Jump to:

A server is software or hardware offering a service to a user, usually referred to as client.  A hardware server is a shared computer on a network, usually powerful and housed in a data center.  A software server (often running on a hardware server) is a program that provides services to client programs or a user interface to human clients.

Services are provided generally over local area networks or wide area networks such as the Internet. A client program and server program traditionally connect by passing messages encoded using a protocol over an API.

For example:

  • An Internet-connected Web server is sending an HTML file to your browser software so that you can read this page
  • Local area network server for file, name, mail, print, and fax
  • Minicomputers, mainframes, and super computers at data centers

There are also Virtual Servers used by Cloud Computing Providers e.g. an AWS EC2 Instance from AWS.

Learn More

General knowledge

Document Tags and Contributors

Last updated by: SebastienParis,