The computers in a network functions as either clients or servers. The roles of computers in a network are;
A client is a computer that uses the resources made available by a server. The client must have sufficient processing power on its own to run applications that interact with the resources on the server.
A server is a computer that makes its resources available to the network and responds to the commands of a client. The server in a network performs a variety of complex tasks. The following are some examples of different types of server included on many large networks:
i). File and Print Servers:
File and print servers provides file and printer resources from a centralized location. When a client sends a request for data to the file and print server, the entire database or file is downloaded to the computer making the request. Once the document is saved back on the server, anyone on the network who has the proper access, or permission, may look at the file. In other word, file and print servers are used to store and retrieve centralized file and data records.
ii). Database Servers:
Database servers can store large amount of data in a centralized location and make this data available to users so that they do not need to download the entire database. With a database server, the entire database stays on the server and only the results of a request are downloaded to the computer making the request.
iii). Mail Server:
Mail server operates like database servers. Mail servers manage the e-mail services for the network.