What is a Web Server?

A web server (server) is a powerful computer that is responsible for “providing the service” of transmitting the information requested by its clients (other computers, mobile devices, printers, people, etc.)

Web servers (web servers) are a component of the servers whose primary function is to store, in web hosting, all the files of a web page (images, texts, videos, etc.). And transmit them to users through browsers using the HTTP protocol (Hypertext Transfer Protocol).

What is a Web Server on the INTERNET for?

The primary role of a web server is to store and transmit the content requested from a website to the user’s browser.

This process, for Internet users, does not last more than a second. However, at the webserver level, it is a more complicated sequence than it seems.

To fulfill its functions, the server must have the ability to be always on to avoid interrupting the service it offers to its clients. If the server fails or shuts down, Internet users will have problems entering the website.

What are the Characteristics of a Web Server?

As necessary characteristics of a web server at the software and hardware level, we can find:

At the Software Level


It ensures that the hardware works and manages to interact with the services that the system runs. Some examples are:

  • Unix,
  • Linux,
  • or Windows.
  • Personal area network advantages and disadvantages

File Systems

It is a logical guide that allows the system to locate, sort, and filter data on the hard drive to read, modify, or delete it.

HTTP Server Software

They are the different web servers specialized in transmitting content via the web (Apache, Nginx, IIS, Caddy, etc.).

Virtual Hosting

It allows that under the same web server and IP, they lodge in several different websites.

Network Monitoring and Limits

It allows monitoring network traffic, incoming and outgoing packets, as well as system services and hardware use such as:

  • the use of Storage;
  • RAM consumption;
  • CPU occupancy percentage;
  • network speed;
  • disk read/write performance.

Security System

The security system of a server must:

  • impose access limits per IP address;
  • deny or allow you access to specific files or URLs;
  • request username and password for HTTP basic authentication;
  • filter insecure requests;
  • give support to dispatch information encrypted with SSL security certificates via HTTPS.

At the Hardware Level

Rack and Cabinet

The rack refers to the place where the servers physically house, and the cabinet is the framework that supports the hardware components.


It is the server’s data processing center from where all the logical and mathematical calculations move out to manipulate and access the data as needed.


It uses to store information and data temporarily depending on user demand through the operating system.

Storage Units

The Storage of web servers done on hard drives allows storing the information of the operating system, the system services, and ultimately the data loaded by the user.

Types of Web Servers

Apache HTTP Server

It is the most standard web server in the world, established by the Apache Software Foundation. Apache webserver is open basis software and can remain connected to almost all operating systems, including Linux, Unix, Windows, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, and much more. About 60% of web server machines run the Apache Web Server.

Internet Information Server (IIS)

Internet Information Server (IIS) is a high-performance Web server from Microsoft. Therefore, It goes on Windows NT / 2000 and 2003 platforms (and maybe on the next version of Windows). IIS comes rushed with Windows NT / 2000 and 2003; Because IIS integrates with the operating system, it is relatively easy to manage.


The Lighttpd (pronounced lighty) is also an open web server that ships with the FreeBSD operating system. This open-source webserver stands out because it is fast, secure, and munches much less CPU power. Lighttpd can also track on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and Solaris operating systems.

Sun Java Web Server System

Moreover, this Sun Microsystems web server is suitable for medium and large websites. Although the server is accessible, it is not open source. However, it runs on Windows, Linux, and Unix platforms. Sun Java web server supports various languages, scripts, and technologies necessary to work correctly on Web 2.0, such as JSP, Java Servlets, PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby on Rails, ASP and Coldfusion, etc.