Monday, 2 July 2012

Why are Servers so Powerful?

In a previous article I was explaining how to set up an old PC as a network file / media server, and being that I used an ancient PC for the task and it worked well, I began to wonder why servers have to have soooo much processing power.

Well the answer is that servers don't only store files, they do other things too. The file server I mentioned that I made, just sits there and stores files, and doesn't really do anything. However there are different types of server that do lots more stuff.

A terminal server or a remote desktop server, may provide all of the processing power for the equivalent 10 PCs, because ten people are using it at once. How?

When people in an office log on to windows they are often working at a thin client terminal, a thin client terminal does not have much processing power, just enough to access the terminal / remote desktop server. All of the hard work is done by the sever, whilst the box on the desk (thin client) just communicates the keyboard and mouse info to the sever, and gives you a box to plug your monitor in to.

Servers can also run "virtual machines" which is like a computer within a computer, whilst say using MS Sever 2008 R2 you can install a 2nd 3rd or 4th (or more) operating system to run in its own little area of the sever OS.

So that is why sevres have to be so powerful, they are in effect running 10, 20 30 . . 100 "PCs" all at the same time, allowing lots and lots of users to all share the same processing power.

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