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Server (computing) / Workstation
In computer networking, a server is simply a program that operates as a socket listener. The term server is also often generalized to describe a host that is deployed to execute one or more such programs.

A server computer is a computer, or series of computers, that link other computers or electronic devices together. They often provide essential services across a network, either to private users inside a large organization or to public users via the internet. For example, when you enter a query in a search engine, the query is sent from your computer over the internet to the servers that store all the relevant web pages. The results are sent back by the server to your computer.

Many servers have dedicated functionality such as web servers, print servers, and database servers. Enterprise servers are servers that are used in a business context.

The server is used quite broadly in information technology. Despite the many Server branded products available (such as Server editions of Hardware, Software and/or Operating Systems), in theory any computerized process that shares a resource to one or more client processes is a Server. To illustrate this, take the common example of File Sharing. While the existence of files on a machine does not classify it as a server, the mechanism which shares these files to clients by the operating system is the Server.

Similarly, consider a web server application (such as the multiplatform "Apache HTTP Server"). This web server software can be run on any capable computer. For example, while a laptop or Personal Computer is not typically known as a server, they can in these situations fulfill the role of one, and hence be labeled as one. It is in this case that the machine's purpose as a web server classifies it in general as a Server.

In the hardware sense, the word server typically designates computer models intended for running software applications under the heavy demand of a network environment. In this client–server configuration one or more machines, either a computer or a computer appliance, share information with each other with one acting as a host for the other.

While nearly any personal computer is capable of acting as a network server, a dedicated server will contain features making it more suitable for production environments. These features may include a faster CPU, increased high-performance RAM, and typically more than one large hard drive. More obvious distinctions include marked redundancy in power supplies, network connections, and even the servers themselves.

Between the 1990s and 2000s an increase in the use of dedicated hardware saw the advent of self-contained server appliances. One well-known product is the Google Search Appliance, a unit which combines hardware and software in an out-of-the-box packaging. Simpler examples of such appliances include switches, routers, gateways, and print server, all of which are available in a near plug-and-play configuration.

Modern operating systems such as Microsoft Windows or Linux distributions rightfully seem to be designed with a client–server architecture in mind. These OS attempt to abstract hardware, allowing a wide variety of software to work with components of the computer. In a sense, the operating system can be seen as serving hardware to the software, which in all but low must interact using an API.

These operating systems may be able to run programs in the background called either services or daemons. Such programs may wait in a sleep state for their necessity to become apparent, such as the aforementioned Apache HTTP Server software. Since any software which provides services can be called a server, modern personal computers can be seen as a forest of servers and clients operating in parallel.

The Internet itself is also a forest of servers and clients. Merely requesting a web page from a few kilometers away involves satisfying a stack of protocols which involve many examples of hardware and software servers. The least of these are the routers, modems, domain name servers, and various other servers necessary to provide us the World Wide Web.

Hardware requirements for servers vary, depending on the server application. Absolute CPU speed is not usually as critical to a server as it is to a desktop machine .Servers' duties to provide service to many users over a network lead to different requirements like fast network connections and high I/O throughput. Since servers are usually accessed over a network they may run in headless mode without a monitor or input device. Processes which are not needed for the server's function are not used. Many servers do not have a graphical user interface (GUI) as it is unnecessary and consumes resources that could be allocated elsewhere. Similarly, audio and USB interfaces may be omitted.

Servers often run for long periods without interruption and availability must often be very high, making hardware reliability and durability extremely important. Although servers can be built from commodity computer parts, mission-critical servers use specialized hardware with low failure in order to maximize uptime. For example, servers may incorporate faster, higher-capacity hard drives, larger computer fans or water to help remove heat, and uninterruptible power supplies that ensure the servers continue to function in the event of a power failure. These components offer higher performance and reliability at a correspondingly higher price. Hardware redundancy—installing more than one instance of modules such as power supplies and hard disks arranged so that if one fails another is automatically available—is widely used. ECC memory devices which detect and correct errors are used; non-ECC memory is more likely to cause data corruption.

Servers are often rack-mounted and situated in server rooms for convenience and to restrict physical access for security.

Many servers take a long time for the hardware to start up and load the operating system. Servers often do extensive pre-boot memory testing and verification and startup of remote management services. The hard drive controllers then start up banks of drives sequentially, rather than all at once, so as not to overload the power supply with startup surges, and afterwards they initiate RAID system pre-checks for correct operation of redundancy. It is common for a machine to take several minutes to start up, but it may not need restarting for months or years.

Servers on the Internet
Almost the entire structure of the Internet is based upon a client–server model. High-level root name servers, DNS servers, and routers direct the traffic on the internet. There are millions of servers connected to the Internet, running continuously throughout the world.

A server, regardless of the type, needs a robust network to give it access to the Internet and allow it to communicate with other computers. Since a server normally has exceptionally high traffic loads when compared to a normal workstation or desktop PC, it requires a network structure robust enough to prevent a bottleneck. Most server networks use gigabit Ethernet, capable of transferring data at 1,000 Mbit/s. Despite this being a relatively high-speed, all of the parts needed to build such a network are available at most major computer and electronics stores.

Locate a gigabit networking switch (a router or hub will also work) in a central location. Remember that each computer will need a network line ran to this location, so make sure that it is practically positioned. Plug an Ethernet network cable into an empty port on the back of the switch for each computer on the network, including the server. Run the cables to each system, making sure that they are run in a location that is out of the way of equipment and pedestrians. Plug the Internet modem's Ethernet cable into the switch if you want to share that as well.

Step 2
Plug an Ethernet cable into the networking port located on the back of each computer, including the server. To take advantage of the gigabit speeds, each computer will need to have a gigabit-capable networking card. You can check to what kind of card a Windows-based computer has by right-clicking on "My Computer," clicking "Properties," then the "Hardware" tab, followed by "Device Manager." Under "Network Adapters" the card type will be listed. If any of the computers don't have one of these cards, one can be purchased and easily installed by the average computer user.

Step 3
Run the network configuration tool on each computer. On a Windows-based workstation, this is the Network Setup Wizard, located in the Control Panel. The configuration tool will automatically detect the network and what types of computers are on it. You will be asked questions, such as what name you want to give the network, what name each computer should have, and if you want to share files and printers in addition to an Internet connection. Once the wizard has completed, restart each computer, and the server network is complete.

How to Setup a Network with a Server
Hand out the roles.
Select a machine you wish to use as the server and understand which systems you will use as clients to that server. Remember that the clients ask the server for certain things and the server then responds. It is common to dedicate a machine to being a server because a machine that is currently responding to your mouse movement or painting a web page for you may struggle to serve your client's information at the same time.

Select the physical network.
All the computers must be able to converse in some way. If all the machines have Wi-Fi, then this may be all that's necessary. A Macintosh running OS X 10.5, for instance, can be a network server across Wi-Fi without any additional hardware. You may, however, wish to use a network router or switch or wireless access point (WAP) to provide the physical link between your clients and servers. If you're using an Ethernet switch or a network hub, ensure your machines can physically plug into the switch or hub ports using a cable that's no longer than 100 meters or about 300 feet.

Select your protocol.
Most every personal computer sold since 2004 has included a networking protocol called TCP/IP. This is the linking protocol, or communication language, used for the Internet. It's usually a safe assumption that TCP/IP may be used between your clients and your server. Ideally, your network servers give out the TCP/IP addresses to the clients using the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). This allows for a simplified setup on each client.

Consider security provisions.
It's important to consider whether the information on the server system should be specifically protected, and if so, to what degree it should be protected. If the network will be exposed to the Internet, it's probably a good idea to add a firewall to the network--between the Internet connection and the server. If there are certain things on the server that one client should see and another should not, then consider deploying user accounts on the server and requiring the clients to identify themselves as they connect to the server. Content on the server could be restricted by user account.

Enable server software.
Having a network server means providing some type of information to clients on the network. Though most systems sold since 2004 have such software on them, that software is typically not active by default. Both Microsoft and Apple operating systems, for instance, can serve files and printers to network clients, but neither do so unless specifically instructed to do so. Ensure as you enable various server applications that you understand the security implications for that specific software, as it may not be true that protecting a file from one type of network access automatically protects it from all types of network access

A workstation is a high-end microcomputer designed for technical or scientific applications. Intended primarily to be used by one person at a time, they are commonly connected to a local and run multi-user operating systems. The term workstation has also been used to refer to a mainframe computer terminal or a PC connected to a network

.Historically, workstations had offered higher performance than personal computers, especially with respect to CPU and graphics, memory capacity and multitasking capability. They are optimized for the visualization and manipulation of different types of complex data such as 3D mechanical design, engineering simulation (e.g. computational fluid dynamics), animation and rendering of images, and mathematical plots. Consoles consist of a high resolution display, a keyboard and a mouse at a minimum, but also offer multiple displays, graphics tablets, 3D mice (devices for manipulating and navigating 3D objects and scenes), etc. Workstations are the first segment of the computer market to present advanced accessories and collaboration.
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