Difference between Workstation and Server

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What is a Server?

A server is a computer, a device or a program that is dedicated to managing network resources. They are called that because they “serve” another computer, device, or program called “client” to which they provide functionality.

The purpose of a server is to manage network resources such as hosting websites, transmitting data, sending or receiving emails, controlling accesses, etc.

The server is connected to a switch or router used by all the other network computers can use to access the server’s features and services (browsing websites, checking emails, communicating with other users, etc.).

There are a number of types of servers, including print servers, file servers, network servers and database servers. In theory, whenever computers share resources with client machines they are considered servers.

What you need to know about Server

  • A server is a computer whose purpose is to handle requests for data from other computers. 
  • Servers keep files such as html, images, video and applications available online for the client computer to access.
  • The most popular operating systems for servers are FreeBSD, Solaris and Linux.
  • Server operations are mostly network or internet based.
  • Servers come in many forms, like FTP, web, application, mail, proxy, and telnet servers.
  • Servers are connected to keyboards but not always hooked up to monitors.
  • Servers live in a designated room or server tower.
  • Servers typically contain error-correcting Double Data Rate (DDR) modules, rely on Redundant Area of Inexpensive Disk (RAID) technology for disk storage, and leverage multiple power supply units and network ports.
  • Workstations have the highest quality Graphical user interface (GUI) with efficient video and audio qualities as they mostly do work related to video/audio editing.
  • A server can not be a workstation.

What is a Workstation?

A workstation (WS) is a computer dedicated to a user or group of users engaged in business or professional work. It includes one or more high resolution displays and a faster processor than a personal computer (PC). A workstation also has greater multitasking capability because of additional random access memory (RAM), drives and drive capacity. A workstation may also have a higher-speed graphics adapters and more connected peripherals.

Workstations usually are built with an optimized design for complex data manipulation and visualization. Examples include image rendering and editing, computer-aided design (CAD), animations and mathematical plots. 

The term workstation also has been used to reference a PC or mainframe terminal on a local area network (LAN). These workstations may share network resources with one or more large client computers and network servers.

What you need to know about Workstation

  • A workstation is a personal computer that is used for high end applications such as graphic design, video editing, CAD, 3-D design, or other CPU and RAM intensive programs. 
  • The function of a workstation is to complete high end applications like graphic design, video editing etc.
  • Workstations run on UNIX, Linux, MacOS or Windows NT operating system and are designed to run software from independent software vendors.
  • Workstation operations can be on network or off-network.
  • Workstations can be designed for high-performance video production, audio recording, architecture, engineering, database management, and software development.
  • Workstations are always connected to both monitors and keyboards and rely on all the accessories associated with a standard computer.
  • Workstations aren’t tied down to a larger data center, which means they can be moved between different desks and offices as necessary.
  • Workstations don’t rely on DDR modules or RAID storage disks and typically use only one power supply unit and one network port.
  • A Server lacks a GUI (Graphic User Interface) and other elaborate audio/ video interfaces.
  • Workstation can be a server.
  • Workstations are intended primarily to be used by one person at a time, although they can usually also be accessed remotely.

Server vs Workstation In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISONSERVERWORKSTATION
DescriptionServers are software and hardware that store data, manage network resources, and fulfill client requests. Workstations are laptops and PCs that quickly perform complex, technical tasks.
FunctionServers keep files such as html, images, video and applications available online for the client computer to access.The function of a workstation is to complete high end applications like graphic design, video editing etc.
Operation StytemThe most popular operating systems for servers are FreeBSD, Solaris and Linux.Workstations run on UNIX, Linux, MacOS or Windows NT operating system
ConnectionServers are connected to keyboards but not always hooked up to monitors.Workstations are always connected to both monitors and keyboards.
FormsServers come in many forms, like FTP, web, application, mail, proxy, and telnet servers.A workstation, since are used for specific types such as sound workstations, video workstations etc
LocationServers live in a designated room or server tower.Workstations aren’t tied down to a larger data center.
ComponentsServers rely on DDR modules or RAID storage disks, network portal and power supply.It typically use only one power supply unit and one network port.
GUIWorkstations have the highest quality Graphical user interface (GUI)A Server lacks a GUI (Graphic User Interface) and other elaborate audio/ video interfaces.
NatureA server can not be a workstation.A server can not be a workstation.
PurposeWorkstations may be designed for specific tasks like Auto CAD[1], Studio MAX etc Servers are intended for networking.