Hardware requirements for a web hosting server

Hello everyone! Today we will actually be dealing with the hardware that you will set up in your homes as a Web Hosting server. The process might become complex if you are building a network of servers and making a fully-fledged data center. However, the amount of heat and noise that network would generate would probably make you house inhabitable.

Like I mentioned it before. You can build a server as powerful, as expensive and as big as you want. The technology is saleable and you can keep on adding to your services over time but since you are setting up the server in your home, I am assuming you are not planning on opening a fully-fledged business anytime soon.Itel Xeon

Let’s get to the server part now. There five main components that you need to take care of when putting together a Web Hosting server. Even though, a meager dual core processor with 1GB of Ram would do just fine, but that would not be able to handle an adequate amount of traffic. So, assuming on the basis of the traffic which I receive on my server, you would do just fine with a Quad Core processor or even an Intel i3 or i5 for that matter. However if you really want to get things running then I suggest that you go for Intel Xeon E3-1220 which is what I went with.

It is a quad core Server CPU with 3.1 Ghz clock speed and can be found online for approximately $189. And the motherboard which I selected with this processor was Gibabyte’s GT Z97 which I got a used one for about $190. A new GT Z97 retails for $238 on Ebay.

What’s even more important is the amount of Ram which you will install in your Web Server. 4GB of Ram should be adequate however, if you can afford it, I’d suggest that you go with 8GB of ram as that will secure the server from fears of crashing in case of a large amount of traffic.I went with ECC’s Crucial Server Memory Module of 8GB but a nice alternative is Kingston’s 8GB HyperX Memory. I have read a lot of recommendations online which recommend even 16GB of Ram but in my opinion, that would be an overkill for a small scale home based Web Server.

The next step is the amount of storage. This now depends on the type of websites which you’ll be hosting on your server. Needless to say, the bigger the size of the files are which will be stored on the server, the more storage space will be required. So, you will need to carry out a bit of assessment when deciding on a Hard Disk. This is purely at your discretion. I went with Seagate’s Barracuda 1TB HDD but really any hard disk with a decent RPM such as WD’s Blue 1TB would do.

The second last step is the network connection that will be attached with your server. Needless to say, the more bandwidth you have, the more requests you’ll be able to handle. In my opinion, for the amount of traffic which we’ll be getting on our server, a standard 4Mbps Broadband connection should be adequate.

The last step in completing your server is the Operating System software that will run on your server. A lot of people would recommend that you go with a linux distribution (probably Ubuntu Server) for the sole reason that in addition to being powerful, it is absolutely free. During my personal quest for setting up a server, I went with Windows Server 2012 R2 and I have my reasons for that. I have an entire article dedicated to the debate of Linux vs Windows so you’ll have to wait a bit more for that.

Some of the things which I’ve left are the obvious omissions of a Keyboard, a mouse and a LCD monitor. You can pick them up according to your own preferences.

In the end, we should realize that the server I went with and the server which I am recommending is probably no better than your own personal laptop nowadays. But it does the job in the end. It gives you that platform to learn and deploy your own Web Server and if you have done it with an underpowered Quad Core processor, you can also do it with a mammoth Xeon or Opteron Server. You also cannot afford to put bigger and more powerful servers in your home as that would create a lot of heat and noise and provide discomfort in your home.

However, if you are really keen on building a proper server and opening your own Web Hosting business then that would obviously require better hardware than the ones mentioned above. In addition to a powerful server, you will also need to install a cooling mechanism in your home that will cool down the servers as like mentioned before, servers can and will heat up a lot and generate heat a lot! So in order to cool down the servers and saving them from melting, a proper cooling mechanism should be set in place.

This is it for today. Hope to see you all next week as well! Thank you and good night!

Hosting security: What I learned making my hosting secure

Hello again! Today’s topic is probably one of the most concerns of hosting a Web Server since if you fail to address this concern properly, you will probably end up compromising your sever one way or another. Yes, today we will be talking about the security aspects of Hosting a Server. I too had to secure my server from every possible threats and here’s what I learned in the process:

  1. Whatever you do, use a secure Password: This is probably a given but you’ll be surprised to find out how many people go for easy passwords just because they are easier to remember. I had a friend whose password was “Full Name + year of Birth”. Whatever you do, don’t be as dumb as my friend because if you do, you risk compromising the security of your Server over a petty issue of remembering a password. If you issues in remembering your password, just make a text file with all your passwords in it and secure it with a Master Password and you’re good to go.
  1. Always use a Secure SSH to remotely access your Server: If you regularly or not so regularly access your server remotely through an SSH, then it is probably better to move your SSH Port from 22 to something else as that will deter or at least hinder people with malicious intent because 22 is the default port and a lot of people check for port 22 by default in order to get access to your server.
  1. Disable any Daemons or Services not in use: A Daemon is a background process which allows for connections to your Server and can be exploited by hackers to infiltrate your Server. Scan your Server for all the Daemons and Services which you are not using and disable all of them. An additional measure can be to close every port which you are not using as this can further reduce the chances of an hacker gaining access to your Server from an unmonitored or unused Service or Daemon.
  1. Look after the Server constantly and Continuously: Keep a constant watch on your Server whenever someone installs a new Software or a new Account on your Server or uploads some files on your Server as someone can intentionally or unintentionally install a malicious software, a rootkit, a virus or a backdoor in your Server. Have some good Utility tools installed and constantly check your System for any irregularities which may occur.
  1. Have a Firewall in place: As a final measure, have a firewall in place on your Server. A firewall is a piece of Software which restricts access to every port except for publicly available ports and for ports which have been included in exceptions. So for example if a firewall has been configured to only allow connections to port 80 then a request for port 3306, a MySQL request will be denied automatically.


These some of the basic measures will go a long way in securing a server. And its not like implementing any of these measures requires a degree in Computer Science. All you need is an hour on Google and you will be able to implement all of these features easily in no time.
That’s all there is for today. See you all next time!