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Affordable IT: Web Servers

A reliable Web server environment isn't just an enterprise thing: If you do business on the Web, your site must be up and running 24/7. The good news is that there are plenty of

hardware and software solutions to fit a tight budget.

Building an affordable high-availability Web environment requires more than a low-priced server, however. If you choose a Web server and OS environment that's new to your IT staff, can you afford the cost of training? Add to that the cost of maintenance and management, as well as the cost of determining your alternatives in the first place.

Windows is still the most common platform in small IT shops, so maintenance and management costs are obviously lower for a Windows-based Web environment than for a Linux-based one. If you don't factor in these ongoing costs, they can turn an affordable Web server into a high-cost line item.

What's Available

There are two basic elements to a HA (high-availability) Web presence: multiple Web servers and the hardware/software to provide redundancy. Several free Web server packages are available, as well as low-cost alternatives that come with some technical support. If you and your remote site or department lack intimate familiarity with Web servers, the technical support option is a must.

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