Originally Published: Thursday, 8 July 1999 Author:
Published to: linux_work/Linux@Work Articles Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

Web Hosting with Linux?

Interested in opening a web hosting service, but concerned about the bottom line? The staff at Linux.com recently caught up with Adam McKenna, owner of Virtual Estate Web Hosting, to see how exclusive use of Linux is helping them keep expenses in check while providing the kind of performance they need.

Virtual Estate is running Linux with the Apache Web Server on two boxes, handling about 50 domains at the moment. Having hosted such high volume sites as linuxapps.com, McKenna is aware of the need for both stability and flexibility. Through several power outages, the Linux servers, which are housed at his ISP, have stood tough. In fact, they regularly see months of uptime without being restarted.

When they do require attention, or when McKenna is setting up a new customer, he handles it all remotely, using Linux's remote administration. "Yes, I haven't seen my servers in about three months," he explains. "You can do everything from the command line.."

Besides the speed, stability, and ease of use Virtual Estate has experienced, they have been able to leverage its cost to provide a very competitive product. "I can afford to make an economy account available for only $5.95," McKenna notes. "I've invested an entire $100 in software since I started and that was because I felt like helping out a Linux company and buying one of their secure web server products."

When they needed to write scripts to measure each domain's bandwidth, they turned to Perl, a powerful utility included in Linux distributions, and also downloadable from the web.

Would they have considered using any other OS? "No, I didn't even think about that." McKenna says. "A single server license for (Microsoft Windows) NT is something like $750 compared to free..."