Server Terminology You Should Know

SSH – Secure Shell allows you to connect to your server as though you were sitting in front of it typing on the console. If you have administrative access, you can completely control your server from SSH. Connections made via SSH are also encrypted and secure.

Apache HTTP Server – The most popular web server software on the market, Apache is by far the most robust and widely used choice. It is cross-platform and can run on Linux, BSD variants, Solaris, Windows, and many other operating systems.

Virtualization – This term describes the process of creating and using virtual machines, which are completely functional instances of servers running within a larger one. For example, you may have a server running CentOS but may also have a virtual machine running FreeBSD. The “guest” virtual machine is completely enclosed within the larger “host” operating system.

Cron Job – On Unix and Linux servers, cron is a tool that allows you to automate many of the tasks that you would normally have to run and re-run manually. You can read a tutorial for creating cron jobs on this site.

x86 and x86_64 – The first, x86, refers to processors that use a 32-bit architecture. At one time, nearly all desktop computers used this architecture (except for Macs, which used PowerPC for many years). Most modern servers use x86_64, or 64-bit processors, which offer more address space for multiple instructions. These processors also make it easier to take advantage of servers with more than 4GB of RAM.

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