The Truth About Servers Page 7
Sophisticated FTP servers give the administrator increased control over who may connect and share files, what types of files they may share, and where those files can be placed. Configurable quotas on the number of connects to the server, the amount of data transferred, minimum transfer speed, and so on are becoming increasingly common to help boost the security of FTP servers.
In a sense, fax servers are a bridge between the old way of doing business and the new. But, as long as documents continue to stampede across this bridge, the fax server market continues to breathe life vigorously.
In many respects, a fax server is similar to the aforementioned e-mail server. Both types of servers are bridges between outgoing and incoming messages. Both must route incoming messages to a destination. In the case of e-mail servers, this destination is always an inbox for a particular user. Fax servers for small, single-user environments often assume that the receiving computer itself is the sole destination, so the "inbox model" does not apply. On the other hand, fax servers designed for corporate environments do indeed parallel the e-mail server model, delivering incoming faxes to particular destinations assigned to individual users.
A well designed fax server may offer extra conveniences for handling incoming faxes, such as direct-to-printer output. It may also provide outgoing specialities, such as scheduled broadcasts of a document to many recipients, and automated outgoing faxes triggered by incoming requests ("fax-back").
Corporate fax servers must also juggle numerous outgoing faxes, possibly queued up by a number of different users. How well fax server software can effectively manage a limited number of phone lines, so as to schedule both outgoing and incoming faxes without conflict, is a major selling point for costlier, "enterprise" level fax servers.
Sophisticated fax servers also feature strong integration with electronic messaging systems, including e-mail, Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes. Such features enable the fax server to become a "seamless" bridge between electronic documents and the anachronistic world of fax documents.
Fax servers range widely in capabilities, scaled to different environments, from the home or small office needs addressed by MightyFAX, and RelayFax to enterprise-level products, including RightFAX Enterprise, FAXport, and Faxination.