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An application server is a type of server designed to install, operate and host applications and associated services for end users, IT services and organizations. It facilitates the hosting and delivery of high-end consumer or business applications, which are used by multiple and simultaneously connected local or remote users.
An application server consists of a server operating system (OS) and server hardware that work together to provide computing-intensive operations and services to the residing application. An application server executes and provides user and/or other app access when utilizing the installed application's business/functional logic. Key required features of an application server include data redundancy, high availability, load balancing, user management, data/application security and a centralized management interface. Moreover, an application server may be connected by enterprise systems, networks or intranet and remotely accessed via the Internet.
Depending on the installed application, an application server may be classified in a variety of ways, including as a Web server, database application server, general purpose application server or enterprise application (EA) server.