WHAT IS A WEB SERVER?
Definition of ‘Web Server’
Definition: A web server is a computer that runs websites. It’s a computer program that distributes web pages as they are requisitioned. The basic objective of the web server is to store, process and deliver web pages to the users. This intercommunication is done using Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). These web pages are mostly static content that includes HTML documents, images, style sheets, test etc. Apart from HTTP, a web server also supports SMTP (Simple Mail transfer Protocol) and FTP (File Transfer Protocol) protocol for emailing and for file transfer and storage.
Description: The main job of a web server is to display the website content. If a web server is not exposed to the public and is used internally, then it is called Intranet Server. When anyone requests for a website by adding the URL or web address on a web browser’s (like Chrome or Firefox) address bar (like www.economictimes.com), the browser sends a request to the Internet for viewing the corresponding web page for that address. A Domain Name Server (DNS) converts this URL to an IP Address (For example 192.168.216.345), which in turn points to a Web Server.
The Web Server is requested to present the content website to the user’s browser. All websites on the Internet have a unique identifier in terms of an IP address. This Internet Protocol address is used to communicate between different servers across the Internet. These days, Apache server is the most common web server available in the market. Apache is an open source software that handles almost 70 percent of all websites available today. Most of the web-based applications use Apache as their default Web Server environment. Another web server that is generally available is Internet Information Service (IIS). IIS is owned by Microsoft.
A web server is computer software and underlying hardware that accepts requests via HTTP, the network protocol created to distribute web pages, or its secure variant HTTPS
TYPES OF WEB SERVERS
Every Website sits on a computer known as a Web server. This server is always connected to the internet. Every Web server that is connected to the Internet is given a unique address made up of a series of four numbers between 0 and 255 separated by periods. For example, 220.127.116.11 or 18.104.22.168.
When you register a web address, also known as a domain name, such as tutorialspoint.com you have to specify the IP address of the Web server that will host the site. You can load up with Dedicated Servers that can support your web-based operations.
There are four leading web servers − Apache, IIS, lighttpd and Jagsaw. Now we will see these servers in bit more detail.
Apart from these Web Servers, there are other Web Servers also available in the market but they are very expensive. Major ones are Netscape’s iPlanet, Bea’s Web Logic and IBM’s WebSphere.
Apache HTTP Server
This is the most popular web server in the world developed by the Apache Software Foundation. Apache web server is an open source software and can be installed on almost all operating systems including Linux, Unix, Windows, FreeBSD, Mac OS X and more. About 60% of the web server machines run the Apache Web Server.
You can have Apache with tomcat module to have JSP and J2EE related support.
You can have detailed information about this server at Apache HTTP Server
Internet Information Services
The Internet Information Server (IIS) is a high performance Web Server from Microsoft. This web server runs on Windows NT/2000 and 2003 platforms ( and may be on upcoming new Windows version also). IIS comes bundled with Windows NT/2000 and 2003; Because IIS is tightly integrated with the operating system so it is relatively easy to administer it.
You can have detailed information about this server at Miscrosoft IIS
The lighttpd, pronounced lighty is also a free web server that is distributed with the FreeBSD operating system. This open source web server is fast, secure and consumes much less CPU power. Lighttpd can also run on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Solaris operating systems.
You can have detailed information about this server at lighttpd
Sun Java System Web Server
This web server from Sun Microsystems is suited for medium and large websites. Though the server is free it is not open source. It however, runs on Windows, Linux and Unix platforms. The Sun Java System web server supports various languages, scripts and technologies required for Web 2.0 such as JSP, Java Servlets, PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby on Rails, ASP and Coldfusion etc.
Jigsaw (W3C’s Server) comes from the World Wide Web Consortium. It is open source and free and can run on various platforms like Linux, Unix, Windows, Mac OS X Free BSD etc. Jigsaw has been written in Java and can run CGI scripts and PHP programs.
UBUNTU CORE WEBSERVER
Ubuntu Core webserver is an Ubuntu, engineered for IoT and embedded systems. It’s easy to deploy, tamper-resistant and hardened against corruption.
Ubuntu Core features:
- simple, consistent installation and deployment: Ubuntu Core is installed via an immutable image, which can be either installed or built specifically for your platform and application
- a read-only filesystem: apps run in isolation from each other and access to system resources is only granted with explicit permissions
- transactional updates: signed, autonomous and atomic, updates can withstand unpredictable hardware and network conditions, even to the operating system
- snap-based, security first: snaps are secure, easy to build, and painless to distribute. Public/private key validation ensures what’s running is exactly what’s intended to run
From a single Raspberry Pi, to a deployment of tens of thousands, it’s the ideal platform for anything that needs to run securely, be ever-ready, autonomously updated, and tamper-proof.
What is Ubuntu core used for?
Ubuntu Core is a transactional version of the Ubuntu Linux OS, made specifically for internet of things (IoT) devices and large container deployments. This OS powers many digital signs, robotics and gateways, and uses the same kernel, libraries and system software as the standard Ubuntu, but on a much smaller scale.
How does Ubuntu Server work?
Ubuntu Server is a server operating system, developed by Canonical and open source programmers around the world, that works with nearly any hardware or virtualization platform. It can serve up websites, file shares, and containers, as well as expand your company offerings with an incredible cloud presence.