Publishing server (also known as Publisher) is a SQL Server instance that makes data available to other locations through replication, by hosting one or more published databases. Each of these databases can have one or more publications, which define a logically related set of objects and data to replicate.
In SQL Server replication, pull subscriptions acquire the replicated data from the publishing server using periodic updates, initiated by the subscribing server. When pull subscriptions are used, each subscribing server can specify the preferred update time. Pull subscriptions are mainly used for replicating data to many subscribers, or for load balancing of a heavily loaded network.