The answer to the question, “How do servers work? is more than just sharing trivial details. It is the servers’ job to serve up pages of web content that you have requested (their work).
A world-wide-web would not exist without servers. When you open a new web page or make an online purchase, a series of near-instant processes are taking place on some server. Even the simplest website relies on servers to deliver the elements, widgets, and visuals we take for granted. In addition, it’s a good idea to have this information before you choose a hosting account. Shoppers who are savvy know what their servers need to do – and what to avoid.
The purpose of this article is to show how a server works, starting with what happens when someone types in a website address. We’ll also look at the different types of servers available and what factors make for the best server hosting performance. Scooby, Shaggy, and the gang need not be confused by web server types.
Servers perform what kind of work?
In its simplest form, a server is a repository of web pages that respond to requests for a particular website. In this case, the ‘request’ is simply the act of entering the web address into the browser and pressing return. The server monitors these requests using ports, delivering a response almost instantly to deliver the requested site page. Having received the user’s request and verified it, the server assembles all of the elements that make up a website and communicates this information back to the user’s browser. A server’s day-to-day work revolves around request-response.
It is then up to the web browser to ensure the requested site is genuine and display the page. By using TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) or IP (Internet Protocol) and HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), web browsers and servers ensure that the request is authentic. Meanwhile, web browsers use DNS (Domain Name System) to connect to a wide variety of server types and configurations by converting domain names (like knownhost.com) into numeric addresses, and back again – a bit like a post office.
Boiled down, it works like this:
- The web browser searches for the correct IP address associated with a particular domain in order to request a specific page.
- Web browsers ask the server for the full URL for the site they wish to display.
- In addition to ads, dynamic elements, and content, the web server also collects and assembles the information necessary to display the site. As a response, the server sends back this complete package of information to the web browser.
- This complete page is displayed by the web browser.
Explaining the Technology of Servers
Since servers process thousands of web page requests every minute, they need to be equipped with specialized technology and a unique build in order to be able to perform this task. They achieve this by managing the heavy workload they experience every day.
Servers use disks very differently from desktop computers, which generally use a single hard drive to store and deliver data. RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) is what servers use instead. In other words, servers always have multiple hard drives working at once – with the same data stored on each drive. Servers use this configuration to prevent drive failures and downtime – which is vital if you run, for example, a business website that needs to run all the time. In a RAID setup, even if one drive fails, the server will continue to function. In this case, the server will simply use one of its companions drives to access the data stored on the broken drive. KnownHost’s hosting plans include RAID-10, one of the higher levels of RAID. With RAID-10, we can easily copy information to new drives and transfer data at ultrafast speeds without any downtime.
As well as traditional RAID using hard drives, KnownHost uses SSD RAID – which combines the power and speed of solid-state drives, with no moving parts, for maximum performance.
Additionally, servers must also have plenty of RAM and CPUs as these elements assist in managing incoming requests and handling ongoing server tasks.
A Brief Overview of Server Technology:
RAID storage (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks). Since multiple versions of the same data are stored on different drives, incoming requests can always be served – even if one drive malfunctions
RAM provides a fast response to many requests.
The CPU oversees all tasks on the server, ensuring that they are assigned to the right place and progress according to plan.
Explaining the types of servers
With so many different hosting requirements out there, there is a huge diversity in the types of servers available and the types of work that they can perform. Among these are servers designed to support online chat platforms, mail servers designed to manage corporate communications, etc. Considering that these are three of the most common types of servers, we’ll focus on application, database, and web servers. The type of server determines what types of work requests are accepted, what types of data are stored, and how they fit into the overall content delivery architecture.
An application server provides an operational setting for applications, as its name suggests. Typically, these servers are used to deliver the user’s applications – running them directly on the server. In addition to application servers, database servers are also often interfaces, which manage the flow of data back and forth so they can deliver all the necessary elements to the user.
Often referred to as the ‘Back-End,’ database servers handle non-user tasks like data storage, archiving, and more. Database servers form the foundation of a server environment, storing and delivering all the essential information that other servers and services required to perform their functions efficiently. In other words, when a client machine, which could be another server or a computer, accesses the database server, it searches through all the information it holds and returns the results.
Web servers deliver content to users over HTTP, making them the most straightforward server type to explain. Upon receiving a request for a specific web page, the webserver pulls together all the information it needs to display the page. The browser displays the requested web page after receiving all the requested information in a complete form.
Types of Servers Simplified:
- Providing a running environment for applications, application servers deliver functional applications when requested.
- Database servers – Store and retrieve data, and feed it to other servers that need the information they hold.
- The web server delivers content to browsers, putting together the disparate information that makes up a webpage. HTTP is used to transmit this requested information back to the user’s web browser, which displays the full page.
What Makes a Good Host?
There are underlying qualities that distinguish superior quality hosting, regardless of the fact that this is partly a subjective question.
When looking for a hosting service, customer support and price are two of the most important factors to consider because you need to know that you will get the help you need if you run into problems. The price is also an important point to consider, as it determines whether the hosting plan you choose is truly cost-effective. Hosting offers can seem great on the surface, but they fail when you learn that many services aren’t included in the price of your plan – like migration, DNS configuration, setup, etc. KnownHost includes them free of charge.
Besides doing your homework on the hosting company you’re considering, it’s vital that you make sure they deliver what they promise. You should search the web for real, verified reviews – as feedback from other customers will provide you with the best insight into your potential hosting provider. Additionally, you might want to explore the specific services on offer – from freebies to security measures included with your hosting plan.
If you’re not a Linux geek yourself, you need to learn server management. You should leave the technical aspects of maintaining a server to professionals so you can focus on your business. As a result, all KnownHost plans are 100% fully managed, from shared to the reseller, from VPS to dedicated.
KnownHost offers a number of industry-leading, fully-managed hosting plans ranging from application hosting to cloud VPS hosting. With a free cPanel, 24/7 USA-based support, and comprehensive security protection, we provide all the hands-off services you need. Check out our homepage for the best, most affordable hosting plan, or speak with a sales representative who can help you find the perfect fit, while you enjoy our world-class service and 99.99%+ average uptime. For more see Cg news today