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I know how to configure Web Server in Linux/Windows but now the problem is with hosting files. The files I need to host is around 200 MB each and there are around 1000 files. In this scenario, can anyone suggest me how to setup a website that enable download for these files for user?

My problem is : 1. Can the file put it in external harddisk via USB connection? Will it make access slow, because I am intending for possibility of hot swap. 2. Is one web server enough? Do I need to have multiple web server? What about File server, I dont really understand the concept of File Server and the different with hosting it in Web server? 3. Architecture problem, my intention is to have 8 usb port in the same web server (by buying more USB Card), each port is attaching to an external harddisk, and there is one web server that read from these external harddisk. Is it possible? How to design the hardware architecture for this?

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Would a torrent server work for your type of file serving? This would allow users to help each other download. – djangofan Aug 16 '11 at 22:39

Webserver : show websites to clients through http protocol

Fileserver : produce files to clients, clients can connect using FTP(insecure, wouldn't recommend it) / SFTP / FTPS (recommended) protocols

If you have about 200 GB of files and plan on using 5 TB (stated in your comment) I would not really use external hard disks for your server because :

  • it's slow
  • no redundancy

I would go the extra mile, get yourself a nice server with raid 10 or raid 6

Also if you are just producing files, I would use ftp protocol, if you are producing files on a website, you can use a webserver or a clustered webserver with load balancing. You will need the clustered server if you have a high amount of requests. But if you just have a few clients downloading files, you won't really need this I think. What you will need is lot's of diskspace and a very high bandwith.

my 2 cents :)

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hi Lucas, thanks for answering. And I am correcting about 1000 files, it is 5 TB of files and I plan to have a website for downloading it. And I want to support around 100 clients concurrently downloading. Do you think I need a clustered webserver or only a single? How many users in order to provide a clustered web server? What is the consideration to use Raid, what is the different between raid 10 and raid 6? Isn't external harddisk sufficient? – John Kenedy Aug 16 '11 at 10:05
Well I still would consider getting a NAS, for 5 tb instead of using an external hard drive. RAID 10 is raid 0 combined with raid 1, you mirror your raid 0 volume, this is high speed and redundancy at the same time. RAID 6 is like raid 5, only the difference is it uses 2 parity blocks. Basically you can have 2 disks fail and even then you will still be able to server files. With only 100 requests you should be ok with one server, (depending on hardware etc...). The problem with external hard drives is that it isn't fast (max 30MB/s) and if it fails, all your files will be gone. – Lucas Kauffman Aug 16 '11 at 10:24
If you have any, absolutely any, need for security, I'd avoid FTP. It's a cleartext protocol that should have been phased out years ago from mainstream use. Use any of a number of encrypted alternatives. – Bart Silverstrim Aug 16 '11 at 10:28
Indeed, I prefer to use FTP with TLS :) (FTPS) – Lucas Kauffman Aug 16 '11 at 10:32
I was right with you up to the point where you suggest using FTP. In addition to the point made by Bart that FTP uses clear text authentication / passes data unencrypted, there's also complications with firewalling, user management, QOS, automation and more – symcbean Aug 16 '11 at 11:32

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