Month: March 2016

In computing, a server is a computer program or a device that provides functionality for other programs or devices, called “clients”. This architecture is called the client–server model, and a single overall computation is distributed across multiple processes or devices. Servers can provide various functionalities, often called “services”, such as sharing data or resources among multiple clients, or performing computation for a client. A single server can serve multiple clients, and a single client can use multiple servers. A client process may run on the same device or may connect over a network to a server on a different device.[1] Typical servers are database servers, file servers, mail servers, print servers, web servers, game servers, and application servers.[2]

Client–server systems are today most frequently implemented by (and often identified with) the request–response model: a client sends a request to the server, which performs some action and sends a response back to the client, typically with a result or acknowledgement. Designating a computer as “server-class hardware” implies that it is specialized for running servers on it. This often implies that it is more powerful and reliable than standard personal computers, but alternatively, large computing clusters may be composed of many relatively simple, replaceable server components.

The use of the word server in computing comes from queuing theory,[3] where it dates to the mid 20th century, being notably used in Kendall (1953) (along with “service”), the paper that introduced Kendall’s notation. In earlier papers, such as the Erlang (1909), more concrete terms such as “[telephone] operators” are used.

In computing, “server” dates at least to RFC 5 (1969),[4] one of the earliest documents describing ARPANET (the predecessor of Internet), and is contrasted with “user”, distinguishing two types of host: “server-host” and “user-host”. The use of “serving” also dates to early documents, such as RFC 4,[5] contrasting “serving-host” with “using-host”.

The Jargon File defines “server” in the common sense of a process performing service for requests, usually remote, with the 1981 (1.1.0) version reading:

SERVER n. A kind of DAEMON which performs a service for the requester, which often runs on a computer other than the one on which the server runs.

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Windows Server

Windows VPS is a brand name for a group of server operating systems released by Microsoft. It includes all Windows operating systems branded “Windows Server”, but not any other Microsoft product. The first Windows server edition to be released under that brand was Windows Server 2003. However, the first server edition of Windows was Windows NT 3.1 Advanced Server, followed by Windows NT 3.5 Server, Windows NT 4.0 Server, and Windows 2000 Server; the latter was the first server edition to include Active Directory, DNS Server, DHCP Server, Group Policy, as well as many other popular features used today.

This brand includes the following operating systems:[1][2]

  • Windows Server 2003 (April 2003)
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 (December 2005)
  • Windows Server 2008 (February 2008)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 (July 2009)
  • Windows Server 2012 (August 2012)
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 (October 2013)
  • Windows Server 2016 (upcoming).

Microsoft has also produced Windows Server Essentials (formerly Windows Small Business Server) and Windows Essential Business Server (discontinued), software bundles which includes a Windows Server operating system and some other Microsoft Servers products.

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