First, a little history: The term server was first coined back in 1953 by D. G. Kendall in his formulation of queuing theory It was first applied in computing in 1969 with reference to ARPANET, the first packet switching IP network developed by the department of defense for communication between military installations. The technical use of the term means a use of a type of process that turns an Operating System such as Microsoft TM Windows into a “server” that makes files and other services available to “users”. The concept is also known as the client–server model in which clients request services and content from a central server. Small office servers became popular in the mid 1990s when Novell TM Server software was the dominant software for file share clients.
With the advent of Windows NT in the late 1990s Windows Server software became more prominent. Many of the services that the MS Windows Server Platform provided, such as SQL server were useful for proprietary industry specific applications written for the Windows Server. Having the actual “Server” software is less important these days, because OS software platforms from Windows NT up through Windows 7 and 10 Professional workstation software can be configured to share files and act as a server on a peer-to-peer network with fewer than 25 users. There are many business applications written for the Windows Professional workstation with built-in services that make them self contained and not reliant on the services, as they were on the Windows Server. The versatility of the Windows 7 OS and the cloud ready capabilities of Windows 10 Professional, along with cloud file storage and online services have made the traditional file server unnecessary in many small business offices today, but the concept of a designated “server” providing file and sharing access over a Local Area Network is still alive and well. If your wondering if your office needs a server, and need a mobile, onsite computer repair consultant to do it, SBC can help you decide.