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  1. #1
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    Question about servers

    So I know there is virtual servers and dedicated servers, but how exactly do you use one? Like I have a few hosted domains, if I have a server does that mean I don't have to pay for hosting and can run the domain myself? or is it just for speeding things up? or what exactly? I run a forum, so far 10 days old and have 31 members and 570 posts/85 topics. It's not running slow yet but I know later on it will, so need to think about a server in the future. Just need to understand them.
    Rowsdower! has accused me of having mental problems, and the administrator allowed it. What a great forum huh?

  • #2
    Regular Coder ajetrumpet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by masterofollies View Post
    So I know there is virtual servers and dedicated servers, but how exactly do you use one? Like I have a few hosted domains, if I have a server does that mean I don't have to pay for hosting and can run the domain myself? or is it just for speeding things up? or what exactly? I run a forum, so far 10 days old and have 31 members and 570 posts/85 topics. It's not running slow yet but I know later on it will, so need to think about a server in the future. Just need to understand them.
    i thought you always had to pay for hosting. you don't get domains for free. i don't really understand servers my self, but all they are (from my understanding at least) is just another computer that sits and does nothing but process requests from other computers all day long. i think that's the purpose of them actually. because websites and such can have billions of visits and information requests per day, the info needs to be stored somewhere and there need to be machines that do nothing but pass that info back and forth to other machines all day. if that is all, the speed of the data processing gets better. that's the way I understand it anyway. i would assume too, that's the reason that companies like IBM, goog, MS and those other big ones out there have huge server farms inside their coporate buildings. i've heard of them but i've never seen one.

  • #3
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    Hmm it's something to look into. They are quite expensive.
    Rowsdower! has accused me of having mental problems, and the administrator allowed it. What a great forum huh?

  • #4
    Regular Coder noneforit's Avatar
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    A dedicated server (physical or virtual) does exactly what it says on the tin

    You get your own server with dedicated:

    - Processor
    - Memory
    - Drive space
    - Static IP (or two etc)

    Ive never used on myself but it means you dont have to share a server with out people who also host sites.

    Plus you can usually host unlimited domains. You will still be limited by the amount of drive space you have

  • #5
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    So I can switch and get off my hosting companies server and run it on my server, but still be hosted with that company?

    Also what happens when you have two servers on one site? Does the person have to choose a server to use? or are they both compiled into one?
    Rowsdower! has accused me of having mental problems, and the administrator allowed it. What a great forum huh?

  • #6
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    In a non-technical way, here is how I would explain it.

    Think of your server as one drawer in a filing cabinet. The filing cabinet is owned by the server provider.
    I might have a server with them too and it would be another drawer, perhaps in the same cabinet. they are both dedicated, which means mine is totally for me and independent of yours.

    You store your sites on this server and the company providing it, wil also provide UI for managing the different web spaces as well as support.

    Taking what you asked literally, (might have been a typo), you don't have two servers on one site. You can't have two roads on the one car (except aftert an earthquake but ignore that). Your site is stored on one or more servers. if connected with a RAID array, you can have them set up so that if one fails, the other takes over straight away.

    But that (last bit), is expensive if bought/leased and you probably won't need it for a while.

    There are several provders of dedicated servers. I use rackspace and whilst they are expensive and I have just enough clients to cover the costs, their back up support is excellent. try some of the others which are cheaper to see if they are suitable. If you are in any way not puTTy capable (or other type of connection) make sure they offer good support and can do most stuff for you.


    hth

    bazz
    "The day you stop learning is the day you become obsolete"! - my late Dad.

    Why do some people say "I don't know for sure"? If they don't know for sure then, they don't know!
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  • #7
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    This forum stats they are running two servers. (at the bottom of the page above the stats graphic)

    http://forum.treasurenet.com/advertise
    Rowsdower! has accused me of having mental problems, and the administrator allowed it. What a great forum huh?

  • #8
    Senior Coder CFMaBiSmAd's Avatar
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    You can do load balancing among multiple servers.
    If you are learning PHP, developing PHP code, or debugging PHP code, do yourself a favor and check your web server log for errors and/or turn on full PHP error reporting in php.ini or in a .htaccess file to get PHP to help you.

  • #9
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    If I can butt in (sorry - I feel so rude just busting in and posting here).

    I've had the pleasure of using hosting, virtual and dedicated servers in my time both on the Windows & Linux Platforms.

    A GOOD virtual server (or dedicated if you can afford it) is asset if you host a few sites and develop yourself. You can host lots of domains easily and have complete control. You become 'the hosting company' for want of a better phrase. Naturally, this means you have to do all the configuration and maintenance, but other that, you just point the DNS at it and you are cooking on gas :-) The configuration can be viewed as trivial to an experienced hand, but can be pretty daunting to the newcomer. Lots of companies provide html based back end control panels such as C-Panel or Plesk which makes much of it quite easy. You can usually shell or remote desktop in as your skills improve.

    There is nothing to stop anyone running their own dedicated server at home serving pages out to 'the wild'. The issue becomes link speed and usage limits/restrictions of the backbone (ADSL/CABLE).- It's pretty much for this reason alone we need the services of hosting companies and server providers - and for co location/redundancy.

    The Easyspace Ubuntu VPS (needs 512 memory upgrade or it is near useless) at around £16 a month is a great entry level product with reasonable web based & phone support. The Webfusion £40 per month Windows VPS is pretty good too (but there support is poor and, ironically, their entry level Linux VPS is just awful {down to poor virtualisation}). There are probably plenty of others.

    Load Balancing is non trivial and has many facets. It also needs hardware to achieve. This can be a commercial product like a Loadmaster or Barracuda LB, or a Linux box with suitable open source software on it. The Balancer, in effect, can become the weak link in the chain as it becomes a single point of failure in itself. Things like high availability mitigate this to a degree. It gets a bit more complex with dynamic database driven sites as the separate 'real' servers need to talk to an identical database so they all sing from the same songsheet (this in turn is usually another load balanced set of back end sync'd database servers). Most modern load balancers can deal with things like session persistence and direct server return - which is fine and dandy, but you have to know what they are and where they fit.

    Cutting to the chase, a nice VPS for a forum and testing is really useful if you have the money. Someone else's power, backend and uptime, plus no horrible neighbours on the same box, common with shared hosting.

    I'll get my coat now I've butted in....
    Last edited by clunk.werclick; 09-13-2009 at 05:47 PM.


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