It is a computer dedicated to providing one or more services over a computer network, typically through a request-response routine. These services are furnished by specialized server applications, which are computer programs designed to handle multiple concurrent requests.

Examples of server applications include mail servers, file servers, web servers, and proxy servers.

Server used as an adjective, as in server operating system, refers to the product's ability to handle multiple requests, and is said to be "server-grade". A server operating system is intended or better enabled to run server applications.

The differences between the server and workstation versions of a product can vary from the removal of an arbitrary software limits due to licensing, as in the case of Windows 2000, or the addition of bundled applications as in Mac OS X Server.

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