In today’s world the importance and necessity of Internet are self-evident because we can access almost any kind of information and complete all sorts of tasks on the Internet. But have you ever wondered how the Internet works or how we get connected and share information through the World Wide Web? The answer lies mainly in the web servers, which respond and process the clients’ requests. And in this article we focus on how web servers work and the factors that determine the server performance. Web servers are easy to find in our daily life, and many companies own web servers for their official websites and many manufactures like Dell offer PC server products at quite affordable prices.
In order to browse a website, we have to first input the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) into the browser or click on a hyperlink. With the Internet connection, your computer, or more specifically the browser, sends the visiting request to the web server which has the data and files stored for that website. But how can the browser tell which web server to send the request to? The secret behind this is the URL or the hyperlink, which is also called the domain name. The browser has to convert the domain name into the form of an IP address that the computers and servers understand. Each server is given a unique IP address, which explains how the request is sent to the right web server.
The next concern we have is how the web servers send us the content of the pages we read. To put it simply, all web servers have a large capacity for storing files of various forms, such as text, picture, video and flash. The web servers and browsers transfer data under the Hypertext Transfer Protocol. After receiving the data, the browser has to convert and format the files into what we could see and understand in our browser. For a uniform display of the same content in all browsers, there is a markup language designed and that is the Hypertext Markup Language.
From the above discussions, you now understand the essentials of how web servers work and how we browse the Internet. In the following discussion, we focus on the factors that could influence the web server performance.
When surfing the Internet, every one of us might experience a long wait time to load the pages, or even a failure to open the pages at all. All of this is closely related to the performance of the web servers. So which factors determine the performance of web servers? Web servers, like the computers we see in our daily lives, also have a CPU (Central Processing Unit), but its computing capacity is more powerful. Different CPUs for web servers might influence the performance to a large extent. In most cases, the more powerful the CPU is, the more quickly it responds to browser requests, thus shorter loading time. Another important performance factor of web servers is the storage capacity, and this is easy to understand. All the content we see in the browser has to be stored first in the web server. For larger websites, the data is quite large and requires a greater capacity. Other features affecting the performance include the web server language, since there are different languages available and each has its own advantages, such as PHP, Java, ASP and Python.
Though this might seem complex at the moment, the information is easy to understand if you continue to read relevant articles about web servers.