Rapid developments in technology have opened up a lot of possibilities. Over the past years running a server; particularly a web server was a remote sophisticated task left to the gurus and the tech savvy IT geeks in big IT companies. Today there are enough reasons to consider running your own web server. This can be for your website or for running commercial web hosting services. Whether it is for a typical DIY (do it yourself) web hosting thrust or a professional IT work environment you can easily learn how to set up a server to host a website.
What it takes to run a web hosting service
Just a few check points before we delve into what it takes to prepare a server for web hosting. • You need to be technically knowledgeable. • Be competent on the aspects of securing a web server. • Ensure you have a working broadband internet connection for the server. • Dedicate quality time in your schedule towards monitoring the performance and the requirements of the server. • Be proactive on problem solving.
If you can identify with these attributes then you can have a good shot at running a web server system. This guide focuses much on the hardware part of web hosting and less on software.
Server Requirements for hosting websites
The web environment is radically different from the normal personal computer applications and files environments. Web servers require high end performance hardware so that hosted web pages and functionalities can be served and rendered at optimum efficiency. The following items are required for setting up a web server.
1. A computer dedicated to function as a server exclusively. 2. Network Interface Card (NIC) and high speed broadband internet connection with a high upload rate. 3. An Internet Service Provider (ISP) that can handle web traffic. You need to clarify to your ISP that you require internet connection that can support web traffic so that support and costing for this can be arranged accordingly.
The computer should be adequately resourced for all performance demands. Ensure that the computer has a powerful processor that will not drag computer in the middle of operations and processes. On the software part you need a copy of Linux operating system. Web servers do not necessarily require that you use Linux OS but Linux is becoming the standard web server OS for security and stability and reasons.
One of the major decisions you need to make on setting up a web hosting service is on the operating system you are going to use. Despite the favorable merits of the Linux as a web server you may still prefer to setter for windows. In that case you need a copy of the Windows Web Server. The key for configuring a web hosting environment in Windows is ensuring that IIS/PWS is installed. You can consider XP Pro IIS or Windows 98 for that.
If you need low level security issues eliminated you can use your preferred version of the Linux OS. The most common versions of Linux OS for web servers are Debian, Slackware, New2Unix and Redhat. Take note that when learning how to setup a server to host a website you need to master how your web server must be configured for optimal performance. Neglecting this part will result in mediocre server performance regardless of the high end hardware and software used to build your web server.
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