Building & Managing Web Sites
Lab 11 - Web Server Purchasing Lab

After your excellent work in the earlier labs, MegaCorp has hired you as its webmaster. Here are a few details about the MegaCorp Internet site that you will use to answer the questions in this lab.
  • The current site is running through a web hosting service.
  • The site currently receives approximately 20,000 hits per day.
  • Best estimates are that site traffic will double in the next 2 years.
  • The majority of the site content is static, mostly product descriptions and many pictures.
  • There are a few dynamic pages that access a product information database, which is copied to the web hosting service each week.

Early in your tenure, one of the executives decided it would be a great idea for MegaCorp to host its own webservers. Knowing the many issues and responsibilities involved with managing your own web hosting service, you presented a number of arguments against this approach.

1. Describe at least two arguments you would use against moving the MegaCorp Internet site to an internally-managed webserver (2 points).

Although you encouraged management to seriously consider outsourcing their Internet web hosting, it was decided it would be more advantageous to run the company's Internet web site in-house.  You have already prepared a memo to management requesting additional staffing resources to manage the site. Now you have been tasked with procuring a webserver for the company.   Assume the following:

  • Your supervisor owns a lot of Dell stock, so you will use Dell ( as your vendor.
  • You will be using Microsoft's Internet Information Server 4 as your webserver software.
  • MegaCorp's network administrator has procured and already set-up a T-1 line to your webserver.
  • You want to minimize server down-time as much as possible.
  • You have a hardware budget of up to $20,000, but the less you spend, the larger your year-end bonus.

Go to Dell Server Solutions page and determine what server they recommend for your situation.

2. What product/model does Dell recommend for your web hosting needs (1 point)?

Review the specifications Dell has recommended for this server (e.g., hard drive, memory, backup hardware/software, etc.). Go to the ordering section of the Dell site ( and use the "Customize and Price" options to enter their recommended specifications.

3. Provide Dell's price quote for the server product/model specification (1.5 points).

You order the webserver, install it, move the MegaCorp site to your webserver, and change your DNS information to the new server. The site is now being managed directly by you! But within a few days you receive many complaints about web pages loading very slowly, especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.  Using various monitoring tools and testing both inside and outside of your LAN, you confirm that your webserver is extremely busy with traffic during these times.

4. What are the most likely reasons why your webserver is responding slowly during this peak period? (2 points)

5. Name at least three options you could pursue to resolve the problem(s). (1.5 points)

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