web-hosting and managed service industries are still
very volatile, I'm maintaining an updated copy of Chapter
22, Resources, here. The list is loosely organized
according to the Table of Contents.
If you know
of additional resources that should be added to this
list, please send them to resources.
Web Host Industry Review. The best site for
news and editorial content about the web-hosting industry,
suitable for both vendors and customers. You can also
to a variety of The WHIR's newsletters.
Hosting Monthly. A free magazine-format monthly,
published in PDF format by the folks at The Web Host
Industry Review. The best of their editorial content
including columns by RDS Strategies' own Doug Kaye.
Help. Hosted by FutureQuest, contains some good
articles, particularly regarding shared- and dedicated-hosting
services. Topics include the value of on-line host directories,
resellers, and uptime guarantees. It's a bit out of
date, but still valuable.
An advertising-sponsored site that compares web-hosting
vendors. It also contains links to other comparisons
and on-line articles.
Group. Aa consulting and research firm, is very
active in the analysis of web hosting and other areas
of Internet infrastructure. In Chapter 9, Risk Management,
we quoted data and conclusions from Making Smart Investments
to Reduce Unplanned Downtime (D. Scott, Gartner Group,
1999). Another Gartner publication, Best Practices for
Internet-based Business: Storage and Hosting Strategies
(Gartner Group, February 29, 2000), provided background
material for our discussion of NAS and SAN technologies
in Chapter 15, Storage.
Research. Another consulting and research company.
In Chapter 1, The Options, we used data from
its report, Real Numbers behind Web Hosting & Development
2000 (August 2000)
Tier 1 Research.
Another consulting and research company, emphasizes
hosting, storage, and CDNs. Its publications range from
daily reports to geographically-focused Web Hosting
Stephens. An investment banking firm, published
an excellent analysis of many aspects of Internet infrastructure
in Virtual Bricks II: Virtual Econ 101 Update, A Comprehensive
Guide for Understanding ecommerce Infrastructure Evolution
and Convergence-CSPs, ASPs, IUPs and IPPs (Richard A.
Juarez et al., Robertson Stephens, May 2000). We used
some of its data in Chapter 9, Risk Management.
Hopefully, it will follow this up with similar reports
in the future.
A financial services company, analyzes Internet infrastructure
for its investment clients. We referred to Internet
Infrastructure 2000-IIS Launch: Survival of the Fittest
(Thomas W. Watts et al., Merrill Lynch Global Securities
Research & Economics, July 25, 2000) for background
material on CDNs in Chapter 13, Caching and Content
Center. Hosted by CIO Magazine, is obviously
focused on application service providers, but it includes
valuable information on outsourcing in general.
A valuable resource for researching published financial
data from publicly-traded companies. Portals, such as
and financial institutions, such as eTrade (http://www.etrade.com),
provide additional data such as analysts reports.
discussed in Chapter 12, Web Site Architectures,
was first described in A Case for Redundant Arrays of
Inexpensive Disks (RAID), available on line at http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/Dienst/UI/2.0/Describe/ncstrl.ucb/CSD-87-391.
Not only is RAID itself important to the web-hosting
industry, but this 26-page paper, written in 1987, is
a good example of pragmatic thinking about redundancy
Survey. Hosted by Netcraft,
shows market share for Apache, IIS (Microsoft), iPlanet
(Netscape), NCSA, and other web server software.
Two books, although specific to the Solaris (UNIX-derivative)
operating system, will help anyone who wants to understand
the quantitative aspects of server performance:
Performance and Tuning: Java and the Internet,
second edition, by Adrian Cockroft and Richard Petit
(Sun Microsystems Press, 1998, ISBN 0130952494). Buy
or read reviews at Amazon.com.
and Capacity Planning for Solaris Servers, by
Brian L. Wong (Prentice Hall PTR/Sun Microsystems Press,
1997, ISBN 0133499529). Buy or read reviews
Caching. Managed by Brian Davison, is a good
centralized resource for information regarding caching
Operated by Jupiter Media Metrix, contains CDN and caching
news, white papers, and case studies.
Free caching software distributed under the GNU public
license. The Squid
FAQ provides a good technical background on Internet
Offers a number of free on-line courses including one
The course emphasize Intel's own caching products, but
it's still good for background information.
A hardware cache vendor, hosts an on-line
cacheability tester. If you enter a URL, this utility
will analyze how the page is likely to be treated by
the various Internet caches.
Alliance. One of two industry groups supporting
initiatives for content peering as discussed in Chapter
13, Caching and Content Delivery Networks. This group
was created by Cisco in August 2000.
Bridge. The other content peering industry group.
Includes. Another industry-sponsored group promoting
delivery of dynamic content from CDN edge servers. You
can find the specifications for ESI on their web site.
a number of excellent white papers. In some cases the
most informative documents appear in support of particular
products. One good tutorial on CDN technologies is Cisco
DistributedDirector (White Paper) by Kevin Delgadillo,
1999. Vendor-specific, of course.
AOL. Has posted
for webmasters developing a web site aimed at consumers,
and hence AOL customers. Particularly interesting is
an article at all about AOL's access-side
Ratings. Published by Matrix.Net compares the
accessibility of rated ISPs and web-hosting services
in terms of median latency, packet loss, and reachability
for 24-hour, 7-day, and 28-day periods. We referred
to this analysis in Chapter 18, Connectivity Performance.
Average. Another report published by Matrix.Net.
This one is shows graphs of rolling 24-hour, 7-day,
and 28-day averages of overall Internet reachability,
latency, and packet loss.
Weather Report. A third report published by
Matrix.Net, includes geographical maps that show latency
within the Internet. It's analogous to daily newspaper
or television weather radar reports, except that it's
about conditions within the Internet itself.
Traffic Report. Published by Opnix,
monitors the flow of data worldwide every 15 minutes,
and displays the results broken down by continent.
Health Report. Hhosted by Keynote, shows the
network performance (latency) between major United States
Has posted a document that describes their peering
policies. It's a fascinating insight into the politics
of peering between the major backbone ISPs.
Two excellent (but expensive) books on networking are:
Networks and Internets, With Internet Applications,
third edition, by Douglas E. Comer and Ralph E. Droms.
(Prentice Hall, 2001, ISBN 0130914495). Read reviews
or buy from Amazon.com.
Networks, second edition, by Andrew S. Tanenbaum
(Prentice Hall, 1996, 0133499456). Read reviews or buy
Operated by SecurityFocus.com. BugTraq is a full-disclosure
moderated mailing list for the detailed discussion and
announcement of computer security vulnerabilities. Someone
responsible for your web site's security should subscribe
to this list.
at the Software Engineering Institute, a federally funded
research and development center operated by Carnegie
Mellon University. The web site is an excellent source
of security-related information.
(superuser do). A free Unix-only software maintained
by Todd Miller that allows a system administrator to
give certain users (or groups of users) the ability
to run some or all commands as root or another user
while logging the commands and arguments.
(Advanced Intrusion Detection Environment). Developed
by Rami Lehti and Pablo Virolainen in Finland, monitors
all file changes, verifies the integrity of data on
network servers, and notifies you of any violations.
It also identifies changes to other system attributes
including file size and access permissions.
It's a Unix-only utility that's a free replacement for
for Windows as a commercial product.
Some of the better books on Internet security include
Proofing Your Ecommerce Site, by Brent L. Huston
(Editor), Ryan Russell, Teri Bidwell, Oliver Steudler,
and Robin Walshaw (Syngress Media, 2001, ISBN 192899427X).
Read reviews or buy from Amazon.com.
Security & Commerce, by Simson Garfinkel and
Gene Spafford (O'Reilly & Associates, 1997 ISBN 1565922697).
Read reviews or buy from Amazon.com.
Unix and Internet Security, by Simson Garfinkel
and Gene Spafford (O'Reilly & Associates, 1996, ISBN:
1565921488). Read reviews or buy from Amazon.com.
Exposed, by Joel Scambray, Stuart McClure, and
George Kurtz (McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing, 2000,
ISBN 0072127481). Read reviews or buy from Amazon.com.
and Lies: Digital Security in a Networked World,
by Bruce Schneier (John Wiley & Sons, 2000, ISBN: 0471253111).
Read reviews or buy from Amazon.com.
Tthe Multi Router Traffic Grapher, was developed by
Tobias Oetiker in Switzerland, and Dave Rand of AboveNet,
in the U.S. MRTG is free software that graphs any numeric
values it can obtain using the Simple Network Management
Protocol (SNMP) or other methods. Versions are available
for Windows and Unix-derivatives. Some of the graphs
shown in Chapter 18, Connectivity Performance,
were generated using MRTG.
Big Brother. A
free internal monitoring package that supports Windows
NT/2000 and most of the Unix derivatives. We used Big
Brother as our examples of internal monitoring and trend
reporting in Chapter 19, Monitoring.
A commercial external monitoring service that we used
for many of the examples in Chapter 18, Connectivity
Performance, Chapter 19, Monitoring, and
Chapter 20, The Net Detective Toolkit. Keynote's
web site includes some good white
papers on web-site performance and measurement.
Also offers an external site-monitoring service-one
of many lower-cost alternatives to Keynote.
Hosts a number of tools targeted at shared- and dedicated-server
customers, including Server Check Pro, another low-cost
Offers a combination of internal and external monitoring
services. We used their external monitoring as an example
in Chapter 19, Monitoring.
Aan external monitoring service we looked at in Chapter
19, Monitoring. Probester is one of a new breed
of monitoring services that uses P2P (peer-to-peer)
technology in order to measure performance from the
desktops of a large number of web-site visitors.
The Concurrent Versions System, an open-source version
control system for most flavors of Windows and Unix.
A commercial vendor that supplies software for server
cluster management and backup and recovery. Their whitepapers
are helpful for understanding some of the issues associated
with backup and recovery, particularly of databases.
Mr. DNS. An archive of great information about
DNS and BIND. Although its creators (Cricket Liu, Matt
Larson, and Michael Milligan) are no longer enhancing
the site (their company was bought by Network Solutions
in June 2000, the archives continue to be valuable.
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.
The non-profit corporation that was formed to assume
responsibility for the IP address space allocation,
protocol parameter assignment, domain name system management,
and root server system management functions previously
performed under U.S. Government contract by IANA and
other entities. As recommended in Chapter 21, Domain
Names and DNS, never use a domain name registrar
that isn't among those on the ICANN-accredited
American Registry for Internet Numbers. ARIN is a non-profit
organization established for the purpose of administration
and registration of Internet Protocol (IP) numbers for
the following geographical areas: North America, South
America, the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa.
The equivalent of ARIN for Europe, the Middle East,
and parts of Africa.
equivalent of ARIN for Asia and the Pacific.
The standard text on DNS is:
and BIND, 4th edition, by Paul Albitz and Cricket
Liu. (O'Reilly & Associates, 2001, ISBN 0596001584).
Read reviews of buy from Amazon.com.
Developed by Steve Atkins, is a portal to many of the
other tools described in Chapter 20, The Net Detective
Toolkit, and listed below, as well as some unique
ones. From the web site you can also download a copy
of Steve's free Sam Spade utility that performs similar
functions on Windows-based systems.
Used throughout Chapter 20, The Net Detective Toolkit,
as an excellent way to research an existing web site
or web-hosting service.
Hhosted by Add & Associates. It's a free service to
analyze web pages, including features that verify links,
generate word counts, spell-check non-HTML text, compute
estimated download speeds, check search engine compatibility,
and analyze HTML syntax.
Maintained by Thomas Kernen, is an list of international
reverse traceroute and Looking Glass servers that can
be used to track down various routing and performance
Hosted by CenterGate Research Group, provides gateways
to traceroute and whois, and a searchable index to the
RFCs. We used this site in some of our examples in Chapter
20, The Net Detective Toolkit.
Internet Services. Also show in Chapter 20,
provides gateways to dig, traceroute, and whois.
Consulting. Runs an excellent site with Unix
System Administrator's Resources. With topics ranging
from firewalls to "Coffee and Caffeine," there's something
here for everyone, even those running Windows 2000/NT.
on Strategies for Web Hosting and Managed Services:
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