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16. Server Hardware > Box on a Wire

Box on a Wire

A web server is essentially remote storage that copies data from its RAM or disk to the network connection upon request. It may not be a simple copy, since dynamic content or database access may be involved, but from the user’s point of view, your web server is just one more mass storage device.

Now, does a disk drive have a windowing system? No. Similarly, your web server does not need a windowing system, a video card, a monitor, or even a keyboard! In fact, a windowing system occupies a great deal of RAM and CPU, so it is a drain on server performance. You don’t have any choice about windowing overhead if you’re using a Windows or Mac web server, but on Unix systems you can simply turn off X Windows.


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