A Database server is a piece of hardware that runs software to provide database services to other users’ applications as part of a client-server model.
To understand the model better, let’s explain it a bit before we dive in deeper into this article.
This model is a network in which certain computers have dedicated task, mainly providing services to other computers. The model describes the relationship of cooperating programs in an application. Servers are usually defined by their role, such as web, application, proxy, and other type of servers
A shared resource may be any of the servers’ software or hardware, from applications, programs or a piece of component within the server. The shared resources of a server constitute a service. One of those services is a database query other servers would request from the database server.
Now that we’ve covered the basics let’s go back to our topic, a database server.
The database server is usually located on the back-end of the infrastructure. You probably never accessed this server directly; this is mainly for security reasons. Based on the client-server model we have explained above, the user sends a request to the network. This request is usually called a query and most databases are programmed using some type of query language. Popular languages are SQL, Oracle, DB2, Informix, and MySQL. Depending on the users’ logical location on the network, whether it’s a query through the web and it will be handled through the web server or an internal query that will be handled through the Domain or Application servers, the database server will never be the one directly contacted. Think of the database server as a library and one of the assisting servers (application, domain, web, etc.) as the librarian. When you want a book or return a book, you go through the same point. You cannot just grab something and walk away. This keeps the whole thing secure, centralized and organized; the most important feature of any server, especially the database server.
Now that we understand the role of this server, why is it so important?
With database servers, all the data of the company/organization is stored in one location. This is always preferred. It keeps it neat, centralized and our goal in IT is always consolidated, proficient and efficiency, which can be achieved with this server.
Since it’s all located in one location, the queries between the client and the server are fast and smooth. Imagine the data was spread among several servers. The latency would be horrible! This allows the client to retrieve the data in a single query to a single database, rather than going back and forth between multiple servers/databases.
It’s a useful server for organizations that have a lot of data and deal with it on a regular basis. If the data is accessed frequently, it’s always better to work with a database server. Some organizations use file servers instead but this is simply a “band-aid”. A file server will never be able to reach the full potential of a database server.
This is probably one of the most important servers in every infrastructure and is a MUST. Most organizations will collapse shortly after they lose their data. Without it, your organization has nothing to offer to the business world and will not survive for long. The best recommendation is to invest in a good and reliable database server from the beginning.