File-sharing services and Multitasking

One of the most important functions of a server operating system is its ability to share resources with other network users. The most common shared resource is the server's file system. A network server must be able to share some or all of its disk space with other users so that those users can treat the server's disk space as an extension of their own computers' disk spaces.


File-sharing services

The server operating system allows the system administrator  to determine which portions of the server's file system to share . Although an entire hard drive can be shared, this isn't common. Instead, individual directories or folders are shared. The administrator can control which users are allowed to access each shared folder.
Because file sharing is the reason why many network servers exist, server operating systems have more sophisticated disk management features than are found in desktop operating systems. For example most server operating systems can manage two or more hard drives if they were a single drives.In addition, most can create mirrors, which automatically keep backup copiesof drives on a second drive.

Multitasking: Only one users at a time uses a desktop compute; however multiple users simultaneously  use server computers. As a result, a server operating system must provide support for multiple users who access the server remotely via the network.

At the heart of multiuser support is multitasking, which is the capability of an operating system to execute more than one program (a task or a process) at a time. Multitasking operating system are likely the guy who used to spin plates balanced on sticks on the old Ed Sullivan Show back in the 1950s. He'd run from plate to plate, trying to keep them all  spinning so they would not fall of the sticks- and just for grins, he was blind-folded or rode on a unicycle.

Although multitasking creates the appearance that two or more programs are executing on the computer at one time, i n reality, a computer with a single processor can execute only one program at a time. The operating systems switches the CPU from one program to another to create the appearance that several programs are executing simultaneously, but at any given moment, only one of the program is actually executing. The others are patiently waiting for their turns. (However, if the computer has more than one CPU, the CPUs can execute programs simultaneously, which is multiprocessing.)

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