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Server Diagram and Process

A server is a computer that is used solely to run software and hardware that is capable of providing a service - in this case, the University's websites.

Rather than use a single server, the University of Adelaide uses multiple servers to operate both a development server and live production servers. The development server, commonly known as webdev, is a staging (test) server which is used to develop and preview content for websites. Changes to websites can be made here and checked online before they become available for public viewing. This means that webpages are not visible on the live site before you, the maintainer, has had the opportunity to check them thoroughly.

Making changes in the development server prevents any broken or unfinished pages from appearing on the live University website. In addition, the multi-stage upload process provides additional security by preventing direct access to pages on the live website.

The Process

web servers flow chart described below

As a University web maintainer, you have access to the development server, webdev (1). This single web server is located within the University firewall (3), a security feature that blocks unauthorised access. This is where you make your changes to your websites.

When you have made and checked your changes, the relevant files and webpages can be uploaded from webdev to the live production servers (4) by using Web Access (2). The University has three production servers to maintain a high quality user experience and to make sure that, if one server breaks, the University's websites are still accessible via the internet.

The University of Adelaide websites can be accessed via the internet by typing in the relevant URL or content switch (5). This will then direct the user to one of the live production servers which will then return the page they want to their internet browser.

Server Software

The development and production servers run the open-source Apache web server, version 2.0.52 under the Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system, version 4.7. We do not support Microsoft server technology such as IIS, ASP or .Net.


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