File server

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A file server (or from engl . Fileserver also fileserver called) is a computer , the file system or at least a part of a file system in a computer network provides.


The main role of a file server is to give multiple users access to files . The access rights are controlled by the server itself or via the file authorizations in the file system.

The central storage of files has the following advantages and reasons:

  • with appropriate organization, better overview of existing data
  • Avoiding conflicts between different versions of a document
  • central assignment of rights for files, very fine-grained with ACLs
  • Working groups can work with the same files without them on removable media having to transport
  • Possibility of automatic versioning or revision
  • Data backups are simpler and cheaper, as data does not have to be backed up individually on each client. With the appropriate file system, logical volume manager or disk array , snapshots can be taken during operation .

A file server can be set up under almost any operating system . File servers are common in Linux distributions , NetWare , Windows and Unix .


The network protocol used on the Internet is usually FTP , its secure variants SCP and SFTP or WebDAV . In intranets , SMB / CIFS is usually used in Windows and Mac environments, and NFS in Unix environments .


A file server usually has several large hard disk drives that are connected in a RAID system. Usually special hard disk types are used that are optimized for continuous operation.

See also