A computer system in a network that is shared by multiple users. Servers come in all sizes from x86-based PCs to IBM mainframes. A server may have a keyboard, monitor and mouse directly attached, or one keyboard, monitor and mouse may connect to any number of servers via a KVM switch. Servers may be also be accessed only through a network connection as well. See KVM switch.
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Stand-alone PCs and Macs can also function as a server to other users on the network even though they serve as a single workstation to one user (see peer-to-peer network). This is common in small offices, but most of the time, servers are stand alone and not used personally. In large enterprises, servers are often mounted in racks by the dozens, hundreds and even thousands.
The term "server" may refer to both the hardware and software (the entire computer system) or just the software that performs the service. For example, Web server may refer to the Web server software in a computer that also runs other applications, or, it may refer to a computer system dedicated only to the Web server application. For example, a large Web site could have several dedicated Web servers or one very large Web server.
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