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The use of “serving” also dates to early documents, such as RFC 4, contrasting “serving-host” with “using-host”. On a network, such a device is called a host.
This is in contrast with peer-to-peer model in which the relationship is on-demand reciprocation. Shares vast amounts of computing resources, especially CPU and random-access memory, over a network.
Any computer program that needs more CPU power and RAM than a personal computer can probably afford. Reasons for doing so includes content control and filtering, improving traffic performance, preventing unauthorized network access or simply routing the traffic over a large and complex network.
They are configured and managed remotely. Availability would have to be very high, making hardware reliability and durability extremely important. Uninterruptible power supplies might be incorporated to insure against power failure.