How exactly does a server work.

May 6, 2012 at 21:56:55
Specs: Windows 7
I know all about hosting, and how to use a server. But the time has come for me to build my own.

I am curious, although. How does a single server box, get multiple IP Addresses. One for each of the Users that connect to it.

From my perspective, It would seem that a Server is a PC with specific hardware, that has different people login to it at the same time. Giving them all a seperate IP Address, all while connected to the same host.

I am trying to understand this, so I can start a miniture business *As a hobby* Hosting small websites.

See More: How exactly does a server work.

Report •

May 6, 2012 at 22:12:44
"How does a single server box, get multiple IP Addresses?"

It doesn't. However many clients a server may be dealing with it will typically have only one IP address. A DHCP server will assign each client a different IP address but the server will only have one. Of course a server on the Internet has no no control over it's clients IP addresses.

Be aware that hosting websites has some serious security implications. You better know what you are doing because if you get anything wrong (and it is all too easy to do this) the security of your clients, as well as your own, could be at serious risk. This is a complex subject.

Report •

May 6, 2012 at 22:29:17
Thanks for your reply, and i understand the risk(s) involved in this process.

Although, We are only going to be offering small gaming hosting at first, until we start to understand how everything works, and get it secured.

You said that i would assign a new IP to each client using the DHCP server, I would assume that this could be done through the router. Because i'm not sure i would understand how each User(Client) on a single box would get their own connection from a single lan port.

Could you please farther explain on this subject.

Report •

May 6, 2012 at 22:33:49
Giving them all a seperate IP Address, all while connected to the same host.

Web servers don't issue IP addresses. Clients connecting to the server already have an IP address before they go anywhere near theirs server. The server uses its own IP address and communicates with the client with the IP address that they provide.

The only servers the issues IP addresses are DHCP servers and you don't need one of them to run a web site.

Think of an IP address as a telephone number. You call someone using their telephone number or the web servers IP address. If you want them to call you back, which is what a web server does once the initial request is made, you need to give them your telephone number, or your IP address.


Report •

Related Solutions

May 6, 2012 at 22:37:06
@Stuart, I don't think you understood my question to the fullest.

Lets use a (Virtual Private Server) for an example.

Using one Server Box, Multiple Clients can host an application on the same port.

Although, you will se IP's like ...


Etc, (Those are obviously just made up IP addresses)

But each of them can host on port 80, 25565, 8080, 3162, for whatever they wanted, without interefering with the other. Perhaps now you better understand my question

Report •

May 6, 2012 at 22:38:34
I edited my post to cover some of this better. If your server is offering it's services to Internet clients it has no control or influence over their their IP addresses. That is controlled by their ISP. A DHCP server is only for private network use.

As I said this is a complex subject. You couldn't possibly learn enough on a forum to do an adequate job of this. If you wish to run any kind of Internet server you need to do some serious study first.

Report •

May 6, 2012 at 23:03:53
I understand completely why you are saying it's a complex subject. Because it is.

What I'm trying to go into would be known as a (Virtual Private Server), and I'm asking these questions here, because typical online research is not cutting the cake.

The only things that i'm attempting to figure out at this point is... On a VPS, From what i understand, everybody shares the hardware of a single box, although What i'm trying to figure out is this:

Do the companies have a seperate box for Users, One with 512mb ram, one with 1024mb, and so on... Or do they Have ONE Box, with about 64GB of ram, and just split the RAM Allowance through the users.

Report •

May 6, 2012 at 23:38:16
Even with the Virtual Server they will still have the same IP address. What will be different is the URLs which will all point to the same IP address. The server software will the determine which information to served based on the URL. The URL used to contact the web server is included in the HTTP header.

If a client connects using just an IP address, the server will use the default its address. It is the server software that does all the hard work and the best for that is Apache.

But as Lmillar says, it is a complex subject and the first thing you need to learn is all about TCP/IP and HTTP and how they work,.


Report •

May 7, 2012 at 01:05:58
Thanks, But I fear you're trying to explain much deeper that I am asking. I understand the HTTP part behind it, easy stuff. I'm hosting a web-server and game-server right now from my laptop.

Domain names, bla-da, bla-da.

What i wanted to know was about the memory share

"""Do the companies have a seperate box for Users, One with 512mb ram, one with 1024mb, and so on... Or do they Have ONE Box, with about 64GB of ram, and just split the RAM Allowance through the users.


Report •

May 7, 2012 at 02:23:19
That depends on the company and how big it is. Big companies hosting big website will have a separate server. But small companies hosting small web sites can all be done from a single server.


Report •

May 7, 2012 at 08:15:48
Any operating sytem will allow you to assign more than one IP address to the same network card. It is one way of setting up virtual web servers. Another way is to use the same IP address but different names. (So and would both resolve to the same IP address.) in this case the web server knows which virtual server is being called by inspecting the name rather than the address. A third way is to use the same IP address and name, but use different ports. This is not normally so convenient as other methods.

The second method (one IP address with multiple DNS names) is probably the most common.

Report •

May 7, 2012 at 10:13:25
I missed this one before but will respond now.

I used to be part of a group of gamers who all pitched in and bought our own gaming server. After a couple of years of actively being a member of this group, and being a server and game admin for them, my interest in gaming constantly waned and I left the group about a year ago.

The group and their server are still active today.

If you're contemplating hosting your server at your home I wouldn't bother. I doubt your bandwidth would be sufficient for more than just a couple of users connected and gaming at a time.

We had our server hosted at a 'colocation' site in the US with a guaranteed 1.5 Mbps bandwidth and a "burst rate" up to 2 Mbps.

You might be thinking, "I have a bigger pipe at home" and you'd be sort of right, but mostly wrong. Enterprise level bandwidth is NOT the same thing as highspeed internet you get at home. Our gaming server ran two different games. It ran 4 instances of one and 2 of the other simultaneously and had usually 20 to 30 people per server connected at all times. That's a total aggregate of 120 to 180 simultaneous connections.

If you tried that at home, it would stuff your internet connection up and nobody would be able to do anything.

We ran 2003 Server as our OS. You don't need to run VMware or anything like that. Most games that are multiplayer have two ways to install or play, host (server) or client. When installing on the server, we installed in "Host" or "server" mode.

The colocation site who hosts the server provided us a block of routable IP's to use. If I remember correctly, we had a block of 10. While you probably could use a firewall and NAT with port forwards setup for different ports to run your games, it's a whole lot easier to setup and maintain if you do it with routable IP's.

There's a ton of information on the web that's been written by people with experience doing this. I would search for info pertaining to the particular games you wish to run. Do some tests at home and once you've got it all figured out, if you wish to have an active server with lots of games and client connections, I would then start looking into colocation sites.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***

Report •

May 21, 2012 at 06:31:07
What he is referring to is a virtual host


Report •

Ask Question