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Lesson 3 Web server hardware requirements
Objective Describe the hardware factors affecting Web server performance.

Web Server Hardware Requirements

When examining performance monitoring, you need to understand the components critical to performance. You also need to consider performance when choosing the hardware components that make up your Web server.
The key components to consider are:
  1. IO: Input/output system, also called I/O (pronounced eye-oh). I/O refers to any operation, program, or device whose purpose is to enter data into or extract data from a computer. Input/output (I/O) subsystem
  2. Network subsystem
  3. Memory
  4. CPU: The central processing unit or CPU is sometimes referred to as the processor or central processor.
    The CPU is where most calculations take place. In terms of computing power, the CPU is the most important element of a computer system.
  5. Server software
These components are described in the SlideShow below.

  1. The most important component is the I/O subsystem. Web activities are I/O intensive
  2. The network card is the gateway for data in and out of the web server. This card should allow for the fastest possible speed of data in and out of the box with a minimum of CPU intervention.
  3. The specific amount of memory required will vary depending on what services and operating systems you choose. However, RAM is inexpensive
  4. The processor is the least important hardware variable because it is least-used component in most web servers.
  5. You can use systems that have more than one CPU. Many sites, for example, run boxes that hour or more CPUs.
  6. Server software is a key factor in site performance.

WebServer Hardware Components
Although the CPU is not the most important element, you should nevertheless have a powerful CPU when running a heavily database- or script-driven site. If you are limited in funds, however, make sure that you focus on system I/O elements, such as the hard drive controller and the NIC. As soon as you start doing intensive encryption or server side coding, the processor becomes much more important.
Site Connectivity
Comparisons of hardware architecture will help you decide which architecture is best for your site.

WebServer Hardware Comparisons

  1. Pick one of the computers to choose the hardware architecture for your site.
  2. Dell PowerEdge Servers, IBM Netfinity
  3. Operating system platforms 1) SCO Unix 2) Windows Server 3)FreeBSD 4) Linux
  4. Middleware solutions for each OS 1) Windows Middleware a)Perl b) ASP c) JavaScript d) Cold Fusion e) PHP
  5. Popular server hardware platforms 1) IBM 2) Oracle
  6. Operating System Platforms 1) IBM AIX 2) Oracle Solaris
  7. Middleware solutions for each OS 1) IBM AIX (Perl, PHP) 2) Solaris (Java)
This decision tree is meant to show one particular series of paths.
Due to the amount of options in the e-commerce world, it cannot be exhaustive.
Server software is the key performance factor, and is discussed in the next lesson.

Web Server Hardware - Quiz

Click the Quiz link below to take a multiple-choice quiz about Web server requirements.
Web Server Hardware - Quiz