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Server Infrastructure

There are a wide variety of options for the servers and networks that can be used to power a web application system.

Server Equipment

The software platform used by Evolution provides substantial flexibility in terms of supportable hardware architecture and flavors of Unix-like operating systems. The open-source nature of Perl and Apache supports this, as numerous other developers have already contributed to porting and debugging these platforms across a wide variety of host environments.

Evolution recommends specific equipment configurations and software products after creation and review of a model of anticipated user traffic levels.

Evolution is familiar with a variety of popular server architectures, including:

Hosting

Evolution provides clients with information about hosting environments, including tradeoffs between operating costs and technical capability, and assists them in selecting appropriate vendors.

Hosting approaches to be considered include:

When needed, the production server environment can be configured as an array of independent web application servers to provide for redundancy in case of hardware failure, and to allow a straightforward model for future scalability.

Evolution can configure multiple servers to provide software load-balancing and fail-over support. A web dispatch service, running with a custom Apache configuration, is responsible for accepting incoming web requests to the client's web site and directing them to an appropriate application server. The dispatcher uses round-robin balancing with health checks and failover to ensure site reliability. Should the machine operating the dispatch service fail or become inaccessible, pre-written scripts on other machines initiate their own copy of the dispatch service and begin accepting traffic for the main site address.

For maximum reliability, dedicated load-balancing appliances are available which provide instanteous failover capability in a high-capacity, high-availability configuration.

Third-Party Services

Evolution assists clients in establishing relationships with the variety of third-party services often required to effectively operate a site. In the following examples, we've included representative prices and vendors, but in each case several choices are available. We base our specific recommendations on discussions with each client.

Security

Where necessary, Evolution utilizes a defense-in-depth approach for maximum site security.

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