From its intimidating preponderance of acronyms to the ever-expanding terminology of memory capacity — gigabyte, terabyte, exabyte, petabyte — information technology has numerous amusing quirks of language. For example, PC hardware is one of the few realms where it's still acceptable to mingle the terms "master" and "slave" in describing the relationship between separate and unequal components of a system. A similar eccentricity applies the word "server," used (if at all) by most people to refer to members of the wait staff at a sit-down restaurant, to the central hardware or software that performs various distributed computing tasks for "client" machines or programs.
The usage is not a recent phenomenon — "servers" have been classified as such, and have been an essential component of computing technology, for decades. Although if you want to get technical, the word server refers only to a program or process, of which there are typically several, that are stored on a physical machine called a host. The host is generally also called a server, however, to the extent that most people who could call to mind a mental image of a server are probably actually picturing a host. Aren't words fun?
Servers, in both computing senses of the word, are a vital element of IT infrastructure. Assembling, deploying and maintaining servers is a critical nuts-and-bolts computing challenge that nearly every business in every industry requires at some level. The Windows server products created by Microsoft are ubiquitous in the server realm and there are a lot of interesting job opportunities available to someone who masters Windows server technology.
TestOut Continuing Education offers a variety of Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2012 instruction. If you dive into our Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services courseware, you'll not only learn how to use Windows Server 2012, but you can practice your skills on a simulated network of more than 40 servers in seven different locations. That's some serious simulation firepower. Imagine how confident you'll feel after that level of preparation when it comes to Day One of your first IT administrator job.
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