File server

A file server or English. File server makes file systems, or at least a portion of a file system in a computer network.


The main task of a file server is to provide multiple users access to files. The control of access rights is done by the server itself or via the file permissions in the file system.

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

  • With appropriate organization better overview of existing data
  • Avoid conflicts between different versions of a document
  • Central allocation of rights for files, very fine-grained with ACLs
  • Working groups can work with the same files, without having to transport them to removable media
  • Possibility of automatic version or revision
  • Backups are simple and effective, since not data on each client must be backed up individually. With an appropriate file system, logical volume manager or disk array snapshots can be made ​​during operation.

Under almost any operating system, a file server can be established. Are usual file server on Unix, Linux distributions, NetWare and Windows.


The network protocol is usually on the Internet FTP, SFTP and SCP whose hedged versions or WebDAV used. In intranet is used in Windows environments usually SMB / CIFS, in Unix environments rather NFS. Apple devices use AppleTalk.


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