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Building a reliable web server

Last response: in Components
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February 3, 2010 7:31:27 AM

Hi everyone,

I'm a web developer but have never really had to worry about the servers my sites go on (i've built 'servers' but these have just been basic pc's running server software, nothing special).

One business has asked me to come up with a resilient web server. Their current server crashed the other day due to a faulty hd. Although it was in a raid it had to come offline while we replaced it and rebuilt the array.

What i'm asking is what would be an ideal web server setup?

The server only has one net connection and it's staying that way apparently.

Not sure if i need a UPS. If we lose power we probably lose it to the network routing system so i don't think it would help.

The main thing i want to be able to protect against is hd failure, and other general hardware problems. Is there a way to have a backup webserver that could switch automatically if the site had a problem?

Any recommendations are welcome.

Thanks

Si
February 3, 2010 9:36:08 AM

Where is the web server going to be located? Nowadays it's more cost effective to have them colo'd within a datacenter and 100Mbit WAN metered/umetered rate are relatively cheap.
If the site isn't going to be long-term or start out small, consider also hiring VPS instead. That takes care of the initial hardware investment problem.

Having redundancy in some areas like HDD, PSU and UPS isn't going to help if any of the weakest link breaks, the networking side e.g. WAN connection. That's why moving them into datacenter is so popular now and modern management software makes it very easy to so.

Onsite web servers is a thing of the past.
February 3, 2010 10:32:08 AM

+1 go hosting route, they have to support the hardware, guarantee up-time and only cost a few $$$ each month which should be tax deductible as business expense.
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February 3, 2010 10:42:53 AM

I never thought of hosting somewhere else. All depends if IT are happy with our warehouse database being accessed outside our network.

I'm in the UK so could anyone recommend any. I've done a few brief searches and come up with a few.

Ideally we need a dedicated Windows machine under £50 a month (less the better, i'm on a very tight budget. Our last web server was removed from a skip).

Sorry sound slike i'm trying to get you guys to do my work for me. Like i said found a few. Any one know any sites to help with comparisons?
February 3, 2010 11:32:26 AM

After some investigation and several phone calls with pushy salesmen i've found most dedicated hosts offer about £60 - £100 for basic hosting. Anyone know fo anything better?
April 1, 2010 4:33:12 PM

it entirely depends on how busy their site is

for instance I run a forum with hundreds of users yet I bet it would cost only about the price of a couple of coffees a month if I was to pay for hosting for that

you would have to have some seriously heavy apps with lots of hits against or be hosting a very large number of websites in total to go beyond that

may I suggest you start of by doing a bit of analysis of your current site, what CPU utilization of your current server, max number of concurrent connections, and how much bandwidth per month is used etc....
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