Friday, October 1, 2010

Server operating systems

Some popular operating systems for servers — such as FreeBSD, Solaris and Linux — are derived from or are similar to UNIX. UNIX was originally a minicomputer operating system, and as servers gradually replaced traditional minicomputers, UNIX was a logical and efficient choice of operating system. Many of these derived operating systems are free in both senses, and popular.

Server-oriented operating systems tend to have certain features in common that make them more suitable for the server environment, such as

  • GUI not available or optional
  • bility to reconfigure and update both hardware and software to some extent without restart,
  • advanced backup facilities to permit regular and frequent online backups of critical data,
  • transparent data transfer between different volumes or devices,
  • flexible and advanced networking capabilities,
  • automation capabilities such as daemons in UNIX and services in Windows, and
  • tight system security, with advanced user, resource, data, and memory protection.

Server-oriented operating systems can, in many cases, interact with hardware sensors to detect conditions such as overheating, processor and disk failure, and consequently alert an operator or take remedial measures itself.

Because servers must supply a restricted range of services to perhaps many users while a desktop computer must carry out a wide range of functions required by its user, the requirements of an operating system for a server are different from those of a desktop machine. While it is possible for an operating system to make a machine both provide services and respond quickly to the requirements of a user, it is usual to use different operating systems on servers and desktop machines. Some operating systems are supplied in both server and desktop versions with similar user interface.

The desktop versions of the Windows and Mac OS X operating systems are deployed on a minority of servers, as are some proprietary mainframe operating systems, such as z/OS. The dominant operating systems among servers are UNIX-based or open source kernel distributions, such as Linux (the kernel).[citation needed]

The rise of the microprocessor-based server was facilitated by the development of Unix to run on the x86 microprocessor architecture. The Microsoft Windows family of operating systems also runs on x86 hardware, and since Windows NT have been available in versions suitable for server use.

While the role of server and desktop operating systems remains distinct, improvements in the reliability of both hardware and operating systems have blurred the distinction between the two classes. Today, many desktop and server operating systems share similar code bases, differing mostly in configuration. The shift towards web applications and middleware platforms has also lessened the demand for specialist application servers.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Types of hosting

Internet hosting services can run Web servers; see Internet hosting services.

Many large companies who are not internet service providers also need a computer permanently connected to the web so they can send email, files, etc. to other sites. They may also use the computer as a website host so they can provide details of their goods and services to anyone interested. Additionally these people may decide to place online orders.

  • Free web hosting service: offered by different companies with limited services, sometimes supported by advertisements, and often limited when compared to paid hosting.
  • Shared web hosting service: one's website is placed on the same server as many other sites, ranging from a few to hundreds or thousands. Typically, all domains may share a common pool of server resources, such as RAM and the CPU. The features available with this type of service can be quite extensive. A shared website may be hosted with a reseller.
  • Reseller web hosting: allows clients to become web hosts themselves. Resellers could function, for individual domains, under any combination of these listed types of hosting, depending on who they are affiliated with as a reseller. Resellers' accounts may vary tremendously in size: they may have their own virtual dedicated server to a collocated server. Many resellers provide a nearly identical service to their provider's shared hosting plan and provide the technical support themselves.
  • Virtual Dedicated Server: also known as a Virtual Private Server (VPS), divides server resources into virtual servers, where resources can be allocated in a way that does not directly reflect the underlying hardware. VPS will often be allocated resources based on a one server to many VPSs relationship, however virtualisation may be done for a number of reasons, including the ability to move a VPS container between servers. The users may have root access to their own virtual space. Customers are sometimes responsible for patching and maintaining the server.
  • Dedicated hosting service: the user gets his or her own Web server and gains full control over it (root access for Linux/administrator access for Windows); however, the user typically does not own the server. Another type of Dedicated hosting is Self-Managed or Unmanaged. This is usually the least expensive for Dedicated plans. The user has full administrative access to the box, which means the client is responsible for the security and maintenance of his own dedicated box.
  • Managed hosting service: the user gets his or her own Web server but is not allowed full control over it (root access for Linux/administrator access for Windows); however, they are allowed to manage their data via FTP or other remote management tools. The user is disallowed full control so that the provider can guarantee quality of service by not allowing the user to modify the server or potentially create configuration problems. The user typically does not own the server. The server is leased to the client.
  • Colocation web hosting service: similar to the dedicated web hosting service, but the user owns the colo server; the hosting company provides physical space that the server takes up and takes care of the server. This is the most powerful and expensive type of web hosting service. In most cases, the colocation provider may provide little to no support directly for their client's machine, providing only the electrical, Internet access, and storage facilities for the server. In most cases for colo, the client would have his own administrator visit the data center on site to do any hardware upgrades or changes.
  • Cloud Hosting: is a new type of hosting platform that allows customers powerful, scalable and reliable hosting based on clustered load-balanced servers and utility billing. Removing single-point of failures and allowing customers to pay for only what they use versus what they could use.
  • Clustered hosting: having multiple servers hosting the same content for better resource utilization. Clustered Servers are a perfect solution for high-availability dedicated hosting, or creating a scalable web hosting solution. A cluster may separate web serving from database hosting capability.
  • Grid hosting: this form of distributed hosting is when a server cluster acts like a grid and is composed of multiple nodes.
  • Home server: usually a single machine placed in a private residence can be used to host one or more web sites from a usually consumer-grade broadband connection. These can be purpose-built machines or more commonly old PCs. Some ISPs actively attempt to block home servers by disallowing incoming requests to TCP port 80 of the user's connection and by refusing to provide static IP addresses. A common way to attain a reliable DNS hostname is by creating an account with a dynamic DNS service. A dynamic DNS service will automatically change the IP address that a URL points to when the IP address changes.

Some specific types of hosting provided by web host service providers:

  • File hosting service: hosts files, not web pages
  • Image hosting service
  • Video hosting service
  • Blog hosting service
  • One-click hosting
  • Pastebin Hosts text snippets
  • Shopping cart software
  • E-mail hosting service

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Web hosting service

A web hosting service is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their own website accessible via the World Wide Web. Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server they own or lease for use by their clients as well as providing Internet connectivity, typically in a data center. Web hosts can also provide data center space and connectivity to the Internet for servers they do not own to be located in their data center, called colocation.

The scope of hosting services varies widely. The most basic is web page and small-scale file hosting, where files can be uploaded via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or a Web interface. The files are usually delivered to the Web "as is" or with little processing. Many Internet service providers (ISPs) offer this service free to their subscribers. People can also obtain Web page hosting from other, alternative service providers. Personal web site hosting is typically free, advertisement-sponsored, or inexpensive. Business web site hosting often has a higher expense.

Single page hosting is generally sufficient only for personal web pages. A complex site calls for a more comprehensive package that provides database support and application development platforms (e.g. PHP, Java, Ruby on Rails, ColdFusion, and ASP.NET). These facilities allow the customers to write or install scripts for applications like forums and content management. For e-commerce, SSL is also highly recommended.

The host may also provide an interface or control panel for managing the Web server and installing scripts as well as other services like e-mail. Some hosts specialize in certain software or services (e.g. e-commerce). They are commonly used by larger companies to outsource network infrastructure to a hosting company.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Choosing the Right Kind of Web Hosting

Dedicated Server hosting is much like VPS hosting, except you use an entire server instead of part of a server for your website. Of course, this type of hosting is meant for big businesses or gaming websites which require a lot of bandwidth and disk space. As you would expect, this type of hosting can be very expensive depending on the type of server you need.

It's important to note that when you use dedicated server hosting, you don't actually own the server that you use.  Instead of owning the server, you rent or lease the server from the host company. Some host companies will allow a rent-to-own plan so that you can eventually own the server by making payments. Servers vary by price, but an entry level gaming server can cost about $80 per month for about 1,000 GB of bandwidth. Larger servers can cost a lot more depending upon their capabilities.

Prices will also vary according to whether or not the the hosting is managed by the host company. In most cases, it is a good idea to have the host company manage your server, because it is cheaper than hiring a full-time IT professional to maintain the server for you. An extensive knowledge of the operating system being used in the server is required. The operating system will vary in each server from either Windows NT, Unix, Linux, or Solaris.

A dedicated server has some obvious advantages over other types of hosting. One advantage is the fact that the average server can handle a lot more traffic than shared or VPS hosting. An average server can handle over one million hits per day. Another advantage of a dedicated server is the fact that you have full control over the entire server, as well as the ability to add more IP addresses for those who wish to resell part of their server and make some extra money.

The disadvantages of using a dedicated server are mainly the high costs associated with it. Not only is it expensive to rent/lease a server from a host company, but it is also very expensive to maintain the server. It takes years of training to fully understand and troubleshoot a complex server. You can avoid this cost, though, if you are able to have your server managed by the host company.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Obtaining hosting

Web hosting is often provided as part of a general Internet access plan; there are many free and paid providers offering these services.

A customer needs to evaluate the requirements of the application to choose what kind of hosting to use. Such considerations include database server software, scripting software, and operating system. Most hosting providers provide Linux-based web hosting which offers a wide range of different software. A typical configuration for a Linux server is the LAMP platform: Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl/Python. The webhosting client may want to have other services, such as email for their business domain, databases or multi-media services for streaming media. A customer may also choose Windows as the hosting platform. The customer still can choose from PHP, Perl, and Python but may also use ASP .Net or Classic ASP. Web hosting packages often include a Web Content Management System, so the end-user doesn't have to worry about the more technical aspects.