The term server highlights the role of the machine in the traditional client—server scheme, where the clients are the workstations using the storage. A file server does not normally perform computational tasks or run programs on behalf of its client workstations. File servers are commonly found in schools and offices, where users use a local area network to connect their client computers. A file server may be dedicated or non-dedicated. A dedicated server is designed specifically for use as a file server, with workstations attached for reading and writing files and databases. File servers may also be categorized by the method of access: Internet file servers are frequently accessed by File Transfer Protocol or by HTTP but are different from, that often provide dynamic web content in addition to static files. Database servers , that provide access to a shared database via a database device driver, are not regarded as file servers even when the database is stored in files, as they are not designed to provide those files to users and tend to have differing technical requirements.
How enterprises connect multiple computers on a network
As the name implies, a file server is a server that provides access to files. It acts as a central file storage location that can be accessed by multiple systems. File servers are commonly found in enterprise settings, such as company networks , but they are also used in schools, small organizations, and even home networks. A file server may be a dedicated system, such as network attached storage NAS device, or it may simply be a computer that hosts shared files. Dedicated file servers are typically used for enterprise applications, since they provide faster data access and offer more storage capacity than non-dedicated systems. In home networks, personal computers are often used as file servers. However, personal NAS devices are also available for home users that require more storage capacity and faster performance than a non-dedicated file server would allow. File servers can be configured in multiple ways. For example, in a home setting, a file server may be set to automatically allow access to all computers on the local network LAN. In a business setting where security is important, a file server may require all client systems to log in before accessing the server.
How do file servers work?
The term encompasses both the hardware and software needed to implement such a server. As long as they have received the corresponding authorizations, accessing users can open, read, change, and delete files and folders on a file server as well as even upload their own files to the server. A file server is a central server in a computer network that provides file systems or at least parts of a file system to connected clients. File servers therefore offer users a central storage place for files on internal data media, which is accessible to all authorized clients. Here, the server administrator defines strict rules regarding which users have which access rights : For instance, the configuration or file authorizations of the respective file system enable the admin to set which files can be seen and opened by a certain user or user group, and whether data can only be viewed or also added, edited, or deleted. With file servers connected to the internet and configured accordingly, users cannot only access the files via the local network but also benefit from remote access. This enables files to be accessed and saved on the file server even when users are on the go. All modern operating systems such as Windows, Linux, or macOS can be used on a file server, although the devices available in the network need to be compatible with the operating system. But file servers are not only used for file storage and management.
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