A web server is server software or hardware dedicated to running said software, that can satisfy World Wide Web client requests. Web servers are computers that deliver (serves up) Web pages. Every Web server has an IP address and possibly a domain name. For example, if you enter the URL https://www.ipcsautomation.com/index.html in your browser, this sends a request to theWeb server whose domain name is webopedia.com.The basic function of a web server is to host websites and to deliver web content from its hosted websites over the internet. During the delivery of web pages, web servers follow a network protocol known as hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP). A web server can, in general, contain one or more websites. A web server processes incoming network requests over HTTP and several other related protocols
The primary function of a web server is to store, process and deliver web pages to clients communication between client and server takes place using the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). Pages delivered are most frequently HTML documents, which may include images, style sheets and scripts in addition to the text content. A user agent, commonly a web browser or web crawler, initiates communication by making a request for a specific resource using HTTP and the server responds with the content of that resource or an error message if unable to do so. The resource is typically a real file on the server’s secondary storage, but this is not necessarily the case and depends on how the web server is implemented.
While the primary function is to serve content, full implementation of HTTP also includes ways of receiving content from clients. This feature is used for submitting web forms, including uploading of files. Many generic web servers also support server-side scripting using Active Server Pages (ASP), PHP (Hypertext Pre-processor), or other scripting languages. This means that the behavior of the web server can be scripted in separate files, while the actual server software remains unchanged. Usually, this function is used to generate HTML documents dynamically as opposed to returning static documents. The former is primarily used for retrieving or modifying information from databases. The latter is typically much faster and more easily cached but cannot deliver dynamic content. Web servers can frequently be found embedded in devices such as printers, routers, webcams and serving only a local network. The web server may then be used as a part of a system for monitoring or administering the device in question. This usually means that no additional software has to be installed on the client computer since only a web browser is required (which now is included with most operating systems).
There are 4 primary web servers:
Apache HTTP Server
This is the most popular web server in the world developed by the Apache Software Foundation. Apache web server is open source software and can be installed on almost all operating systems including Linux, Unix, Windows, FreeBSD, Mac OS X and more. About 60% of the web server machines run the Apache Web Server. You can have Apache with tomcat module to have JSP and J2EE related support. You can have detailed information about this server at Apache HTTP Server.
Internet Information Services
The Internet Information Server (IIS) is a high-performance Web Server from Microsoft. This web server runs on Windows NT/2000 and 2003 platforms ( and maybe on upcoming new Windows version also). IIS comes bundled with Windows NT/2000 and 2003; Because IIS is tightly integrated with the operating system so it is relatively easy to administer it. You can have detailed information about this server at MiscrosoftIIS
The Lighttpd, pronounced lightly is also a free web server that is distributed with the FreeBSD operating system. This open source web server is fast, secure and consumes much less CPU power. Lighttpd can also run on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and Solaris operating systems. You can have detailed information about this server at Lighttpd.
Sun Java System Web Server
This web server from Sun Microsystems is suited for medium and large websites. Though the server is free it is not open source. It, however, runs on Windows, Linux and Unix platforms. The Sun Java System web server supports various languages, scripts, and technologies required for Web 2.0 such as JSP, Java Servlets, PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby on Rails, ASP and Coldfusion. You can have detailed information about this server at Sun Java System Web Server
Jigsaw (W3C’s Server) comes from the World Wide Web Consortium. It is open source and free and can run on various platforms like Linux, Unix, Windows, Mac OS X Free BSD etc. Jigsaw has been written in Java and can run CGI scripts and PHP programs.