Most Popular Database Servers (with Examples)


With database servers, organizations are finding it easier to create, manage, encrypt, and backup the data.


Software database servers work by storing data along with a database management system (DBMS). The Database management system is an application that gives users the ability to query a database. Basically, it allows you to do the following operations: Create, Read, Update, Delete


These are the backbone operations for interacting with any database. Using a database server client, you can send a specific command to the DBMS which executes the requested task. For example, creating a table where you can store users' login details - username and password.


Besides the ability to create tables in a relational database, a database server client includes:


Update access privileges. Access to existing data, modify stored information


Typically, users connect to a server via a Local Area Network or the internet.


The most popular application structure is the client-server model. The client refers to other devices such as PCs, mobile phones, and tablets. An example of this include:



In this model, the clients and servers exchange messages in a request-response messaging pattern. The client sends a request, and the server returns a response. For example, a bank customer wants to access online banking via a web browser. The browser is the client, which initiates the request to the bank's web server.


The server continually listens for requests from clients. When the server receives a request from a client, it processes the request and sends it back to the client. In turn, the web server returns the result to the client - login page and access to online banking.


Clients are usually situated on personal computers and mobile devices. Servers are on powerful machines on the internet. The client-server model is effective where the clients and servers have tasks they routinely perform.


Where Are Database Servers Located?


A large number of databases can be kept in one server or a group of servers specifically configured to service client requests and protect data. These are data servers and cloud data centers.


Globally, there are more than 600 hyperscale data centers where some host more than 5,000 servers. Of these, 39% are in the US, while 30% are in Germany, Australia, UK, Japan, and China.


Data stored in database servers is usually accessed via app or web interfaces. For example, users can access their social media accounts on Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and others via web clients and mobile apps.


This is an example of a client-server computing model. Basically, you've dedicated computers running and serving resources to many users and apps. As such, several clients can connect to the database server and use the resources offered and hosted by the dedicated computers.


In a client-server computing model, the database server is the backend of the database application or the instance. Sometimes, it can be a combination of hardware and software architecture. This is common in small and medium-sized setups.


For example, a restaurant will have a dedicated computer that hosts the software database server and application. This application will connect to the software database server via specific ports. It will log into and access data while the users are at their personal computers.


In larger setups, a single computer is unable to handle the load. In this case, the organization will have dedicated servers where the database software will reside. The application will be on another computer.


Types of Database Servers

The foundation of database performance is the underlying database server architecture. Even the best database applications are easily crippled by using inadequate hardware infrastructure. Thanks to recent advances in new chipsets along with improvements in storage - SSDs -, the database server as we knew it changed everything.

List of well-known database servers.


Distributed Database Servers

A distributed database server distributes organization data across multiple servers. To a client, it appears as a single database. But it's a set of databases stored on several servers. Each server in a distributed database is usually controlled by a local DBMS. These servers co-operate to maintain consistency. By using more than one database server to store company data, it makes accessing data faster.


Centralized Database Servers

Centralized database servers are database servers located and maintained in a single location. The location could be a central computer or database system for example a mainframe computer. Big companies often use centralized database servers to directly access servers that store their data. Since all data is centrally located, it's easier to access and coordinate the data. This means minimal data redundancy.


Cloud Database Server

A cloud database server is a database server that users can access through a cloud platform. Basically, a cloud database server allows you to access and save data and files on a server connected to the internet. The majority of organizations today, use cloud computing database servers to provide users fast and easy access to their data. Examples of cloud platforms include MySQL, Oracle, and IBM DB2.


Operational Database Servers

An operational database server enables the storage and processing of data in real-time. Also referred to as On-Line Transaction Processing, it allows users to immediately update information from authorized devices. This type of database server is useful for companies that want to send communications between employees. Examples of operational databases include AWS Dynamo, MongoDB, and Microsoft SQL Server.


Examples of Database Servers



MySQL is an open-source database management system to deploy cloud-native applications. As a relational database management system based on SQL, it's used for data warehousing, e-commerce, and much more. The most common use for MySQL is a web database.


Released on May 26th, 1995, it's compatible with Linux, macOS, Windows, and FreeBSD operating systems. You can use SQL to access, update and manipulate the data stored in the database. Basically, MySQL facilitates data storing, modification, and management in a tabular format.


Many of the world's organizations including Google, and others rely on MySQL to power their high-volume websites and apps.


Microsoft SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server is a relational database management system designed to manage and store information. As a database server, it supports various analytics operations and transaction processing.


Developed by Microsoft, they released it on April 24th, 1989 as SQL Server 1.0. Today, it’s available in more than 10 languages and compatible with Linux, Microsoft Windows Server, and Windows. It comes with built-in data encryption and compression features which ensures enhanced performance.


To encrypt and secure data, there is no need to modify programs. SQL Server has efficient permission management tools with access controls.



Is a column-oriented relational database management system. Developed by SAP SE, it’s best for transactional and analytical workloads of any data type. Basically, the SAP HANA breaks down analytical and transactional silos for quick decision-making.


As an in-memory database server, users can deploy in the cloud or on-premises. The application uses in-memory computing to compress and store data in RAM rather than storing it in disk drives.



NoSQL is a database system that stores and retrieves data without the use of SQL. It is popularly used across large distrusted systems. This is because it's more scalable and you can add new fields and columns without impacting your application's performance.


Such databases have existed since the late 1960s but the term "NoSQL" was recently coined in the early 21st century. NoSQL is commonly used in real-time applications and big data. One of the most popular types of NoSQL database systems is MongoDB. As a cross-platform database program, it uses JSON-like documents. As such, it supports huge volumes of traffic and data.


Oracle Database

Oracle Database is a database commonly used for data warehousing and running online transactions. Developed by Oracle Corporation, this relational database management system implements object-oriented features. They include polymorphism, inheritance, and user-defined types. Written in assembly language, C++, and C, it offers market-leading performance and security.


Now you can start experimenting with different database servers, and database management systems. Start with the free ones such as MySQL and upgrade once you expand your operations.