What is a Server?

When I first started my journey into IT, I felt like there were things and concepts that I thought I understood, but if you were to ask me what it was, or how it worked – I wouldn’t be able to tell you.

Exactly what a server is is one of those things.

The key to understanding what a server is lies in the name.

A server.


Now imagine you are at a restaurant, you are sitting at the table and you ask the waiter for your favourite dish. This is relayed to the chef/kitchen, and your order is on its way.

He/she complies and after waiting some short amount of time (which feels like forever in my experience) your dish is put in front of you by this waiter and you are ready to eat.

That’s it.

We have just described the role of a server, let’s explain.

In that scenario, the actual server itself is the chef/kitchen. The food has been served to you via the waiter from the kitchen and now you have what you originally requested.

This is essentially what a server does. It ‘serves’ information and data to ‘clients’ who may request it.

Other examples:

• A library acting as a server, with books being sent out to ‘clients’
• A wardrobe acting as a server, with clothes being taken out to users (‘clients’)

I hope this has helped someone.

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