The server fetches the index or main page of the website and sends it to your browser. Web-based servers are used for hosting the websites. One web server can hosts thousands for one sites. But in the hosting companies there are number of the web servers for load balancing and sharing the other services.
There are many software applications that are used as the web server like IIS, Apache web server, Tom Cat web server. A web server typically accepts thousands of the concurrent incoming requests for the specific domain, that it hosts.
In case if the server is down for any reason, the websites that are hosted on this server cannot be accessed. So the downtime is a biggest negative thing for the web hosting companies. Many hosting companies have to mention the uptime of their servers for the client’s satisfactions like 99.9 % uptime. You may have seen this percentage on many hosting companies’ websites.
The web servers serves the objects in the form of html documents, plain text, images, sounds, video and some other form of the data. Many of the data types may not be placed in the static form but they are shown on the run time by the software programs, that are installed on the web server and the CGI scripts are the most common form of these programs.
Web servers and the browsers such as internet explorer, Firefox, Netscape, Opera etc communicate with the web server by using the HTTP protocols (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). This is very effective method of requesting the data over the Internet. Web servers are in various shapes and sized and run under different operating systems like Windows, Linux, and Unix etc. They are also range differently in prices and working.
Apache Web Server
The Apache web server is the most popular and most commonly used web server today. Apache web server has many features and good functionality that appeals to the users and that’s major cause of its popularity. On the other end, Microsoft’s IIS still is struggling to complete fully with apache web server. IIS is a very good server on the NT platforms and Apache is compatible with the Linux/Unix platforms.
Another big reason for the worldwide acceptance of the Apache web server is its stability. Many big websites on the Internet has chosen Apache web server for their hosting needs.
Additionally, Apache web server is a relatively fast. If your website contents are static then Apache’s working is very efficient and fast and on the other end, if you are using scripts like CGI scripts or others, it usually slows down the speed of the Apache web server.
A Web server is simply a little piece of the software, it takes the file name sent in the GET command, retrieves that files and send it back to the browser.
Most servers implement some level of security on the serving process. For example login/password accessible page requires the proper login and password from the users to accept that page. Web servers have the database and login information of the entire subscriber and only a subscriber of that typical service will be able to see that page. Additionally, while doing secure transactions the web pages allows encrypted transactions between the browsers and the servers such as on the E-commerce websites and other websites where a transaction through a credit card is required.
Basic Overview How Web Server Works
A web server performs various tasks on the request from the clients. To understand the working of the web server, it is necessary to first understand that what is client and server and what is their relationship with each other. A client is a program that sends request to a server and server responds to the requests of the clients.
This generic definition covers many types of relationships between client and servers like database server & web server etc. Web server have to be connected to the internet because client computers need to access them for various needs like data, files, graphics, video and html documents access.
The client program such as browsers and typically designed for the purpose of communicating with the web servers. A browser itself has different levels of features and security. To start the communication between the client (browser) and the server, a set of rules or agreed upon way is required and that is called a protocol. To access the web pages from the server HTTP protocol is required and for the file sharing access FTP protocol is required. There are a large number of the web protocols.
A web server is configured and designed in such a way that it responds to the thousands of the concurrent incoming requests from the clients for different things like html documents, graphics, images or video etc.
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