I know this subject is controversial, but here’s what I have found in 25 years of experience. I use Windows, Linux, Unix, OpenVMS, FreeBSD and other operating systems all day long, and I am experienced with IIS and Apache. My conclusions are based upon actual testing and benchmarking, not rumor and articles by others.Stick with the brand names for mission critical systems. Open source is fine for many things, but excluding the “big products” such as Mozilla, Apache and so forth, I am leery of it.I would never even consider open source for the important things such as payroll, general ledger, accounting, warehouse operations and SCADA. These are the applications which companies actually use and need to stay in business.I have never found anything that even approaches Office XP feature-for-feature. Office XP is rock solid, doesn’t crash and is very secure. I cannot say the same for Staroffice, Wordperfect and the other competitors.Windows 2000 and Windows XP are unmatched in quality as far as their market is concerned. Windows 2000 server is rock solid stable, has an incredible number of features and, most important of all, is supported and well documented.Windows 2000 also has a security model which is unmatched in the industry. This model came from the VAX (Digital Equipment) and Novell, both of which were (and are) excellent. Linux and Unix don’t really have a security model in comparison (I am referring, of course, to active directory and NTFS).Of course, Windows has the well known issue of security exploits (a different issue than the security model). I currently manage quite an extensive farm of IIS servers, and I’ve found it’s not that much work to keep these systems completely up-to-date. We just have to do our jobs as administrators.
Well, yes, basically the server load is a number. The number is usually under the x.xx format and can have values starting from 0.00. The number expresses how may processes are waiting in the queue to access the processor(s). Of course, this is calculated for a certain period of time and of course, the smaller the number, the better. A high number is often associated with a decrease in the performance of the server.
You can usually find the server load value in the control panel associated with your web hosting account under “Server Status”. There you’ll find listed a server load value. If you refresh the page, you’ll notice that the value changes almost everytime. That’s because it’s and instantly calculated value. However, one can notice over a period of time which are the usual values of the server load.
Knowing what the value of the server load is not very important though. Knowing how to interpret the value is what counts. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of debate on how to actually interpret it, even among web hosting company owners.
One thing is sure however: all of them consider a server load of 0.xx as safe. As long as most of the time the server load is under 1.00, you should not notice any problems like your website being slow.
The uncertainties come when the server load has values over 1.00. Most web hosting company owners apply the following rule: if the server has a single CPU (central processing unit), a server load higher than 1.00 is not good; if the server has two CPUs, a server load over 2.00 is not good and so on.
You have to understand that these are average server loads. All web servers get busy from time to time, either because of an user’s abuse of resources, or because the server makes some back-ups etc. Usually the tasks requiring lots of resources are programmed by the host to be run during weekends when the traffic is lower so they won’t affect the users much.
Things however are not as black and white as you might think by now. With the powerful processors of today even single processor servers might cope quite well with a server load of 2.00.
Also, remember the definition: the server load represents the number of processes waiting to access the CPU. But not all processes are the same! If the processes are low priority, when a new server request (page request) appears, it will be handled almost instantly. That request will not be postponed at all, it will be dealt with immediately, while the lower priority processes will wait.
As usual, and as many people directly implicated in the hosting business say, it all comes down to real-life behavior. Are the pages loading fast? Does a process such as searching through a database take a reasonable time? Then you don’t really have a problem, whatever the server load is.
The topic of hosting involves many different aspects; reliability, customer support, pricing, add-on features, programming, and allowable installation of PHP and other popular marketing scripts.
Today, I’m going to focus on ONE topic, traffic, and the effects it has on your web site’s hosting. The simple one word answer here is ‘Bandwith’.
By definition, Bandwith is the measurement of data, and the speed at which it flows through the phone lines, cable or DSL lines to tranfer information to and from a web site via your computer.
In relation to your web site hosting, Bandwith measures this flow of data transfer, otherwise termed ‘Traffic’. In plain English, it’s the number of hits you receive to your site; pure volume multiplied by the file sizes included on your pages.
So, if you have an all text based web site, you would be able to receive more traffic, at lower bandwith numbers, than you would if you have a ‘graphics’ intensive page, which would naturally have higher file sizes that are being trasferred from your site to your visitor’s browser.
That’s great Ginger, but how does this effect my hosting?
Well, that depends on your host, and the package you sign up for. For example, most hosting services set an limit on the amount of bandwith they include with your fee per month. Depending on the nature of your site, (graphics intensive vs. lower file sized pages), you should be able to predict how much bandwith you will need.
Case in point; my design site is definately what most would consider a *graphics intensive* web site! I can tell you that most of my pages there are over the recommended file size of 24kbs. From my stats logs, I can see that I receive upwards of 150,000 hits to my site before I reach a total bandwith of 2GBs, which is usually the maximun limit you’ll find on lower scaled hosting packages.
If you know, or predict that you’ll see more hits than that in any given month, you may want to consider shopping for a hosting package that offers a higher maximum of bandwith allowed per month.
Hosting companies that limit your bandwith, charge an additional fee whey you exceed your limits. The average additional cost I’ve found through my research is approximately $3USD per GB…
Today I am going to talk about two types of servers, one is Virtual Web Hosting and the other is Virtual Private Servers. Over the last couple of years Virtual Web Hosting has been the only way to go when choosing a web server. One of the reasons that Virtual Web Hosting became so popular was because they supported the necessary files and allowed you to have more freedom than other conventional web hosts. But now you can have more freedom than ever before with Virtual Private Servers. Moreover, Virtual Private Servers should not be confused with Virtual Hosts, because they are completely different. Before I go any further I must explain what the difference is between a Virtual Host and a Virtual Private Server, so that you can fully understand. In this article I will also go over the advantages and disadvantages of both types of servers, to help you decide which is right for you and your business. Let’s get started with Virtual Hosting.
Virtual Hosting is also known as Shared Web Hosting, where you are sharing the physical server and a single set of software applications with other users. Virtual Hosting has been extremely popular in the past for it’s fast deployment, strong resources, and most importantly for having a very reasonable price. Another advantage to Virtual Hosting is that you have a powerful, reliable, and professionally managed server without having to have advanced technical skills, making it ideal for an individual, small business, or even a beginner webmaster. The disadvantage of Virtual Hosting is that you are sharing the server with other users, which are configured and controlled by an administrator, not you. So basically you have your hands tied behind your back, because you have to contact the administrator everytime you have to adjust or change your configuration settings. Even if you managed to get a hold of the administrator, they may not fulfill your request. It’s up to them, they are the administrator. If you were the administrator you wouldn’t have these limitations and would have full control.
Virtual Private Servers are a hot topic these days and for a good reason. Before I get into the advantages of a Virtual Private Server, let explain what it is first. A Virtual Private Server is a single server that is partitioned at the root into multiple dedicated servers. This allows you to share the cost of the network connectivity, hardware, and system maintenance with other hosting customers, while maintaining your flexibility and freedom.
The real advantage of Virtual Private Servers is that they allow you to have complete control and they have the security advantages of a dedicated server at the fraction of the cost. You have access to the virtual root, Telnet, web configuration files, and full CGI-BIN access. I can’t forget to mention that you also have access to your password, aliases file, and sendmail configuaration file. For many reasons you can see that a Virtual Private Server is an excellent solution for small to medium size businesses that have an increasingly complex needs. Moreover, there is one disadvantage with Virtual Private Servers, you need to have some program knowledge to control and configure the settings. Sounds overwhelming, most businesses that offer Virtual Private Servers have very detailed manuals making them easier to configure and control no matter what your program level is. Which one is right for you? Well, that all depends on you and the size of your network.
I write this article especially for people who are new to web hosting. This is why I will only talk about the basic needs (in a shared hosting environment): space, bandwidth. Most of the people looking for advanced features (scripting, databases) already know what they want/need anyway. So let’s start with the space. Web space (disk space) is the amount of data you can store on the hard disk of the web server. Each web hosting account comes with a certain amount of space, usually over 50 MB and less than 1000 MB. Obviously, the amount of needed space depends on the size of the website. Most websites are composed of html (text) pages with a few images (gifs or jpegs) or even a little bit of Flash animation. Text is very economical; it occupies very little space. Images and flash are more expensive; they require a lot of space. If you’re new to the web you might think it’s great to have a lot of colorful images to make your website really beautiful. Don’t make this common mistake! Your aim should be to say as much as you can on a page while maintaining it’s size under 50-60 KB including images. The reason? There are still lots of people using slow dial-up connections of under 56 Kbps. For them a 150 KB will take more that 21 seconds to load. A 60 KB page will take more than 8 seconds to load. That’s still a lot of time! A good page size is under 30 KB. A maximum page size is 50-60 KB. Considering an average page size of 30 KB, you can put approximately 33 pages on 1Mb of space. If you have 10 MB of space available, you could host 330 pages. I only wish I had so many pages to put online. Don’t worry, I’m working on it, unless you run a busy forum your needs for space are likely to be rather modest. Just keep in mind to achieve an average of 30KB/page and you should be more than fine even with 10 MB of web space. Bandwidth is the amount of data that you’re allowed to transfer per month. It includes all uploads and downloads regardless of the protocol used (HTTP, FTP, POP etc.). Bandwidth depends very much on the average page size, but it also depends on the number of visitors your website will have and the average number of pages they visit. For an average page size of 30 KB, 20,000 visitors per month and 3 pages per visitor your website will need about 1800 MB (1.8 GB) of bandwidth per month. Most low cost hosting packages include that amount of bandwidth. Not to mention that 20,000 visitors per month is only a dream for most websites. Most don’t even have 2,000 visitors per month.
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what exactly is a blog ? In general term, you can view it as an online diary or online journal, similar to the diary book that you write down things that happen in the day before you go to sleep. When blog was introduced, it was intended for the purpose of keeping an online diary for individuals, the concept was so well accepted and the usage of blogs is no longer limited to just keeping personal notes, with the extended functionalities to enable the blog owner to communicate with blog readers, smart and fast thinking individuals has used it as an effective channel to show case their talent. For example, a photographer keeps an updated catalog of his/her best photography work in a blog, blog readers are welcome to comment on his work and perhaps there may just be some potential clients attracted by the posted work in the blog and handed a contract to the photographer.
This has caught the attention of small companies to large corporates as they began to know that blog is an effective channel to tighten the relationship with the client base. In a short period of time, blogs on product updates, company news blog and even company CEO’s blog started to mushroom.