Web Hosting Terminology
ASP, Active Server Page, is Microsoft's server-side scripting technology. An Active Server Page has an .asp extension and it mixes HTML and scripting code that can be written in VBScript or JScript. ASP is distributed with Microsoft's IIS web server, so most host using IIS will also offer ASP for dynamic web programming. ASP.NET is the next version of ASP. Other popular server-side scripting languages are Perl, PHP, ColdFusion, TCL, Python, and JSP.
Common Gateway Interface. A set of rules that describe how a web server communicates with another piece of software on the same machine, and how the other piece of software (the 'CGI program') talks to the web server. Any piece of software can be a CGI program if it handles input and output according to the CGI standard.
Usually a CGI program is a small program that takes data from a web server and does something with it, like putting the content of a form into an e-mail message or turning the data into a database query.
CGI scripts are scripts that use CGI. CGI is often confused with Perl, which is a programming language, while CGI is an interface to the server from a particular program. Perl is an application of CGI, as well as MIVA, Python, PHP3 and other scripting languages.
Putting a web server in a dedicated facility that provides high-speed Internet connection, security, environment, backup power, and technical support. Unlike the dedicated server, the client controls both hardware and software.
A database server is specifically configured to run database software. Typically, a company will use a database server combined with other servers to run a powerful web application such as e-commerce.
A dedicated server is one that a web hosting company has dedicated to a single client. In other words, only one client can access that server and that company's site is the only one residing on that server.
Electronic Commerce. Refers to the general exchange of goods and services via the Internet.
File transfer protocol (FTP) is the simplest way to transfer files between computers over the internet. It is an application protocol that uses TCP/IP protocols and is typically used to upload web pages to a server or to download software from a site to a user's own computer.
GB, A gigabyte is a measure of storage capacity and is roughly a billion bytes. Specifically, it is 230 bytes, which is 1,073,741,824 bytes.
Microsoft Internet Information Server. Microsoft's Web server that comes built-in with Windows NT Server 4, and Windows 2000 server.
Java Server Pages. Extension of Java Servlet technology for combining Java server-side programs and HTML. JSP pages have an extension .jsp.
Load balancing divides the amount of work to be done between at least two computers to that the work is done faster and more efficiently.
Host Providers will manage your server(s) and usually customize the infrastructure around those servers. They will work with you to make sure they've created exactly what you need. Generally, Managed Hosting packages are more expensive than regular packages.
Microsoft Frontpage Extension
Microsoft's server-side applications that lets users of FrontPage Web site creation tool to incorporate "web-bots" that perform pre-packaged function like full-text Web site searching or adding a hit counter. FrontPage extensions are also available for Unix-based operating systems but some hosts refuse to use them because of potential security holes.
Most popular open-source relational database. Many Unix-based plans allow MySQL databases.
MS Access Database
Microsoft's low-end relational database included with the MS Office suite.
MS SQL Server 7.0
A high-end performance database application for Windows 2000 servers; for large complicated back-end integration of database files. Recommended for sites expecting heavy traffic or databases with more than 100,000 records.
mSQL (Mini SQL) is a Light-weight relational database.
Windows NT is Microsoft's 32-bit operating system developed from what was originally intended to be OS/2 3.0 before Microsoft and IBM ceased joint development of OS/2. Used by web hosting companies in the network environment to offer customers support for Microsoft base products.
Open Database Connectivity, An open standard interface used to access databases. With ODBC, applications can access databases from multiple database vendors. For example, an application can use ODBC to access a Microsoft SQL server or an Oracle database server.
OC-1, OC-3, OC-12, OC-24, OC-48
Optical Carrier transmission speeds, used in fiber optic networks conforming to SONET standard. OC-1 is 51.85 Mbps. Higher levels are multiples of that speed.
Perl (Practical Extraction and Report Language) is a programming language used on UNIX systems. It is similar to C.
PHP is a free, open-source server-side scripting language. PHP code can be embedded in HTML. PHP files usually have extensions like .php or .php3. PHP language style is similar to C and Java.
RAID, a redundant array of independent disks, is a way of storing the same data on multiple disks in order to have redundant copies of that information.
A UNIX shell account to their shared server Web site, allows a customers to update their Web site content using Telnet.
Structured Query Language. Limited programming language used for updating and performing queries on relational databases. All databases share a common subset of SQL. Most popular SQL databases available with hosting plans are MySQL and MS SQL.
Provides privacy, authentication and message integrity across the Internet. SSL employs digital certificates and end to end encryption to secure communications and information between two computers on the Internet. SSL will ensure that the information transmitted is securely encrypted. (The connection may be between a user and a server or user to user.)
Dedicated telecommunications line providing 1.5 Mbps of bandwidth. Consists of 24 individual channels 64 Kbps each, that can be configured for voice or data transmission. T1 lines can be leased by businesses that required a dedicated Net connection of with higher reliability than a DSL and faster than an ISDN line but are still quite expensive.
Dedicated telecommunications line providing 44 Mbps of bandwidth. T3 lines are often used by ISPs to connect to the Internet backbone.
Top Level Domain. The domain name elements at the right, such as .com, .org or .gov. Recently, new TLDs like .pro or .museum were added to supplement older TLDs. ccTLDs (country code TLDs), like .uk or .fr are used per-country.
The transfer rate is the speed at which data can be transferred from one device to another. It is often measured in Mbps (megabytes per second).
An operating system used on business-class computers typically used as "servers" which serve databases, websites, or other corporate applications. UNIX has numerous variants including IRIX (SGI), Solaris (Sun), and derivatives including Linux, Apple OSX, and others.
Uninterruptible Power Supply. UPS keeps the server running on a battery for several minutes after a power outage, allowing for a clean shutdown without loss of data. UPS can also shield the server from line voltage spikes and drops.
Virtual hosting describes a remote web server which is "host" to numerous domain names, where each domain name owner has all of the features of having a dedicated (on site) server. Virtual hosting provides for most of the same features of a dedicated server but is located in a high speed dedicated data center costing millions of dollars. The cost to maintain a virtual server for each site owner is a fraction of the cost of a dedicated server, with most of the benefits.
Web Site Traffic Reporting
Reporting software to provide information such as the frequency of hits, page views, amount of data transfer, and total transfer sizes. Popular reporting tools include Analog, Webalizer, and WebTrends.
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