Provides a system administration approach to installing, configuring, and implementing Netscape server on HP-UX. Explains the overall architecture, operational practices, debugging, and performance issues for a web server. Softcover. DLC: Netscape Enterprise server.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Welcome to Working with Netscape Server on HP-UX. Several years ago, my boss volunteered me as the webmaster for a new software depot project that Hewlett-Packard Company was starting. After the standard spider jokes were over, she was still serious. I was a System Administrator, and webmastering was a term that had only been associated with the Netscape folks across the street. My first impression of the webmaster job was that it was going to be just another application support. Was I reeducated in my thinking over the past several years! The software depot has gone on to become one of Hewlett-Packard's most popular sites. The site contains lots of free software or Try-and-Buy software products, available for immediate downloading; many HP-UX system administrators have probably downloaded the Y2K patch bundles from the site.
This book is a collection of some of the lessons I have learned by being a system administrator and webmaster. I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I have enjoyed writing it.
Background for This Book
A philosopher once said, "Change is as inevitable as the rising and setting of the sun." That can be said of the world of cyberspace today. With the Internet, it is easier to connect to and conduct business with others, in a way long thought impossible. The Internet is poised to change the way people communicate, how business sells its products, and how governments control information.
The effect of the Internet promises to be as profound as the invention of the steam engine. The steam engine resulted in motive power that led to the Industrial Revolution. At the heart of the Internet revolution are the World Wide Web and related technologies. These technologies allow novice users to move around cyberspace as easily as the expert. Two critical technologies – the web server and the web browser – -have enabled anyone to enter what was once an exclusive academic domain. The web server holds the application content, and the web browser is used to view the web pages. The pages can be static billboards, multimedia catalogs, or forms for transferring money between accounts.
The web server has evolved from a simple document repository to a complex application suite; for example, now we can go online to browse catalogs, purchase airline tickets, or configure and buy a faster PC (to cruise the Internet even faster). Most businesses are implementing or planning to implement some form of web site, and most of these sites will conduct business over the Internet. The old-fashioned storefronts will not disappear in this brave new world, but rather, new-fashioned web sites will appear in this cyberworld, where businesses offer their goods and services. Moreover, the use of web servers is not limited to electronic commerce. Using web technology, businesses are deploying web servers on their intranets to deliver company information, employee data, and management plans. Employees can self-serve their personnel and benefits data without Human Resources middlemen.
Most organizations have system administrators that manage the computing resources pool. The system administrator is "a jack of all trades" who keeps the computers running. The web developer is skilled in content development for publishing to the web site. The growing flood of new businesses trying to bring web sites online and the growing demands on the web server (for both functionality and availability) have forced the system administrator and developer to cross boundaries into each other's domain. The system administrator is managing application issues traditionally reserved for the developer, and the web developer is dealing with system administration issues. Now, web sites are expected to be available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week in a secure environment. This expectation creates new demands on the system administrator and web developer when implementing web servers.
Who Should Read This Book
Working with Netscape Server on HP- UX explains how to implement the Netscape web server on the premier UNIX® implementation available today — HP-UX.
Are you a system administrator responsible for managing web sites? Are you a developer responsible for "making it happen"? Would you like to get a big raise at your next salary review?
If you answered "yes" or "maybe" to any of these questions, you should read this book. It could be the best investment you will make in meeting and exceeding your job objectives. It could be the difference between getting that raise and promotion or being sidelined for another year. This book informs you about Netscape server issues and guides you in using HP-UX to its full capability. With the information from this book, you can rest assured that you are implementing your web site in the most effective way on the fastest and best web server platform
Today, many engineers are struggling to implement or manage web sites. Many of these engineers are nominated part-time system administrators and do not have the time to deal with the nuances of system administration issues. They are facing strict time deadlines to implement web sites with little or no guidance. This book provides them and you a road map to follow when implementing a new web site or managing an existing web site. All of you can leverage my experience in web installation and management to make your site the most successful it can be.
Contents of This Book
This book takes a system administration approach to installing, configuring, and implementing Netscape server on HP-UX. It explains the overall architecture, operational practices, debugging, and performance issues for a web server. It also explains the major subsystems of the web server and describes how to configure them for optimal capability. A key difference between this book and others is that it leverages HP-UX-specific technology wherever possible. Some HP-UX-specific features include use of VxFS, JFS, LVM, and mirroring. This combination of features is available nowhere else and makes HP-UX a powerful choice for implementing web servers.
This book is organized from basic to more complex issues. Every chapter starts with general concepts, practical implementation suggestions, followed by Netscape and HP-UX specifics as appropriate. All the chapters conclude with a "Test Your Understanding" section to allow you to validate your understanding of the topic.
The book contains the following chapters.
Chapter 1, "Overview," covers a brief history of the Web, the creation of the HTTP protocol, the advantages of using HP-UX for implementing web servers, web site sizing, and overall web server architecture.
Chapter 2, "Installing the Netscape Server Software," explains how to install the Netscape software on an HP-UX system and how to use swinstal1.
Chapter 3, "The Netscape Admin Server," covers the concepts, configuration, and file layout of the Netscape administration server.
Chapter 4, "The Netscape Web Server," covers the concepts and configuration of the Netscape web server. Once the web server is deployed, it requires significant configuration to behave as you want it to, so we explain the concept of Primary Document, Additional Document and User Document directories. We discuss important internal web server files, describe how to modify them, and cover several techniques for automatic web server startup.
Chapter 5, "Enabling Server-Side Applications," covers how to set up server-side applications, including Common Gateway Interface (CGI) programs and Java applications.
Chapter 6, "Restricting Access," explains how to restrict access to web pages on your site. We describe how to set up groups and users and how to limit access to specific web pages on a site. (This is the simplest method of setting up "pay for access" to library or proprietary data systems.)
Chapter 7, "Enabling Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)," covers the fundamentals of encryption and how Netscape implements the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to enable secure conversations between server and browser.
Chapter 8, "Setting Up Catalogs," deals with the catalog function of the Netscape server and explains how to use it with search and query engines.
Chapter 9, "Operational Issues," identifies operational practices to implement for web sites. These practices address usage statistics, physical storage, backups, and access reporting. We provide several key techniques for keeping clean systems, tuning the kernel, and keeping Y2K compliant.
Chapter 10, "Debugging Server Problems," presents a checklist to follow when debugging server problems and describes the use of the HP-UX netlogger. You also learn how to review server error and access logs.
Chapter 11, "Security Issues," discusses critical security issues surrounding web sites and describes the HP-UX VirtualVault™ software. We present a list of items to check when you are managing web site security. We also discuss what to do in case a compromise is discovered.
Chapter 12, "Performance Tuning the Server," covers system- and server-level performance tuning for Netscape servers. We talk about using reverse proxy servers to distribute the load from one server to multiple reverse proxy servers.
A project of this scope does not happen overnight. It takes a community of people making simple but important contributions of knowledge. I would like to thank the following wonderful human beings for their valuable assistance and support for the book. The technical reviewers for the book were Richard Hayashi and Debbie Smith. They endured many iterations of the manuscript and were victims of my constant experimentation. Many people supported my work at Hewlett-Packard, but special hats off to Laura French, Gwen Morris, Shahryar Shahsavari, Uwe Schaefer, Ken D'amico, and many others that I've probably forgotten to mention.
Special thanks to my mentor, Frank McBryan, who always has a calm and positive thing to say in any crisis. Many thanks to Richard Gardner, Arun Londhe, and Prafulla Joglekar for all of your support. You are all giants among men.
And, of course, thanks to my family for all their support. My wife put up with the countless late hours and missed dinners. My daughter was a source of joy and laughter during the breaks. My son's favorite response while I was writing the book was "Daddy is in the office writing his pencil in his book!"From the Back Cover:
The enterprise-class guide to Netscape Server deployment and management
Today's business-critical web and intranet sites cannot be managed informally: they require a rigorous system administration approach. Now, top HP-UX data center consultant Priyadarshan Ketkar shows how to bring enterprise-class discipline to your Netscape Enterprise Server and Netscape FastTrack Server sites--maximizing reliability and performance.
Discover specific techniques for enhancing your site's availability and scalability with HP-UX 10.x and 11.x technologies such as VxFS, JFS, LVM, mirroring, and MC/ServiceGuard. Coverage includes:
If you're responsible for running Netscape Enterprise Server or Netscape FastTrack Server in an HP-UX 10.x or 11.x enterprise environment, you can't afford to settle for less than maximum performance, availability, and scalability. Get the one book that will help you optimize all three: Working with Netscape Server on HP-UX.
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