In the client or server model, a file server is a computer responsible for the central storage and management of data files to allow other computers on the same network can access the files. Information can be share over a network without having to physically transfer files by floppy diskette or some other external storage device. Any computer can be configured to be a host and perform as a file server.
A file server may be an ordinary PC that handles requests for files and sends them over the network or even a dedicated network-attached storage (NAS) device that also serves as a remote hard disk drive for other computers, which allows anyone on the network to store files on it as if to their own hard drive.
A program or mechanism that enables the required processes for file sharing can also be called a file server where File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is used.
Benefits of a file server:
Users can now save & access their work or files easily without the need of carrying a disk around everywhere they go.
Users have the choice to allow sharing files to which networked computers and can also restrict access privileges to guests and registered users.
All files are stored in a specify location which focuses on centralized backup strategies and security implementation where different access rights can be given to the information.
Active Directory is a centralized and standardized system that regulates and controls network management of user data, security, and distributed resources, and enables interoperation with other directories. Active Directory is the same as Novell Directory Services (NDS) or any other directory services and is designed especially for distributed networking environments.
Active Directory also allows administrators to assign policies, deploy software, and apply critical updates to an organization. The information and settings are safely stored in a central database.