CERN Accelerating science

This website is no longer maintained. Its content may be obsolete. Please visit for current CERN information.

CERN home page CERN home page The Consult page The Consult page CERN Computer NewsLetters CERN Computer NewsLetters CNL 233 CNL 233 This page

Previous: Previous The Microsoft Mail Migration in CERN (See printing version)
Next: Next Dublin Core Metadata

IT-Web-Servers: Towards Stability and Consistency

  Bernd Pollermann IT/User Support

What happened so far

As announced in the last CNL (CNL 232), the main IT-Web-Server has been running now under Apache since the 29th of October. At the same time the split into virtual servers became effective, i.e. the confusing situation in which it was never clear which server name to use, came to an end.

We can now move towards a stable and consistent set of URLs.


Which server does what

The aliases of wwwinfo, which remain valid server names, act independently and may eventually become separate entities hardware-wise, are the following:
is the server hosting the Web pages describing the work of the IT groups individually. The IT top page leads you to the groups' top pages from which you can learn about their mandate, their staff and the detailed descriptions of their activities and projects. (In about half the cases the URLs are of the form

-> is oriented towards groups

A comment on its name: the original name of wwwinfo was wwwcn. This name had to be given up two years ago when the name of our division changed. Having chosen the rather "pale" name of wwwinfo we are confident that we can keep it stable.
The main purpose of consult is to facilitate access to relevant information independent of its origin. The user does not have to know which person or group (later on even division) is responsible for a given service or information.

consult does not necessarily host (but can do so at the request of the responsible) all the information about a given subject, but helps the user where to start.

The following may make it clearer what to expect from the consult server:

-> is oriented towards users

A comment on its name: consult was always called consult, but as it could not be distinguished from wwwinfo under the old server-software it had a very low visibility in the past, and was even neglected. Now, with its independent existence, it will be maintained increasingly well. Look out for an article in the next CNL, describing its marvels in more detail, and above all what makes it different from a normal search engine.
serves what are called personal home pages. For this server also, which could not have its own identity, major improvements are foreseen. Look at its home page to get a description on how to set up your home page.

-> is oriented towards individuals


What will happen during January 1999, and afterwards

Phasing out the old server names

As already announced in the last CNL the server names asdwww,wwwftp, wwwcn1 and xwho will definitely be stopped during January 1999.

The server name wwwcn, as its usage is still relatively high (15% of all requests), will be given six months more, i.e. will "survive" until end of June 1999. Two measures will be taken nevertheless:

  1. All requests for wwwcn are redirected to wwwinfo (which delays the requests and puts more work onto the server)
  2. The server code for a wwwcn request is artificially set to 404, i.e. a program (robot) will think that it did not get the page)
More details will be published in news and later CNLs whenever appropriate.

Hardware Upgrade

During the months January and February 1999, the hardware will be upgraded to a powerful PC/Linux server to accomodate the increasing demand.

For matters related to this article please contact the author.

Last Updated on December 14th, 1998 at 16:29:01
Copyright © CERN 1998 -- European Laboratory for Particle Physics