Server Development and Management

Server Development and Management

Chao Lee (University of Houston, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-376-0.ch005
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In the previous chapter, we discussed the topics related to networks to construct the infrastructure of an online teaching/learning system. A network consists of servers, clients, and network devices. In this chapter, we will investigate how the open source tools are used in the server development for the online teaching/learning system. Servers are computer systems used to host and manage the resources that can be accessed by users with proper permissions through the network. In the online teaching/learning system, servers are used to manage networks, databases, application software, security, and so on. To manage a large number of services needed by the online teaching/learning management system, a server is often run by an enterprise-level server operating system. Many of the open source operating systems, especially Linux, can handle the job. In this chapter, we will discuss server computer systems and enterprise-level open source server operating systems.
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Server development and administration are the main tasks performed by the computer service department. Servers play a key role in today’s teaching/learning environment; they are used to manage student accounts, to host databases, to support learning management systems, to enforce security measures, and so on. In today’s education system, servers are widely deployed in various education institutions from local school districts to global universities.

Servers can be constructed on various platforms such as x86, IBM POWER, Sun SPARC, and Itanium 2. For a small or medium online teaching/learning system, x86 is a popular platform to construct servers. It takes relatively less effort to develop an x86 server due to the fact that the x86 server has a similar structure as that of a personal computer. The x86 platform supports most of the operating systems including the Linux operating system. The book by Buchanan and Wilson (2000) provides more detailed information about PC architecture.

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