Servers are central, powerful computers in information technology that process and provide software and files in a network. In a client architecture, multiple clients (computers in a network) can contact the central server to obtain requested information from it. In the server client architecture, the server can be a software that provides a service and is run on one or more computers or it can be hardware and in this case, they are usually referred to as server racks, server farms or server systems. In order to avoid this ambiguity of the term “server” the term “host” is generally used when referring to a server as hardware.
Servers as hardware are usually very powerful and located in separate, cooled rooms so that performance is not impaired by external factors. The housing of a server is usually expandable in order to extend it modularly (for example with storage media or other modules).
Such server racks are often organized in a cluster or network, creating a server farm. This is especially the case with companies that have a lot of data, such as search engine operators. A server usually works with a network operating system, which is particularly important for file sharing or printing through multiple computers (print sharing).
If servers are used as specific service servers for specific tasks, they are called dedicated servers. Furthermore, servers can be used both as intranet and Internet solutions. The former is only accessible to a specific group of people, such as the employees of a company, while traditional servers are mostly public. Servers can also be operated as virtual servers. In this case, an additional server is emulated (imitated) on a system.
Depending on the task and application, a server must provide certain functions. Accordingly, servers are also referred to as web servers, mail servers or application servers. Probably the most common type of servers are web servers, where websites are located and which provide different services for clients. For example, a server that is used to run a website should have enough computing capacity to answer many HTTP requests from the WWW.
Modern servers distribute these requests and use a certain amount of work division to handle a large amount of client requests. CDNs should be mentioned in this context in particular. Servers contain a database. This is a must, but can be implemented with different methods. MySQL databases are often used. Database and server systems should be compatible.
In terms of search engine optimization, it is important to use a powerful and fast server for a website. If a server reacts too slowly, there may be great delays when loading webpages. This is unpleasant for website users and they may end up being dissatisfied and leave the website. The KPIs of a website that has a long load time are correspondingly bad. Thus, the length of stay on the site is very short, the bounce rate is high and the operating costs of such a website are higher than for fast websites.
Site speed is also a ranking factor by search engines that can be tested with a number of different tools. The server load should ideally be constantly monitored. If the values are critical, the search engine may lower the page in its index.
A bad value for loading time is not only annoying for users, but also for search engines. A good server infrastructure is certainly a prerequisite for a successful website which is ranking well in the search results. This also includes the fact that the web servers of large websites do not work as dedicated servers, since this requires unnecessary computing power for special services. It is recommended to run web servers and dedicated servers separately.