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Server VS. PC. What’s the difference?

When you say "computer", you commonly combine it with another word in mind – "personal", and it is not an accident. This means a machine that is designed for the work of one user, regardless of the place of use. This can be home, office or some production facility.

The man works in the server room

There are dozens of computer types, and all they are classified mostly by their functions and the way of solving specific practical problems they are made for. It depends on technical capabilities. For instance, the best option for office work is a PC with minimum technical resources, the priority here is compactness and silent work. On the other hand a computer for games requires a large memory drive, powerful video card, compatibility with various multimedia gadgets and a high-performance processor.

There is a separate type of computers called hardware servers. The definition ‘server’ means a machine for processing requests from other computers, connected into one network. It is equipped by specific software and hardware for processing certain tasks from a range of PCs connected to it. This is a principal difference between a standard personal machine and server machine. The functions performed by a server may vary depending upon big or small business needs, their scale and software used to cover these needs. The most popular server types are mail server, print-server, file-server, and other ad-hoc solutions. There are a few main distinctions between servers and personal computers.

What are the major differences between computer and server performance?

Working laptop in the server room

If not getting into particulars, there are a few characteristics that clearly demonstrate the difference between server and computer:

  • Power: network servers feature more processors with more units in each, higher performance speed, bigger memory capacity. All these facilities define ability to process multiple requests in parallel, as well as a server price.
  • Reliability: meaning a server must provide full data integrity, and the most of them are tailored for failure-free response 24/7. It is provided by high-quality hardware components, as well as stability of the installed software.
  • Scalability: upgrading hardware resources and computer server programs is a must for providing the full-fledged operation within the growing data volumes, avoiding interruptions and downtime due to the lack of system resources.
  • Manageability: the work of a server must be fully controllable to diagnose any risks or problems and fix them quickly. There are modules for fulfilling the control remotely even when the server is off.

Main types of computer servers

The major types of computer servers are:

  • File-server: this is centralized data storage. All working stations connected to the local network with such a server having access to its memory drives and files stored inside.
  • Database server: it serves to store and process large data arrays, retrieving required data upon the request of the computers in a network.
  • Print-server: it allows using one printer by multiple computers.
  • Groupware server:  this multifunctional solution for servicing multiple types of requests from groups of computers in the network.
  • Mail server: aimed at processing emails in a local business network.
  • FTP server: it’s the major file and data exchange equipment for internet and other data networks.
  • Proxy server: serves for swapping data interchange between the internet and local networks.
  • Web-server: a remote computer that serves for access to a website from the internet.

Each server type features unique configuration and equipment.

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