File Server is the central unit of a local area network used for the storage and management of all the files that can be accessed by other computers on the same network. In other words, it is a server that provides access and acts as a central file storage location that can be accessed by multiple systems connected over a network. Any user on the network with permissions can store files on the server or access the files stored on the file server.
File servers are commonly found in enterprise settings, such as company networks, are also used in schools, small organizations, and even home networks. According to the network size and the need, file server’s configuration and settings changes. That is, on larger networks the file server runs a special network operating system. However, for smaller installations a PC operating system accompanied by peer-to-peer networking software could be sufficient.
Types of file servers
File servers are categorized by the method of access employed.
Difference between Application Server and File server
File server is also referred as a high-speed computer in a network that can just store all the programs and the data files that are shared by the users and acts as a remote disk drive whereas application server runs the program and process the data.
Advantages of File Servers
Ease the file transfer process: The main advantage of the file server is to ease the file transfer process. File server allows users to share information over a network thus eliminating the need for physically transferring the files via floppy diskette, pen drives or some other external storage device.
Offers file protection: File servers offer system security by confining the access to files only for a specific users or groups. Thus, one can restrict the file access to the unauthorized users.