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Web server and home network

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by Frick, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    Hey all.

    So I'm thinking about setting up a web server for a school project. Also as a personal project, I'd thought it would be fun to see how it works.

    What I'm most curious in is security actually. It will be behind a router, but do you think it's necessary to have it behind a dedicated firewall as well? The server might also double as a file server for the home network, is that a bad idea? Could you put the web server on a virtual machine maybe?

    Thanks for looking!
  2. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Security shouldn't be an issue. You only have to open port 80 to the outside world. Just use strong passwords for everything, including the Windows accounts, and you should be fine.
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  3. Jizzler

    Jizzler

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    What's the goal for your project? (Database interaction, etc)
  4. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    The "project" is just to make a web page. Me, I just wanted to build a web server for myself.
  5. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    If you just want to make a simple server that has basic security then only opening port 80 and having strong passwords will do.

    If you want to learn all the nuts and bolts of internet security then you will want to implement all kinds of services and learn how to make them as secure as possible.
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  6. Jizzler

    Jizzler

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    Cool.

    If this is on the box in your specs, then the included IIS will work well. 7.5 (and 7.0) is much better than the previous versions.

    Otherwise, installing httpd (Apache) isn't hard at all and there isn't much to configure as long as you serve out of the default htdocs directory. (I suppose that is also true for IIS, serve out of the wwwroot directory to start with)
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  7. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    It'll be a dedicated server (Athlon XP based probably, or maybe a 775 Celly), running something linuxy. Looks like there are tons of newb guides on the webz, so it will hopefully not be too hard. :)
  8. Jizzler

    Jizzler

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    I've been using Ubuntu Server lately, as the repos seem to be updated regularly. Near-latest versions of PHP, MySQL, and other libraries I use for web dev.

    Since that won't matter much to you, at least initially, my old favorite CentOS is a good choice too. Unless W1zz has changed it, it's what TPU runs on.
  9. LordJummy

    LordJummy New Member

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    Don't put the server on a VM. The number one bottleneck in web servers to date is data I/O (hard disk input / output). The VM setup would only slow it down, UNLESS it's a VM that is running on top of a transparent layer like HyperVM, and it's utilizing all of the major resources. If this is just for testing purposes, then by all means go for a simple vmware workstation setup or whatever.

    A simple apache/nginx/lighttpd setup will run nicely even on fairly old hardware, as long as you don't have heavy database usage going on. Lots of database calls are what usually eat up disk IO. That and poorly written scripts that call db's and do stupid things.


    CentOS and ubuntu server are very simple to setup, and installing a LAMP setup is as easy as typing one line into the CLI (command line interface). Ubuntu would be the easiest as it has a nice prepackaged LAMP setup.

    All you need to do is open up port 80 on the router and route it to port 80 (or whatever port you choose to run apache on the server itself). 80 is the default http port, but you can change it to whatever you'd like as long as you properly forward it to port 80 on the router. Oh and port 443 is default for https (ssl encrypted apache, etc. too bad SSL is no longer really secure lol)

    Many home ISP's will block port 80, and even 8080 sometimes to prevent people from running home servers. There are ways to circumvent this, but for you I think this is just a simple project - so just change the port if they block port 80 on their end.

    If you want more detailed help feel free to ask. I run a web hosting business for a living.

    Good luck!


    Here's a quick LAMP setup guide for ubuntu 11.04. But you should be able to select LAMP upon installing ubuntu 11.04 server. However if you install the regular version on a machine and want the desktop GUI follow this guide:

    http://www.multimediaboom.com/how-to-install-lamp-server-in-ubuntu-11-0410-1010-04/

    LAMP = Linux Apache Mysql PHP setup.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2011
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  10. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    The number one bottleneck in home web servers is usually the internet connection's upload speed.
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  11. LordJummy

    LordJummy New Member

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    Right, but I obviously was not talking about home servers.

    More to the point: even taking into account home servers I would still be right. The number one bottleneck would still be disk I/O, if you want to play it like that smarty pants :)
  12. Jizzler

    Jizzler

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    Yeah, because Frick is going to from some simple HTML pages that him and a handful of other people will see to a heavy million+ node JBoss server overnight. There's being right and there's being realistic ;)

    Let's get that web root into RAM disk NOW! :D
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  13. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Well the OP was talking about home servers, so your comment doesn't apply to the thread.

    And no, disk I/O is not the number one bottleneck in home servers. The disk I/O even off a shit disk system is going to way outpace most home connections. You are talking the majority of people having under 5Mb/s. A USB flash drive can saturate that, and the ~50MB/s that a VMWare virtual machine is capable of will definitely saturate that. So no, disk I/O is not likely going to be a bottleneck in a home server.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011
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  14. LordJummy

    LordJummy New Member

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    You didn't read what I wrote. This is irrelevant to what I said. I didn't say disk IO is the number one bottle neck in home servers. I said in ALL servers world wide.

    If you had read what I wrote, you would have known I said "taking into account all home servers". I understand your need to be right, but you're trying to refute something I didn't even say.

    Read it again.
  15. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    We are talking about home servers here, not servers world wide. If you have something to contribute relating to home servers, then do so, otherwise stop derailing the thread.

    Oh, and even considering all web servers world wide, disk I/O is not the number one bottleneck. The internet connection's upload speed still is. The large majority of websites and webservers hosting those sites, are so small that disk I/O never becomes an issues. Even on a basic virtualized setup, the disk I/O can maintain 50Mb/s, which unless the server is on a huge pipe, and most aren't on that huge of a pipe, the connection will be the issue. So no, you are wrong even considering all servers world wide.:toast:

    Now, enough derailing the thread with off topic crap, and back to the topic of Home servers.:toast:
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  16. LordJummy

    LordJummy New Member

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    If you were so concerned about the thread being on topic you would have PM'd me with your trivial quibble. If you would like to be educated on reality feel free to message me. If you want to argue with me about this you had better be very well educated in the subject.

    Just a side note though: If a rinky dink data center's bandwidth is insufficient to satisfy the needs of a single server, then the problem doesn't lie with the server - it's with the actual uplinks. So your claim that bandwidth is the number one bottle neck in servers is completely incorrect. The bandwidth limitation is not even related to the server. That's just poor infrastructure. It's not the server's fault that you can't provide enough bandwidth to it. Consider yourself educated.

    I think I actually addressed the OP's questions well.

    To the OP: I still stand by if you need any more information on the subject. I'd be glad to help. I would be more than happy to share my knowledge of the web hosting industry in general also.
  17. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    When talking about a web server, the internet connection is part of the server system. Consider yourself educated.

    And if you are seriously going to say that when considering a web server you aren't going to take into consideration the web connection, then I wouldn't take your advice on a dare...

    I'm done arguing with you.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011
    Crunching for Team TPU More than 25k PPD
  18. Easy Rhino

    Easy Rhino Linux Advocate

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    thread is off topic. however, i think the information provided in some of the posts is relevant and useful. carry on.
  19. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    Sure is helpful.

    I haven't done anything with this yet as I need some hardware (and moneyday is a week off), but it will happen. Thank you for your input. :)
  20. LordJummy

    LordJummy New Member

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    craigslist is definitely the place to go (IMHO) for cheap desktop/server hardware. people sell off dozens of black box dell towers, servers, etc, for super cheap when their offices upgrade. I've acquired lots of hardware over the past few years for next to nothing.

    You can also do trades sometimes. As I said before, I traded my razer naga for a really nice core2duo htpc fully loaded a couple weeks ago. Best trade evar.
  21. Geofrancis

    Geofrancis

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    try Aprelium - Abyss Web Server http://www.aprelium.com/abyssws/ they do a free personal edition that i have used for years to share files via HTTP and its very simple to set up and use. its also tiny i think the whole program is only 2MB so any computer should run it no bother.
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  22. yogurt_21

    yogurt_21

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    with the machine specs linux is the best route to go, ubuntu server is a good choice as is centos. We are exclusively centos here at work for our linux servers. If you're just wanting this to play around with html and see how it looks in live then doing everything on the local network will be fine. If not seriously take a look at your upload speed. In AZ the fastest home net connections have 5Mbps uploads (with 50Mbps down) the cheapies have 384Kbps upload. If you're embeding flash or anything super image hefty it could get really annoying for both you and your teacher (assuming you link the teacher to your project).
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  23. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    10mbit up and down and for €10 extra/month it'll be 100mbit up and down, so I'm good. :D

    UPDATE on the project: Well things is not going very well. I really really really need a camera for it, as it will mainly be about electronic projects and stuff like that. Also I'm broke and will be broke for while longer so I will probably put this on ice for a month or two. Unless something happens. And I could really use a PSU and a HDD for the project.

    I have decided that I will use a Linux-something server, I'm not sure which one though, will look around a bit.

    I really appreciete the help guys, I really do. :)
    yogurt_21 says thanks.

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