Why I Need a Server

I found myself asking myself this question, “Why do I need a Server?” It was patently obvious to me that I did need a server, I just never thought about listing the reasons that I felt that way. So today I’m going to try to make explicit the reasons.

First, it is a good idea to explain what I mean by server. A server is a machine that is typically available on the network all the time to provide various software services. Some examples of services are a web server, a mail server, a Domain Name Server, a file server, and of course many others.

The server may only be visible to computers on your private network or it may be visible to anyone on the internet. If you need to make your server visible on the internet you should go to extra effort to secure it from potential hacking from malicious hackers on the internet. For most purposes a private server will do most of the things you might need it to.

There are various types of servers but they are usually categorized by the operating system that they are running. There are a lot of servers that run Windows. I have used Windows at work for years. I find that I prefer MacOS and Linux over Windows. The choice is primarily a personal one. In this day they all three are fine systems.

I like my MacBookPro for my personal workstation but when it comes to servers, I prefer Linux. I’m not alone in my choice. Linux has a number of features in its favor not the least of which is that it is the home of open source. It is more properly referred to as GNU Linux and GNU was the founding force behind the Open Source software movement. Richard Stallings would prefer to call it free software but that is a bit ambiguous for my taste. I don’t care if you charge for your software or not so long as you allow me access to your source for my own edification and to fix if necessary.

I need a server to develop web sites on. I need a server to develop and test my software projects. I need a server to learn the new techniques that are being invented on a daily basis to deliver the collection of services and content that we have come to call the internet and the world wide web. I need a machine that is capable of all this and over which I can have complete control.

It is part of my professional identity as a programmer. That is the most succinct way to put it.

Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the ones you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.