What is a Server?

May 28, 2009

The term “Server” has different meanings to different people. To one person it might refer to server hardware running a server operating system. That is one type of server, but the generic term refers to any computer that serves as a central repository accessed by other computers on the network. A server can simply store files and other data, or it can serve up applications, games, web sites, and much more.

A small business can benefit from a server in many ways. Having all of your data stored in one place means you always know where it is. It’s easy to access and it’s easy to back up. Servers can also make it easier for people in an office to work together. For example, you can see each other’s calendars, schedule meetings, reserve conference rooms, etc. Many of these benefits even apply to a business as small as two people.

A common thing to use a server for is for your accounting software like QuickBooks. Your QuickBooks data can be on the server. Anyone in the office can have QuickBooks installed on their computer and access the same data on the server. If one person makes a change to it, everyone else will see that change.

Most homes these days have more than one computer. Homes with more than one computer can benefit from a home server as well. You can store all of your music, photos, movies, videos, and other items. Then you can easily access them from any computer in the house. You can take it a step further by having each computer user store their personal documents on the server instead of on the local computer. Then you can access your personal documents and other information from any computer in the house.

Microsoft makes a product called Windows Home Server. It’s like Windows, but it’s for a Server. It’s a really good product, too. And I don’t say that about just any product. Windows Home Server is easy to install, and easy to maintain. It’s not complicated like most server versions of Windows. It’s very easy to use. It not only serves as a central location to store all of your files, but it will automatically back up all of the computers in the house. This isn’t a file backup, it’s an image backup which is far superior. It will also alert you to possible problems on your computers. For example, if the security software on one of the computers is out of date or not functioning or expired, Windows Home Server will pop a message up on all of your computers alerting you to the problem.

You can also purchase computers with Windows Home Server already installed on it as well.

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