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Web Hosting - Bandwidth and Server Load, What's That?
Two key performance metrics will impact every web site owner sooner or later: bandwidth and server load.
Bandwidth is the amount of network capacity available, and the term actually covers two different aspects. 'Bandwidth' can mean the measure of network capacity for web traffic back and forth at a given time. Or, it sometimes is used to mean the amount that is allowed for some interval, such as one month. Both are important.
As files are transferred, emails sent and received, and web pages accessed, network bandwidth is being used. If you want to send water through a pipe, you have to have a pipe. Those pipes can vary in size and the amount of water going through them at any time can also vary.
Total monthly bandwidth is a cap that hosting companies place on sites in order to share fairly a limited resource. Companies monitor sites in order to keep one site from accidentally or deliberately consuming all the network capacity. Similar considerations apply to instantaneous bandwidth, though companies usually have such large network 'pipes' that it's much less common for heavy use by one user to be a problem.
Server load is a more generic concept.
It often refers, in more technical discussions, solely to CPU utilization. The CPU (central processing unit) is the component in a computer that processes instructions from programs, ordering memory to be used a certain way, moving files from one place to the next and more.
Every function you perform consumes some CPU and its role is so central (hence the name) that it has come to be used as a synonym for the computer itself. People point to their case and say 'That is the CPU'. But, the computer actually has memory, disk drive(s) and several other features required in order to do its job.
Server load refers, in more general circumstances, to the amount of use of each of those other components in total.
Disk drives can be busy fetching files which they do in pieces, which are then assembled in memory and presented on the monitor, all controlled by instructions managed by the CPU.
Memory capacity is limited. It's often the case that not all programs can use as much as they need at the same time. Special operating system routines control who gets how much, when and for how long, sharing the total 'pool' among competing processes.
So, how 'loaded' the server is at any given time or over time is a matter of how heavily used any one, or all, of these components are.
Why should you care?
Because every web site owner will want to understand why a server becomes slow or unresponsive, and be able to optimize their use of it.
When you share a server with other sites, which is extremely common, the traffic other sites receive creates load on the server that can affect your site. There's a limited amount you can do to influence that situation. But if you're aware of it, you can request the company move you to a less heavily loaded server. Or, if the other site (which you generally have no visibility to) is misbehaving, it's possible to get them moved or banned.
But when you have a dedicated server, you have much more control over load issues. You can optimize your own site's HTML pages and programs, tune a database and carry out other activities that maximize throughput. Your users will see that as quicker page accesses and a more enjoyable user experience.
Web Hosting - Unix vs Windows-Based Hosting, Which Is Better? An operating system functions largely out of sight, or at least is supposed to. It doesn't matter to non-geeks how a file gets stored, or how memory is used, or how simultaneous processes share the limited resources available on a computer. These are among the basic functions of any operating system. Yet, you can find very passionate supporters - who offer very detailed lists of pros and cons - for every operating system. Why? Because, though the low-level functions of an operating system do their work out of sight, there are many other features that rise to visibility. Sometimes, they do so when they're not supposed to. Weighing the pros and cons objectively could consume a book. But to select a web host operating system, a manageable level of considerations apply. They can be weighed even by those who don't know a processor queue from a pool cue. Learning Curves For most web site owners, administering the site/server is just overhead. It's not something they take pleasure in doing and they have plenty of other things to worry about. Many wouldn't know how and have no interest in learning (rightly so, given their priorities). Consequently, ease of administration is paramount for such people. Whether a Unix-based site (usually Linux these days) is easier to administer than Windows depends on your current skill set and the type of tools and level of access the web hosting company provides. But in general Linux is more difficult to install and maintain than Windows and the learning curve is steeper. FTP and Control Panels Often, you don't have to care. For many, the operating system is fairly transparent. FTP file transfers to get a new web page up to a Windows server are very much like they are to a Linux-based site. The user/administrator simply doesn't see what's behind the curtain. Many companies provide other utilities that completely mask any awareness of the operating system underneath. When that's the case, the web site owner has no reason to care, until or unless they need or want to go 'inside the black box'. Performance Performance issues can be relevant in selecting which operating system host type to choose. But for the most part, that aspect is outside the web site owner's control. Overall performance can be good or bad on either system, depending on many factors that the publisher will rarely see. The issue is a wash, as far as tipping the scales is concerned. What is more likely to be seen by a web site owner, at some point in their (and their site's) development is the database product that can be used to store information. Databases Microsoft SQL Server is relatively simple to use, yet extremely powerful and can deliver great performance. But it doesn't run on Linux. At least, not without special software to emulate Windows, which usually kills performance. On the other hand, with a bit of time invested, MySQL isn't significantly more difficult to learn than MS SQL Server and there are many free installations. Cost may well outweigh other considerations for most on this issue. Programming Languages Last, but not least, there are differences in programming languages that can be (or at least typically are) used on Windows vs Unix. If you have programmers who are skilled in Visual Basic, ASP and other Microsoft technologies, then a Windows-based host will be your preferred choice. For Perl and PHP programmers, Linux is the more common platform of choice. No single factor can push you to one versus the other operating system. And, in the long run, it isn't the primary consideration, unless you just enjoy playing with operating systems.
Great Free Gift Idea ? How to Get Official Presidential Greetings for a Loved One Are you ready for the most official gift idea ever proposed? Do you know someone who enjoys collecting authentic autographs and memorabilia? Or perhaps you know someone who has a good sense of humor and enjoys a gag gift on those special occasions? If this is the case, you may be interested in a great free gift idea?procuring an official presidential greeting for a loved one. Here is the run-down on how you can get a hold of this awesome gift idea. Believe it or not, getting an official presidential greeting is easier than you might think. Did You Know that the White House Offers Free Greetings? It is true?the White house offers free greetings for those very special occasions. These free greetings are official and recognized by the White House and the Office of the President. However, you should know that there are numerous restrictions to procuring these free presidential greetings. Unfortunately, the White House is not currently able to fulfill all the requests for official presidential greetings at this time. However, if you are truly interested in landing a free and very official presidential greeting for a loved one, it is worth giving it a try. As the old saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained. How to Make Your Request for an Official Presidential Greeting How can you go about making an official request for an official presidential greeting? There are several ways you can request a presidential greeting directly from the White House. There are several ways to make your official request. There are three basic routes for requesting an official presidential greeting from the White House. You can make your official request for a presidential greeting through fax, by postal mail, or by filling out an online email form. Although no one method appears to be considerable more effective than any other, some successful recipients of an official presidential greeting swear that you are more likely to receive a response if you put in your official request through postal mail or fax. However, this may just be a hunch, because it seems that it may seem harder to ignore a written request rather than a virtual email request. As with anything important, you will want to make your request for an official presidential greeting way ahead of time. For instance, if you want to request an official presidential wedding greeting, you will want to make your request well ahead of time. What Kind of Official Presidential Greetings is You Allowed to Request? Although there is no set guideline about what kind of greetings you can request, there are many standard issue presidential greetings. These include birthday greetings, 50th wedding anniversary and higher, births, Bar Mitzvahs, Bat Mitzvahs, weddings, scouting awards and others. Official Guidelines for Requesting Your Greetings For the official guidelines on how to request official presidential greetings from the White House, check out the official White House website. There you will find the official guidelines on how to request greetings from the White House, as well as how to extend an official invitation to the White House. In general, here are some things to keep in mind. The White House will only send out official greetings to U.S. citizens. You must provide the following information: name of the honoree, address of the honoree, form of address, date of birth, birthday, wedding or anniversary, and the requestor's name and daytime phone number. Be aware that the numbers of requests you can make are limited on a per day basis. Requests for multiple institutional requests must be make by fax or mail on official letterhead. When can you expect your official presidential greeting? In general, greetings will be mailed in approximately 14 days prior to the event that is being recognized by the greeting.