Basic Computing

Characteristics of a web server All the details

Next, we will show you what the characteristics of a web server are and should be and learn more about it, of this internet world. web server examples

What is a web server and what are its characteristics?

web server examples
web server examples

A web server, also known as an “HTTP server”; It is one of the most important parts within the internet and the operation of a web page, since they are servers in charge of receiving and transmitting the information and content that you will be able to see on said page. Everything you are seeing in this article: text, images, videos, among others .; they are hosted on a server, so without it, you wouldn’t even be able to see this.

The first server that existed in the world was the “CERN httpd”, which came from the physicist and computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee, a native of London, United Kingdom, in 1990. At the same time that this first server was developed, The first internet browser and the main elements for the development of web pages, HTML and http, were also created; that is why Tim (currently alive) is considered the founder of the internet.

The web server, in the first instances and what it is basically, is a computer where all the information of an internet page will be stored; For this reason, it is essential that this equipment has certain characteristics, both at the software level and at the hardware level; good enough to be able to give the user a quality service and stability to their website.

It happens, that if a server does not have minimum requirements, it can cause the page to collapse and that it does not respond correctly; or failing that, it falls, something that is quite common when there are many clients trying to enter the same page. It is even possible that the server, upon receiving an overload, burns out.

web server examples
web server examples

Characteristics of a web server

As we have said, the server has a series of characteristics for its operation; These have to be up to par, so that there is no problem. Next, we will describe the characteristics that one should have, both in software and in the hardware itself.

  • Software level features

In this section, we will talk about all the necessary programs to store, distribute, respond, display, among many other things; the content of the website.

    • Operating system

The Operating System (OS) of all equipment: cell phone or computer, is the main component (as far as software is concerned) that is required for its use; without an OS, it is impossible for a computer to function. Since it is in charge of performing all the tasks, sending and receiving information, for the entire hardware system and that they respond.

Currently, on a computer, the main operating systems are Windows, Linux and MacOS; the first two being the most popular OS used for a web server.

    • File systems

This  characteristic of a web server is what will allow and help the Operating System to analyze, order, and process the files stored on the computer; in other words, the file system will allow us, as users, to be able to read those files and modify them, or delete them. For normal cases, there are two fairly common and currently used file systems: FAT32 and NTFS; they probably ring a bell and you’ve heard of these two.

In the case that a computer is used as a web server, the most commonly used file systems are NFS or REFS, these two in the case that the OS is Windows; if the operating system is Linux for example, the file system to use will be “ext4”.

    • HTTP server

      web server examples
      web server examples

The third logical component, or feature at the software level, of a web page is the Http. This server is the place where our web pages will be hosted; In other words, it will be our virtual hosting. When we enter a web page, we will ask the hosting for permission to access and view the content; If the answer is affirmative, we will have no problem entering it.

There are multiple servers for these, usually one has to pay to host our websites on them; however, we also have free alternatives. Among the most common Http servers, we have: Apache, LiteSpeed, IIS, Nginx.

    • Reverse proxy and CDN

The proxy is an intermediary server, which will make requests from the client (us) to the other destination server (where the web page is hosted). In the case of the reverse proxy, it is the one used on the other side of the web pages, the main server from which they come.

Proxies help us protect our web pages, information becomes faster, can help us restrict access to other sites; among other functions.

    • Virtual hosting

The hosting will be the storage space within a server (already knowing that this is a computer), where one or more web pages will be hosted; multiple hosts can coexist and interact within a server; However, the latter does not, that is the main difference.

If you have a web page dedicated to the veterinary topic, it will have several “sub-pages”, which will derive from the main one; Thus, with a virtual hosting, you can host all those pages, in the same IP address and in turn, all of them within the same section of the computer (which will be the hosting). In case you want to create another web page, with a different theme; you can create another hosting within your server and save your new site there, separate from the other.

    • Control Panel

Another  feature of a web server is the control panel; In this section, we will have the possibility to manage everything related to our server and the hosting. All the actions, we will have them graphically and in a very easy way.

With the control panel, we will be able to: modify or remove the domain of our web pages (the domains are “.com”, “.org”, “.net”, etc.), monitor all the activities carried out on our server , improve security, modify content, among others. Depending on the OS that works on your web server, you will have a different control panel; but in general, these are its functions.

    • Dispatch of static files

This is the place where a great variety of files that will make up our website will be housed; the place that will save, serve and dispatch our static files. Among these files, we have the multimedia contents: mp3, mp4, jpg, png, gif, txt; and the style content of our website: css, javascript, html, among others.

Needless to say, then, if a  web server  does not have this  feature , it cannot be named or cataloged as such. When loading a page, the request is made through an Http protocol and all the content of the “static files”, housed in a part of the hard drive, will be displayed (dispatched), so that the client can enjoy them .

    • Dynamic content dispatch

In this opportunity, we have the dynamic files, which unlike the static ones; These are constantly updated and that will depend a lot on the requests and needs of the user. An example of this is forms.

A page characterized by this type of files is the same WordPress platform; where this type of dynamic content will depend on the user, since each one will make a different web page, with respect to others. Among the different files that are frequently updated, we have: PHP, Python, Ruby, ASP and Go.

    • Network monitoring

This feature is closely related to that of “Control Panel”; But in this case, we have a slightly more specific function and that is, as its name indicates, it is in charge of monitoring all the traffic that happens on the networks; In addition, to be able to observe the resources used through the server hardware, that is: RAM memory use, Network speed, storage use, what percentage the CPU occupies.

All this monitoring can be done quietly on another control panel, or done clearly through commands.

    • System Security

This is one of the characteristics of a web server and one of the most important sections, in terms of software level. To put you in an extreme case, if your web page does not have sufficient security or, failing that, no type of security; It is possible that some user by mistake or some hacker, can enter your server, following the IP and see all the information you have on your PC; being so, it can steal, modify, hack, use crucial and relevant information against you.

That is why a web page, the same web server; You must have very good security to avoid these types of problems, such as restricting access by IP address, requesting passwords and users from clients, imposing a firewall, being able to deny or allow certain files or any other type of material to your server. Many Http software, which we mentioned to you earlier: Apache, Nginx and the others; They have this security feature and avoid exposing yourself to risks.

  • Hardware-level features

Once we have already mentioned all the features at the software level, now we will mention the ones that are at the hardware level. A good server will work as well, as is the performance of all its programs and these in turn, will depend on the quality of the hardware; so if you don’t have good features, your web server will fail, let’s see each of them in detail.

    • Rack

The “Rack” is the place where all the servers will be housed; to put it more graphically, it is a kind of cage and inside it, many servers are placed that may or may not be interconnected with each other. In addition, inside the Rack, there are also other network devices necessary for the operation of the server in general: routers, modem, switch, among others; the word is of English origin. web server examples 

    • Cabinet

Another  feature of a web server ; The cabinet is the shell or skeleton where the hardware components of the computers are placed, it is also known as the tower. To give you an idea, imagine your computer’s CPU without the motherboard, the power supply, the hard disk, the disk reader, or anything like that; That would be a cabinet, the size will depend on the size of the components, if these are large enough, the tower will be too; If the components are small, the cabinet will be too. web server examples 

    • CPU

It is the most important component in an entire web server, since it is the place where the other hardware will be housed and the latter will work on the basis of the first; In addition to the software level components, they will carry out all their processes in the CPU, the mathematical and logical calculations necessary for us, as users, to be able to manipulate and access the data.

In the CPU, is the most important part of a computer, its processor; Currently there are two large companies, creators of processors, which are used by many, or almost all equipment; these are Intel and AMD, the former being the main preference of users. A good processor will allow your computer to have a good performance and therefore, that you can have a good server. web server examples 

    • RAM

RAM memory is another of the  most important and essential characteristics of a web server in the hardware of a machine; she will give the pc the option, of how fast it will be able to react when executing the whole system of its software; For this reason, if you want a fast CPU, invest in a good RAM memory as well. web server examples 

It is imperative that if you want your server to stay up and work correctly, you have very high storage memories; since it will not only receive information from you, but also from the hundreds and perhaps even millions of people who will visit your website. With RAM memories of 64Gb, 128Gb and up to 256Gb, it is what a CPU needs to function as a web server; something quite remote from a computer to use only at home, which needs at least 4Gb of RAM, to run without problems. web server examples

    • Motherboard

It is an integrated circuit card, which will be in charge of sending and receiving the information, connecting all the devices that connect to the CPU; It is also known as a motherboard. This is where the processor, RAM, GPU (graphics card), hard disk and all other necessary peripherals will be directly connected.

    • Disc Readers

Although little by little, the use of discs has become less common (since they have been replaced by SD memories or USB devices); CPUs still come with this peripheral, which allows us to play our CD, DVD and / or Bluray discs. web server examples 

Modern servers, with a reader, since everything can be done digitally, using ISO images; so this component would be “obsolete”. v

    • Storage units

This will be the place where all the data and files that are uploaded by users who visit our website will be stored; in addition, all the characteristics of a web server will also be stored  at the software level, that is: OS, programs, among others.

Currently, both computers used at home, and those used for servers; They use SSD storage, these, unlike HDDs (which were the ones they used before), have a higher speed when it comes to storing, reading and searching the information and / or files recorded on the hard disk. Therefore, when using demanding servers, an SSD disk will be the best option. web server examples

    • Network Port

Finally, the physical component that will allow the information to travel, that will allow us to receive and send the information to and from our website, is the network port. Its speed will depend on the bandwidth that we have to be able to make the transfers; Today we have speeds such as: 10Mbps, 100Mbps, 1Gbps, 10Gbps, 100Gbps and up to 100Gbps.

Conclusions

It is very important that if you are thinking of creating a server, you have each of the necessary elements that we describe here, for the proper functioning of it.

All are important and essential for a server to be such a thing. To be able to offer a quality server; First, your hardware must have high-performance components and second, high-quality software.

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