty hardware, without interrupting the entire system.

Efficient Use of Resources: A network server allows users on the network to make use of various network resources right from their desks, including centralized data storage, network attached storage (NAS) devices, printers, and fax servers.

Virus Management: Viruses, spyware, and spam are the greatest threats to your network health, making it necessary to install quality, updated, anti-virus software. An anti-virus package that combines workstation and server virus protection into a single solution makes sense. It allows a single network administrator to manage every aspect of the anti-virus software from a centralized location.

Centralized Backup: Except for the server, there are other media types can be used for back-ups, such as traditional tape drive, CDs, DVDs, removal storage and NAS devices. Your choice should depend on your specific backup requirements, budget and data retention needs.

How to Choose the Perfect Network Server?

It is known that servers power the software that will help your business thrive and your team to collaborate. And choosing the right server is closely related to your using environment and specific needs.

Firstly, you need to consider which type of server you will need. If you want to buy one for home using to support a few clients and don't require much computing power, the tower server will be the best choice. If you are an SMB user, you may need higher computing power to support at least 4 to 25 servers to run the business. In that case, a rack server will definitely be the ideal choice. While if you want a server to place in a large-scale data center to handle a large number of clients and applications, the blade center should be the choice.

After deciding your network server types, there still are additional steps to follow. You need to make a list of what will need to run on the server. Then, determine the operating system, processor, memory, and storage for each application. Meanwhile, the hypervisor suiting for your environment should also be selected. Moreover, design a solution to adequately mitigate the risk for your business in case a single component or device fails. Next, talk to hardware suppliers to determine the best match of hardware and software for your budget.

FS Network Server for Scaling Your Business

FS newly launched RS-6388 server provides high performance & storage capacity in a compact 2RU form factor. It is a rackmount server with Intel Xeon processor to deliver platform flexibility and maximum performance. RS-6388 server is an ideal solution to handle workloads for cloud storage and SMB, including enterprise resource planning, mail service, and scalable storage infrastructure. This server also features hot-plug power supplies, modular design fans and a great cooling system for a balance between performance and power efficiency. It is also the right combination of maximized computing power and low power consumption.

network server small business server enterprise server

Conclusion

With the gains in productivity and security and drops in price, a network server could be a great investment for your business. As you start the shopping for a server, just follow the steps aforementioned and get that professional help early in the process. FS is ready to help make sure that you get the best solution for your business’ unique needs, they provide small business server, enterprise server in competitive price. If you get any question, feel free to contact us via sales@fs.com.

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