10 Types of Computers



CERN server
A detailed view in the CERN Computer/Data Centre and server farm of the 15,607 square foot (1,450 square meter) main room at the world's largest particle physics laboratory on April 19, 2017 in Meyrin, Switzerland. Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

A computer that has been optimized to provide services to other computers over a network, servers usually have powerful processors, lots of memory and large hard drives.

Unlike a desktop or laptop PC, you don't sit down at a server and type. Instead, a server provides computer power — and lots of it — through a local area network (LAN) or over the internet. Companies small and large lean on servers to provide information, process orders, track shipping data, crunch scientific formulas, and a whole lot more. Servers are often stored on racks in a dedicated server room, which in some companies may resemble warehouses.

Like regular PCs, servers have typical computer components. They have motherboards, RAM, video cards, power supplies and ample network connections for any need. They don't typically have dedicated displays, though. Instead, IT workers use a single monitor to configure and control multiple servers, combining their computing power for ever greater speed.

Ever wonder how a service like Google can anticipate your search inquiries in real time ... and then kick back answers to your deepest questions in just a moment? It's all because of servers. By some estimates, the company maintains and operates roughly 2.5 million servers in huge data centers scattered all around Earth [source: Data Center Knowledge].