Member Server

Server Membership


A Member Server is a server within a computer network that is not a domain controller but is still part of a domain. It provides various network resources and services, such as file storage, printing, or application hosting, to other devices and users within the domain. Although a Member Server does not have the authority to authenticate and manage user accounts like domain controllers, it relies on the domain controller for authentication and access management.

Key Takeaways

  1. A Member Server is a server that is part of a domain but does not hold any Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) roles. It provides additional functionality and services within the domain, such as file storage, printing, or application hosting.
  2. Member Servers can be easily managed and accessed within the domain using centralized authentication, authorization, and security group management provided by AD DS, making it easier for administrators to maintain and implement security policies and other configurations across the network.
  3. By not holding any AD DS roles, Member Servers can be dedicated to delivering specific services, ensuring better performance and resource utilization. They can also be easily added or removed from the domain without significantly impacting the overall domain infrastructure.


The technology term “Member Server” is important because it highlights the vital role of these servers in networked environments.

Member servers, which are part of a domain but do not have the domain controller role, play a critical role in delivering essential services and resources to other computers and users within that domain in a proficient and secure manner.

Their existence enables the optimal use of domain controllers, ensuring that access and control remain streamlined and efficient.

Furthermore, by assigning specific tasks and roles to member servers, such as file or print services, organizations can achieve improved workload distribution, manageability, and fault tolerance, ultimately leading to enhanced overall network performance and system reliability.


A member server is a crucial component in a network infrastructure, often employed to streamline operations and provide centralized resources for users within an organization. Its primary purpose is to serve the varying needs of a computer network without undertaking the burden of managing its network security, user authentication, or intricate configuration processes.

These responsibilities are delegated to the designated domain controller, allowing the member server to focus on its core responsibilities, such as file storage, application hosting, and database management. By pooling resources onto a member server, an organization can achieve optimized scalability, simplified administration and maintenance, and heightened security through easier monitoring of a single node.

Member servers assume vital roles in administering network-based services like centralized file sharing, print sharing, hosting of applications or websites, and providing email or messaging services to users within the network. In essence, they operate as highly flexible supporting elements that can manage dynamic workloads to keep network processes efficient and application performance seamless.

This flexibility allows organizations to customize the specific setup and configuration of their member servers, thereby catering to their unique requirements and fostering a more productive working environment. Through the judicious deployment of member servers, organizations can not only attain efficient resource allocation but also realize significant cost savings by eliminating the need for multiple independent servers to cater to disparate tasks.

Examples of Member Server

A member server refers to a computer system that is part of a network but does not possess domain control or Active Directory database functionalities. Instead, it provides services, applications, or data storage to users within the network. Here are three real-world examples of member servers:

File Server: In an office setting, a file server acts as a member server by providing a central repository for storing documents, images, and other files. Employees can access, upload, and edit files on this server, greatly facilitating collaboration and data management in the workplace.

Print Server: A print server is another example of a member server commonly found in organizations. Connected to multiple printers, the print server receives print requests from computers within the network and directs them to the appropriate printer. This setup allows users to print documents without needing a direct connection to the printer, simplifying the printing process.

Application Server: Organizations often deploy application servers as member servers to provide a platform for hosting critical business software and services, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, email servers, or Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS). By centralizing the application, users can access it securely from various devices through the network, enabling collaboration and data sharing among team members.

FAQ: Member Server

1. What is a Member Server?

A Member Server is a server within a network that is not a domain controller but is a part of a domain. It provides resources like file storage, application hosting, and other network services to the domain’s users.

2. What is the difference between a Member Server and a Domain Controller?

A Domain Controller is responsible for managing and administering the security policies of the domain, while a Member Server is not. Member Servers focus on providing services and resources, such as file storage and application hosting, while Domain Controllers handle user authentication and access control.

3. Can a Member Server become a Domain Controller?

Yes, a Member Server can be promoted to a Domain Controller if the need arises. This is typically done by installing the Active Directory Domain Services role on the Member Server and running the promotion process.

4. What are the benefits of using Member Servers?

Member Servers help offload some responsibilities and tasks from the Domain Controllers, which improves performance and security. They provide a centralized platform for hosting applications, file storage, and other resources, making it easy to manage and scalable as the network grows.

5. How can I add a Member Server to a domain?

To add a Member Server to a domain, you’ll need to configure the Member Server’s network settings to point to the Domain Controller’s DNS server. Next, in the System Properties window, select the “Computer Name” tab and click on the “Change” button. Finally, enter the domain name in the “Member of” field and provide the appropriate credentials when prompted.

Related Technology Terms

  • Domain Controller
  • Active Directory
  • File and Print Sharing
  • Network Services
  • Server Roles

Sources for More Information

  • Microsoft: Microsoft is a leading technology company, offering extensive documentation and resources related to Windows Server operating systems and member servers.
  • TechTarget: TechTarget is a popular technology media company providing news, analysis, and expert advice on a wide range of technology topics, including member servers.
  • IBM: IBM is a multinational technology corporation that has extensive resources about server technology, including member servers, and other related topics.
  • Cisco: Cisco is a worldwide leader in IT and networking, offering in-depth resources on member servers and other networking technologies.

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