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Frequently Asked Questions About Servers

March 16, 2022
Read Time 5 mins

Tarsus Distribution provides a wide range of server solutions for all purposes and organisations across South Africa and surrounding countries. In this article, we take a look at the internet's most frequently asked questions about servers. 


The server is essentially the command centre of your IT infrastructure. Enterprise server solutions for your business can increase proficiency and productivity, showing an increase in ROI. It can be used to host a diverse variety of services and applications for accomplishing business goals. Click here to read about enterprise server solutions for your business.

Covered In This Article

What Is A Server?
What Enterprise Server Solutions Are There?
How Can I Create A Server?
What Is An Example Of Server Software?
What Is Database Access?
What Server Solutions Does Tarsus Distribution Offer?

What Is A Server?

Servers are high-powered computers built to store, process, and manage network data, devices, and systems. Servers are the engines that power organisations by providing network devices and systems with adequate resources. For businesses, servers offer critical scalability, efficiency, and business continuity capabilities.

Servers can do everything a standard desktop computer can do and more. Vice-versa, computers can run server processes, but do so far less productively. Generally, servers offer the following features to the networks they serve:

  • Scalability to serve a growing or fluctuating number of devices, users, and workloads
  • High processing power with rising CPU and RAM specs to handle network workloads
  • Reliability to ensure critical systems remain online and available
  • Collaboration between personnel with access to shared network resources
  • Cost savings over time because servers can reduce stress on network devices

Database Server

Database servers are used to store and manage databases that are stored on the server and to provide data access for authorised users. This type of server keeps the data in a central location that can be regularly backed up. It also allows users and applications to centrally access the data across the network.

File Server

A file server is a computer responsible for the storage and management of data files so that other computers on the same network can access the files. It enables users to share information over a network without having to physically transfer files.

DHCP Server

A DHCP Server is a network server that automatically provides and assigns IP addresses, default gateways and other network parameters to client devices. It relies on the standard protocol known as Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol or DHCP to respond to broadcast queries by clients. A DHCP server automatically sends the required network parameters for clients to properly communicate on the network. Without it, the network administrator has to manually set up every client that joins the network, which can be cumbersome, especially in large networks. DHCP servers usually assign each client with a unique dynamic IP address, which changes when the client’s lease for that IP address has expired.

FTP Server

FTP servers, or “File Transfer Protocol” servers, have a single purpose: to host a file exchange among users. These servers do not provide any type of encryption by default, so there are a number of secured versions of the protocol that are often used in its place (such as sFTP which is FTP over secure SSH protocol). This type of server allows users to upload files to it or download files after authenticating through an FTP client. Users can also browse the server’s files and download individual files as they wish.

Email Server

An email server typically runs on “SMTP” or “Simple Mail Transfer Protocol”. There are other possible protocols that newer mail servers operate on, but SMTP remains the dominant protocol.

Web Proxy Server

Proxy servers allow users to browse the internet more privately by changing your IP address and other identifying data on your computer. Proxy servers keep your personal information private, so the server does not know who has made the request and thus keeps your browsing activities and browsing history private.

DNS Server

A DNS server, or “Domain Name Service” server, is used to translate domain names to their corresponding IP addresses. This server is what your browser references when you type in a domain name and press Enter. The idea is that users don’t have to memorise IP addresses and organisations can have a fitting name.

Web Server

A web server is a computer that runs websites. It's a computer program that distributes web pages as they are requisitioned. The basic objective of the webserver is to store, process and deliver web pages to the users. This intercommunication is done using Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).

What Enterprise Server Solutions Are There?

The server is the central component of your IT infrastructure that powers all other IT operations. It allows your digital systems to keep running fast, smoothly, and reliably. In the business world where agility, scalability, dependability, security, and seamless operations are all vital necessities, servers play a role of utmost importance. Servers are the most important computer module in today’s data-centric environments of a data centre.

Every business requires fast, sturdy, and powerful dedicated servers and some require the ones that can quickly adapt to changing market dynamics. A dedicated physical server is a handmade hardware, designed and configured to meet specific business needs. It's usually on-premises and fully customisable. There's also the option available to buy a cloud server from cloud hosting providers like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.

How Can I Create A Server?

As your business grows and you take on more employees, the time will come where you need a server to keep your office network and business running efficiently. But with a seemingly endless array of choices and important decisions to be made, you might be wondering where to start. Luckily, setting up a server for a small or mid-sized business (SMB) doesn’t have to be difficult.

A crucial decision you will need to make is whether to have a physical server on-premises or opt for a cloud-based solution. There are pros and cons to each approach and what you decide ultimately comes down to the individual needs of your business.

Cloud server

Cloud-based servers are well-suited to SMBs with limited space and IT resources. While not as fast or efficient as a dedicated server, businesses will likely find that a cloud-based server is ‘fast enough’ and the lower upfront costs make them an attractive option. Cloud hosting also benefits from the redundant power supply and network connections, meaning that if there is a power outage or server issue, your network won’t experience any downtime.

On-premise server

On the other hand, opting to build or buy a physical server comes with a higher upfront cost. But not paying recurring monthly fees may mean that it works out cheaper in the long run, especially as your business grows. You will also have greater control over how it is set up and integrated with your business cybersecurity solution. The downside is that you are responsible for the cost of replacement hardware and increased electricity for running and cooling the server 24/7.

Servers typically come in three different forms – rackmount, tower, and blade. A tower server looks similar to a home PC but contains server components that are more robust than a consumer computer, allowing them to run 24/7 without interruption. Rackmount and blade servers are installed onto a chassis making them highly expandable and good options for saving space, though both are more expensive than tower systems.

What Is An Example Of Server Software?

Any network, whether it's local or global, depends upon a server computer (or several) to store and retrieve data and files. The server's physical and software configuration must take a number of factors into account. For example, several individual computers on the network might make a request for the same file at essentially the same time, so the server must be equipped with hardware that has high-speed capabilities, and it must be running software that is designed to support multiple simultaneous file retrieval operations.

The server's operating system must run special server software. While by far the majority of computer servers run the open-source Apache Server software, others use proprietary systems such as Windows IIS or Adobe ColdFusion. This software is involved in the retrieval and distribution of files stored on the server. Additional server-side programs (such as ASP or Java) may be used to process those files before the result is sent back to the requesting computer.

What Is Database Access?

Providing database access is one of the most important functions of a computer server. A relational database is a compact and efficient information storage structure, allowing rapid access to large volumes of data.

In an office setting, a database may be used to store customer contact details and order information, as well as shipping and payment records. By accessing the server over a local network, several employees can retrieve and update information from the database in real-time throughout the day as business is conducted.

On the Internet, a database may be used to store a website's actual content, user login authentication information and sometimes order processing records. There are several popular database systems, including Oracle Database, Microsoft's SQLServer and the open-source MySQL database.

What Server Solutions Does Tarsus Distribution Offer?

No business that operates a network of computers and other devices should be without a server. Tarsus Distribution provides a wide range of server solutions for all purposes and organisations across South Africa and surrounding countries. We work closely with resellers to source and supply the best server solution for any purpose, drawing on our relationships with the world’s leading IT brands. For more information about server solutions from Tarsus Distribution, click here.

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