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Web Server Hardware and Software (CH-08)

Objectives Web Server Basics

In this chapter, you will learn about: • Main job of a Web server computer
• Web server basics – To respond to requests from Web client computers
• Software for Web servers • Three main elements of a Web server
• Internet utility programs – Hardware
• Web server hardware – Operating system software
– Web server software

Types of Web Sites

• Development sites Types of Web Sites (Continued)
– Used to evaluate different Web designs • Transaction-processing sites
• Intranets – Commerce sites that must be available 24 hours a
– Corporate networks that house internal memos, corporate day, seven days a week
policy handbooks • Content-delivery sites
• Extranets – Deliver content such as news, histories,
– intranets that allow authorized parties outside the summaries, and other digital information
company to access information stored in the system

Web Clients and Web Servers Platform Neutrality of the Web

• Client/server architectures
– Client computers typically request services
– Server processes clients’ requests
• Web software
– Lets different types of computers, running
different operating systems, communicate

Dynamic Content Dynamic Content (Continued)

• Nonstatic information constructed in response to a Web • Server-side scripting
client’s request – Programs running on Web server create Web pages
• Dynamic page before sending them back to the requesting Web
– Web page whose content is shaped by a clients
program in response to user requests • Dynamic page-generation technologies
• Static page – Active Server Pages (ASP)
– An unchanging page retrieved from disk – Java Server Pages (JSP)
– PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP)

Various Meanings of “Server” Two-Tier Client/Server Architecture

• Server • Has only one client and one server
– Computer used to provide files or make programs • Request message
available to other computers – Message that a Web client sends to request a file
• Server software or files from a Web server
– Used by server computer to make files and • Typical request message
programs available to other computers – Request line
• Database server – Optional request headers
– Server computer on which database management – Optional entity body
software runs
Message Flows in a Two-tier Client/Server
Network Two-Tier Client/Server Architecture (Continued)
• Request line
– Contains command, name of target resource, and
protocol name and version number
• Request headers
– Can contain information about types of files that client
will accept in response to request
• Entity body
– Used to pass bulk information to the server

Two-Tier Client/Server Architecture (Continued) Message Flows in a Three-tier Client/Server Network

• Three-tier architecture
– Extends two-tier architecture to allow additional
• N-tier architectures
– Higher-order architectures
– Third tier includes software applications that supply
information to Web server

Software for Web Servers

• Operating system tasks Web Server Software
– Running programs and allocating computer • Most popular Web server programs
resources – Apache HTTP Server
• Linux – Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS)
– Open-source operating system that is easy to – Sun Java System Web Server (JSWS)
install, fast, and efficient • Netcraft
• Open-source software – A networking consulting company in Bath, England
– Developed by community of programmers who – Accumulated popularity rankings
make it available for download at no cost

Apache HTTP Server Microsoft Internet Information Server

• Ongoing group software development effort • Comes bundled with current versions of Microsoft Windows
• Dominated Web since 1996 because it is free and performs Server operating systems
efficiently • Used on many corporate intranets
• Apache • Supports the use of
– Developed by Rob McCool at University of Illinois – ASP
in1994 at the NCSA – ActiveX Data Objects
– Currently available on the Web at no cost as – SQL database queries
open-source software

Sun Java System Web Server (Sun ONE, i Planet, Web Site and Internet Utility Programs
Netscape) • Finger
• Descendant of original NCSA Web server program – Runs on UNIX operating systems
• Formerly sold under the names – Allows users to obtain information about other network users
– Sun ONE – Command yields list of users who are logged on to network
– Netscape Enterprise Serve • Ping (Packet Internet Groper)
– i Planet Enterprise Server – Tests connectivity between two computers connected to the
• Charges a $1500-per-CPU licensing fee Internet
Tracert and Other Route-Tracing Programs Electronic Mail
• Tracert (TRACE RouTe) • Useful feature
– Sends data packets to every computer on the path – Attachments
between one computer and another • Drawbacks
– Clocks packets’ roundtrip times – Time spent by business people responding to e-mail
– Calculate and display number of hops between – Computer virus
computers • Program that attaches itself to another program
– Calculate time it takes to traverse entire one-way • Can cause damage when host program is
path between machines activated

Unsolicited Commercial E-Mail (UCE, Spam) Telnet and FTP Utilities

• Electronic junk mail that can include • Telnet
– Solicitations, advertisements, or e-mail chain letters – Program that allows users to log on to a computer
• Can consume large amounts of Internet capacity connected to the Internet
• Companies • Telnet protocol
– Now offer software to limit amount of spam – Set of rules used by Telnet programs
• File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
– Defines formats used to transfer files between TCP/IP-
connected computers

Indexing and Searching Utility Programs Data Analysis Software

• Search engines or search tools • Web servers can capture
– Search either a specific site or the entire Web – Data about who is visiting a Web site
for requested documents – How long the visitor’s Web browser viewed site
• Indexing program – Date and time of each visit
– Can provide full-text indexing that generates an – Which pages visitor viewed
index for all documents stored on server • Data captured by Web servers
– Can often index documents stored in many – Stored in a log file
different file formats

Web Server Hardware

Remote Server Administration
• Web server computers
• Web site administrator can control Web site from any
– More memory, larger hard disk drives, and faster processors
Internet-connected computer
• Blade servers
• Net Mechanic
– Placing small server computers on a single computer board,
– Offers variety of link-checking, HTML
then installing boards into a rack-mounted frame
troubleshooting, site-monitoring, and other
• Virtual server (virtual host)
– Maintains more than one server on one machine

Web Server Performance Evaluation Web Server Hardware Architectures

• Benchmarking • Server farms
– Testing used to compare the performance of
– Large collections of servers
hardware and software • Centralized architecture
• Throughput
– Uses a few very large and fast computers
– Number of HTTP requests that hardware and • Distributed/decentralized architecture
software combination can process in a unit of time
– Uses large number of less powerful computers
• Response time – Divides the workload among them
– Time required by server to process one request

A Load-Balancing System in a Decentralized Architecture

Load-Balancing Systems
• Load-balancing switch
– Piece of network hardware that monitors the
workloads of servers attached to it
– Assigns incoming Web traffic to server that has the
most available capacity at that instant in time
Summary Summary
• Web uses • Utility programs running on Web server computers
– Client/server architecture – Finger, Ping, Tracert, email server software,
• For simple HTTP requests Telnet, and FTP
– Two-tier architecture works well • Web server hardware
• Operating systems commonly used on Web server computers – Server computer must have enough memory
– Microsoft server operating systems and disk space
– UNIX-based operating systems • Factors that affect Web server performance
– Operating system
– Connection speed
– User capacity