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WEBSERVERS - Apache , IIS , JServer


The Web-servers store your wonderful WebPages and serve them to the users who request it while browsing your website. Every Webpage you see definitely comes from a webserver. Professional webserver is a small software utility running over a server class machine with server operating system installed (e.g. Windows 2000 , Windows 2003, Linux - RHEL etc.) , however for testing and development a webserver can easily be configured in your existing Computer (with existing Operating system!). Few servers like Microsoft IIS comes bundled with their standard Operating systems CD (winXP, win2000, win2003). Linux distributions are now shipped with Apache server.

Webserver Softwares :

1. Sun Java System Web Server:

2. Zeus Web Server : Only for Unix and Unix-like platforms

3. Hiawatha : Its a open source webserver under GNU GPL. Suitable for old hardwares

4. Abyss Web Server : For Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and FreeBSD. Distributed in two forms X1 and X2. X1 is freeware while X2 is commercial

5. BadBlue : small sized Webservers

6. EAGLE : Originally based in an IBM 3270 environment

7. FIRECAT: Server side Javascript Webserver. Released under GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL).

8. LiteSpeed Web Server : For Linux, Solaris, Mac OS and FreeBSD

9. MacHTTP

10. PoorMan : A simple webserver bundled with the BeOS operating system.

There are lots of web servers available to select upon depending upon your need and expertise : Apache, Microsoft IIS, OmniHTTPd, XitamiSambar, Jserver , JBoss , Caudium etc. etc.

Why to install / configure Webserver ? : For testing and development of projects which require webserver : like PHP, Perl and ASP.

Past painful experience :  Previously IIS or PWS were separate utilities to be downloaded/acquired.  I tried installation of IIS over WinNT (1998) It was difficult for me to set up a server myself (lack of information and knowledge - i was still in medical school !). I was told that I need to install Win NT in a PC with good configuration and my desktop with mere 32 MB RAM will crash if I play with WIN NT.
                          I then tried installing IIS over Win 95 and I had to do much of homework before being able to run IIS. It was learnt that I need WinSock 2 (original Win95 shipped with WinSock 1.1) and the WinSock 2 required some DCOM downloads from Microsoft website!. Even after all these troubles the performance of my test Webserver ( I used to asp testing) was frustrating. The first relief came as Apache Server which I installed over Win 98, but at that time ASP support was absent for Apache. Hence I used it for PHP development primarily. 
                          To put the webserver live for hosting is another nightmare and requires much greater skills due to security holes present on the servers. Without closing the security holes, in no time the webserver will be crashed. The various applications opens up a lot of Ports with the webserver. These open ports become the potential entry route to the various worms and viruses moving freely in the webspace , which infect the servers and may bring it down in moments.

Something about Ports ?: To put it in simple words ; most of the Web services use separate imaginary doors to communicate with other computers or web. The imaginary doors or Ports are identified by numbers (Port numbers).  For example the most common port you might have heard is Port 80 (HTTP) , which the default port your web browser use to communicate. Similary oracle uses Port 1521 by default, VNC uses Port 5900 and so on.

Lots of development has taken place since then.


Sorry lots to come here. Will upgrade soon..... will write later !!!


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