Embedded Web Servers

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Embedded Web Servers

  1. 1. Embedded Web Servers Dave Piscitello, Core Competence, Inc. Lisa Phifer, Core Competence, Inc. David Strom, David Strom, Inc.
  2. 2. Our backgrounds <ul><li>We write about and test products for a living. </li></ul><ul><li>We consult for some of the vendors involved. </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is an embedded web server? <ul><li>Software-only </li></ul><ul><ul><li>QNX, Spyglass </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hardware for managing and configuring something else </li></ul><ul><ul><li>routers, switches, hubs, printers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hardware for deploying Intranet services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>what we’ll demonstrate today </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. What is an Intranet appliance? <ul><li>Systems that </li></ul><ul><ul><li>support HTTP, HTML </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>serve up files for browser-enabled clients </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and more! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>and are used to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>host a corporate, workgroup, or small business web site, establishing its identity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>provide Internet access and LAN services to corporation, workgroup, small biz, K12 </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Kinds of appliances <ul><li>Shared disk, filesystem web server </li></ul><ul><li>No-frills web server </li></ul><ul><ul><li>basic HTML/HTTP </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Advanced web server </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CGI, Java support, web-enabled discussion groups, eCommerce, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Multi-server appliances </li></ul><ul><ul><li>web and file server plus email, router, DNS, DHCP, web cache, firewall, gateway </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Products demonstrated <ul><li>Cisco Micro Webserver 200 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.cisco.com </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Microtest WebZerver </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.zerver.com </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cobalt Microserver Qube 2700 WG </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.cobaltmicro.com </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Apexx TEAM Internet </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// www.apexxtech.com </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Possible applications <ul><li>Small business Extranet </li></ul><ul><li>SOHO/ROBO Intranet server </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion Forum server </li></ul><ul><li>Workgroup file/CD ROM sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Firewall/Router for Internet access </li></ul><ul><li>Remote access router </li></ul><ul><li>Office email server </li></ul><ul><li>Extranet </li></ul>
  8. 8. Our Design Goals for Appliances <ul><li>Plug and play </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Attach power, connect to Ethernet and go! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>User interface </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Should be simple, not overly constrained </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Access controls for users and groups </li></ul><ul><li>Configuration, management via browser </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-installed web content, utilities, scripts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Easy integration of these into published site </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. General State of Appliances <ul><li>Almost plug and play </li></ul><ul><li>User interfaces somewhat limited </li></ul><ul><li>Setup of users and groups is tedious </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not well integrated with NOS access controls </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Not ready for certain extranet applications </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No SSL, PKI, eCommerce support </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Not for high-performance web serving </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Expect to support ~50 users, <T1 access </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. What features do you need? <ul><li>Ask yourself, ask your vendor: </li></ul><ul><li>Types of network attachment? </li></ul><ul><li>How extensible is the web server? </li></ul><ul><li>DHCP, DNS, Mail servers included? </li></ul><ul><li>Type of built-in OS, web server software? </li></ul><ul><li>How many different ways to upload files? </li></ul><ul><li>What other tools are bundled with the box? </li></ul><ul><li>Are design, content templates included? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Feature comparison
  12. 12. Appliances: Pros <ul><li>Simplicity over NT & UNIX servers, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>esp. for organizations with little or no OS admin expertise </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reduced total cost of ownership </li></ul><ul><li>Can lock down web site easier than with general purpose computing platform server </li></ul>
  13. 13. Appliances: Cons <ul><li>Can’t find and manage on corporate net </li></ul><ul><ul><li>not issue for those that support SMB/CIFS/AppleShare </li></ul></ul><ul><li>May need more than browser to manage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>telnet, proprietary wizards, </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Difficult to apply uniform user and group access controls across both appliances and NOS systems </li></ul><ul><li>How scalable is CPU, storage, network? </li></ul>
  14. 14. My favorite appliance <ul><li>Lisa: TEAMInternet </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why : “I want a one-box-does-it-all turn-key solution for small biz LANs.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dave P: Cobalt </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why : “I want DNS, web and mail in an appliance behind my own firewall, router.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>David S: Zerver </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why : “I want the easiest web publishing appliance available.&quot; </li></ul></ul>

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