What is the Difference Between Server and Storage

The main difference between server and storage is that the server is a hardware device or a program that provides services to the client machines in the network according to their requests while the storage is a component in the computing device that stores data for long-term accessing.

A server provides various services to multiple clients. They store and manage data, allows sharing resources, perform computation and many more. There are powerful servers running in data centres for efficient and reliable communication. However, storage refers to secondary memory that stores data permanently. It allows the processor or the CPU to transfer its data to the memory (RAM) for short-term data access.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Server
     – Definition, Functionality
2. What is Storage
     – Definition, Functionality
3. What is the Difference Between Server and Storage
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

RAM, Server, Secondary Memory, Storage

Difference Between Server and Storage - Comparison Summary

What is a Server

A server is software or a hardware device that provides services to other devices in the network. The other devices are also known as clients or hosts. Clients obtain services from the server. A single server can provide services to multiple clients at the same time.  Server and client can be in the same device or the server can be a separate physical device. Moreover, there can also be multiple servers in a single machine, serving different clients. When the server receives a request, it responds back to the client with the requested service.

Difference Between Server and Storage

Figure 1: Server

There are various types of servers such as file servers, database servers, mail servers, and, application servers. The file servers provide files to the client machines. The web servers provide web pages. Database servers run Database Management Systems (DBMS) to create and manage database. Mail servers send and receive emails using the standard email protocol. Application servers provide facilities to create web applications and a server environment to run time. Those are some common examples for servers.

What is Storage

In a computer, the data can be stored in memory or storage. Memory is the component that stores data for a short term. Memory refers to the Random Access Memory (RAM).  It is a volatile memory, so the data is held temporarily. The data will be erased when the device loses power.

Main Difference - Server vs Storage

Figure 2: Hard Disk

Storage refers to a component in the computer that allows long-term data accessing. The hard disk and Solid State Drive (SSD) are storage components. The data in the storage is permanent, and it is a nonvolatile memory. Powering off the device will not affect the data in storage. Even though the user shuts off the computer multiple times, the data remains as it is. Therefore, storage provides long-term data accessing.

Difference Between Server and Storage

Definition

A server is a program or a hardware device that provides services to other devices in the network. Storage is a physical device on a computer that is capable of storing data permanently.

Functionality

A server provides data, allows resource sharing and provides other services to the client machines in the network. They also allow managing databases, providing files and web pages and so on depending on their type.  On the other hand, storage is used to store and access data, files and applications. Therefore, the functionlity is a major difference between server and storage.

Conclusion

The difference between server and storage is that the server is a hardware device or a program that provides services to the client machines in the network according to their requests while the storage is a component in the computing device that stores data for long-term accessing.

Reference:

1. “Server (Computing).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 19 Sept. 2018, Available here.
2. “Computer Data Storage.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 25 Sept. 2018, Available here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Wikimedia Foundation Servers-8055 14″ By Victorgrigas – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Laptop-hard-drive-exposed” By Evan-Amos – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Lithmee

Lithmee holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Systems Engineering and is reading for her Master’s degree in Computer Science. She is passionate about sharing her knowldge in the areas of programming, data science, and computer systems.

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