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In the example you should purchase a 100GB Hard Drive, it is best to buy 2 or more drives oppose to 1. In this case, since 50GB drives do not exist or harder to find, you would buy two 60GB drives giving you a total of 120GB. 2 or more drives are usually needed in a server to configure the proper RAID option, in some cases 3 or more are needed. Your backup storage space should be a minimum capacity of 200GB (or 240GB, optional).

Determine your memory. If your web server daily traffic goal is 500,000 then I would recommend at least 2GB worth of memory. If it is a shared server, weblogright meaning it also has other server services running on the machine, especially a mail server or database server (which is not recommended) then your memory should at least be 3GB or more. Otherwise you can think small and upgrade as needed, a 1GB memory stick should be fine for starters.

Determine your network components, which NIC card best performs under high traffic levels and which router best performs for your LAN / web server. It is best to get a router which has a built-in firewall (commonly known as a “hardware firewall”). Your ISP may provide you with a router or hardware firewall, this is how they are able to authorize your traffic on their network. Like a cable box does for cable television. The router also shares your IP address with other clients on your network. This enables you to share your internet connection without having to get a different IP from your ISP. The hardware firewall is simply a router with a built-in firewall, which means it shares your IP address as well as provides added protection to your network. It blocks bad addresses and ports at the forefront, before it can even make it to your computer. It is not recommended to rely only on a hardware firewall for security, this is just the first step. It is recommended to also include a software firewall (firewall software which installs on your computer) and it is recommended to continue timely security practices, such as updating and patching your system on a scheduled routine.

Determine your processor speed and power. Regardless of the amount of traffic you are expecting I would recommend a dual processor or greater. A dual processor or greater is best because if your website unexpectedly take off then you will be well prepared and if you host other server options or websites on the same server then you will have better performance. At the time of this writing the 64-bit platform is the processor direction. 3.8GHz is the most available speed. If your pockets can afford the latest technologies then that is ideal, but keep in mind at this particular time a 64-bit compatible processor is not necessary, without having many applications that require or deliver on that platform. That is a lot of speed going no where fast. Also, remember the power of the 64-bit platform and the greater the processor speed the more heat it produces, therefore it must be cooled much more rapidly and efficiently. At this time a dual 32-bit, 2.8GHz – 3.2GHz processor will suffice (even that is way more than enough). Though, if your pockets can afford it then the latest and greatest would be fine, you will be well prepared. Otherwise, do like most people and upgrade when the time comes.

Make sure you have a CD/RW drive. A floppy disk drive is not needed, but I do recommend it for making system restore disk. The CD/RW drive is needed because you need some type of removable storage device. You never know when you need to install a driver from a different location…like a ethernet driver. An external CD/RW drive is the best option, especially if you have multiple machines.

Choose your operating system carefully. Choose the vendor which you are most comfortable with. Do not choose a MAC if you never used a MAC before. Just because your friend suggests it and says it is a piece of cake does not mean it will be for you. You are trying to get a web server online not re-learn a whole new system. Stay focused and grounded. If you are comfortable with Microsoft then go with Microsoft, regardless if the IT person at your job says Microsoft products are unsecure, Linux or Unix is more secure and much better for a web server. If you have never used Linux or (especially) Unix then you will be in for a ride of your life. Your web server experience will soon become a nightmare and you will have wasted thousands of dollars on equipment. Go with what you know, not what you are told. Each platform has its pros and cons: Microsoft is the user-friendly of them all; Mac is the web/graphic developer of them all; Linux is the open-source/developers paradise of them all; Unix is the most secure of them all. Each of them can be tweaked in ways to provide a solid, quality platform, it is best to stick with what you already know.

You should install on your system all the web services (such as: Apache, IIS, etc.), applications (such as: backup device software, RAID (Array) Manager), scripting languages (such as: PHP, Perl, etc.), CGI, Database (such as: MySQL, Microsoft SQL, etc.), and a web log analyzer (such as: weblog expert, nihuo, etc.). It is also recommended to perform system updates, security patches, and firewall installs and configurations. It is sometimes best to leave the security installs and configurations for after you have the system functioning properly to avoid any uncalculated problems. This way when you install the firewall and something stops working properly like connecting to your website from outside your network, you can troubleshoot assuming that it is the firewall, therefore you would begin by opening port 80 on the firewall. This method can save you a lot of hassle, but can sometimes be considered the unsecure method, especially if you don’t have a hardware firewall already in place.

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