Streamers vs. servers

Over the years, it seems like some terminology has changed and I’m a bit confused (anyone remember renderers and control points?).

Some manufacturers refer to their streamers as also being servers. But in order for that to be true, don’t they have to be running some sort of database software like JRiver, MinimServer, etc? Are those devices really powerful enough to manage a database?

Anyway, I run Logitech Media Server (LMS) and Squeezelite on a custom PC (a VortexBox). LMS keeps my database of recordings and can stream over multiple protocols and has plugins for Spotify, Tidal, and other online services. The VortexBox has an ethernet connection for and can send data to a variety of players and is DLNA-compatible. Squeezelite Player allows me to connect the VortexBox directly the my DS DAC via USB.

There are servers/players, servers/streamers, servers only, and streamers only. Each is specced and built for a function or more. Some of these machines use processors similar to what you have on a capable laptop. Some use an internal SSD drive for their internal software other than the storage drive that contains music files. The market is packed with them from well-known brands and not-so-well-known brands.