Working definition of a server

Brent Kimberley Brent.Kimberley at durham.ca
Tue Apr 17 08:43:24 CDT 2012


You are correct.

 - A person or thing that provides a service or commodity, in particular
 - one that serves legal processes upon another 
 -  a computer or computer program that manages access to a centralized resource or service in a network.
ref(s): Oxford, Merriam-Webster, Dictionary.com

A server is typically subject to constraints.  

Here are a couple examples: availability, access, authorization, authentication, time, energy, heat, space, noise, demand, supply, logic - exact / approximate, logic - analog/digital, logic - parallel/sequential, communication - point 2 point and/or point 2 multi-point/ communication - distribution and/or transmission / exchange / network / persistence / latency / jitter, competition for scarce resources, capability, quality, reliability, redundancy, form/fit/function, flexibility, re-target-ability, simplicity, ease of use, life-cycle / conops / specs / reqs / design / verification / validation /  training / manufacturing / logistics / inventory / shipping / installation / configuration / usability / operation / maintenance / upgrade / next-gen / decommission / replacement, fault tolerance, environmental factors, contingency, resource allocation, CapEx/OpEx, cost/benefit/value, etc.

>>From: James Bensley <jwbensley at gmail.com>
>>Don't be fooled into thinking a "server" is a special thing you have
>>to buy from a hardware vendor. A 10,000ft view would be that a
>>"server" is a purpose built computer, usually higher power than a
>>typical desktop machine.
>>
>>You can build any old computer and start spinning up virtual machines
>>on it, running your favourite operating systems, you don't have to buy
>>a "server" per se.
>>
>>Another option to consider is something cloud based.
>>
>>Just my two pence, good luck!



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