All you need to know about servers

Apr 19, 2024

In today’s technology-focused world, most businesses and business owners have considered having their own servers. To most, this is the best way to ensure seamless control of data and information crucial to maintaining and running a business. However, how do you go about it? With all the information that is available for users and consumers, it is easy to get distracted and lose out on the basics of a server and also what key factors should be taken into consideration before making that first purchase.


Here at Dukatech, we aim to provide you with the best in terms of technology when it comes to e-commerce products. At the same time, we understand the essence of having an informed buyer as it provides the best value for your money. With this in mind, we look into all the necessary information you need to have before purchasing a server or simply looking to upgrade your own.


What is a server?

A server is defined as a computer or software that provides information and services for other computers that are linked to it. They are used to store a wide variety of information such as hosting web pages, and files, running software applications, providing storage storage space and more.


Physically they are made up of similar components as that of your computer such as a processor, memory and motherboard with the major difference being the amount of power that each component has. Most servers are made to be accessed by multiple computers as well as handle complex tasks at the same time and therefore, are more powerful than your average PC or desktop.


For optimal functionality, servers are meant to be connected to a network to allow users access at any time and from any location without the need for physical connections.


How does a server work

As servers are generally large computers with huge amounts of data stored and processed simultaneously upon the user's request it is essential for them to always to running at all times. The process of sending a request to the server and receiving data back is known as the request-response model and consists of 4 main components;


  • The user or client who initiates the request.
  • The server that processes the requested information.
  • The network connects the user and the server and finally
  • The software application which handles the request-response model.


A great example of how a server works is accessing a webpage from a Google search. is a website that contains billions of web pages with varying information. If you were searching for the best printers in Kenya you are likely to come across many pages that contain this information. Your browser makes up the software and finally, you get to your desired webpage.


If the server were not present, you would be required to either have an offline page or go to a physical location where the information will be available to you.


Types of servers

Before we look into the types of servers you need to understand that there are two kinds of server platforms.

  • Physical servers; this is a tangible piece of hardware often stored on-site or in a dedicated location. Often they are used to run applications and operating systems.
  • Virtual Servers; these are often offsite and considered to be more cost-efficient than their physical counterparts. In addition, the user can have virtual servers split into different virtual environments that serve different areas of the business/company.


Now that you are familiar with a server and how it works, we look into the different types of servers that are available for you. As mentioned earlier, servers are meant to either process information or store data while handling complex processes. Taking this into consideration it must mean that there are different kinds of servers for different purposes. Below we look into them and what they are meant for.


  1.  Web Server

As the name implies a web server is used to host web pages. However, it should not be confused with a website host. It works by receiving your request and then sending back the requested page from the hosting platform.


  1. Mail Server

This is a server that uses the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) to handle the sending and receiving of emails. They can also store these email messages for access at a later date.


  1. Database Servers.

These are used to store product information, user login information and inventory. They are often used in conjunction with other servers as they store data in groups by use of tables.


  1. DNS Servers.

Also called the ‘internet’s phonebook due to its ability to transform user-domain information into machine-readable IP addresses.


  1. File Servers.

They are used to save files for users on the same network. Users can access, edit and save files that are present on these servers.


  1. DCHP Servers.

Used to provide IP addresses to computers on the same network. At the same time, they provide network settings for the default gateways and DNS Servers.


Other types of servers include ;

  • Gaming servers
  • Telnet servers
  • Policy servers
  • Print servers
  • Application servers and
  • Proxy Servers


Benefits of having a server

Servers are essential to any business for the following reasons;

  • They protect data through stable and enhanced security measures through an in-built firewall and secure remote connection that restricts unauthorized access.
  • Improve device health through consistent updates and diagnostics.
  • Preventing data loss through regular scheduled data backup.
  • Improving productivity through allowing remote access.
  • It super-charges your network offering you more processing power through large data storage capabilities and freeing up memory.




  1.  Is a computer a server?

Not all computers are servers but you can have a computer however you can have one central computer connected to a network through which other devices can access data stored on them. This makes the dedicated computer a server.


  1. Do all servers need a dedicated storage room?

No. There are virtual servers that don't need physical devices and storage for them to function and offer access to users.


  1. Is Google a server?

Yes, Google is a server. It is a large network of servers that store data and serve them to users who request them via the Internet.


  1. What is server downtime?

This is the amount of time your server is offline. It is often caused by attacks, unexpected traffic increases, software and hardware failures and even human errors.


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