You choose the host machine type and location based on the volume of use you expect. There is no difference in neatComponents whether you install on your own desktop machine, an office-based server or a remotely hosted dedicated server. We call a machine located in your own office a 'local server'.
It must be a 'clean' machine
There is no requirement for neatComponents to be on a dedicated machine, but common-sense tells you that is the sensible thing to do. You would certainly want to do that for any type of 'production' situation, where the machine is providing your corporate website, blog system, e-commerce or whatever custom application you have developed.
Full-scale corporate or organizational deployment is normally done on a dedicated server at a hosting company. That ensures you have sufficient bandwidth and your server is in a robust environment, however if you have a robust Internet connection and spare server capacity then you can host yourself.
You should not install onto a PC acting as an existing webserver because neatComponents requires exclusive use of Port 80 and IIS
, and please see the advice on testing
if you have previously trialled web-server software on your machine
A Typical Local Server Set-up
- A recently purchased PC or a machine up to current standards (2-4Gb RAM)
- It will be running Windows 2012R2 or 2008 (Windows 2003 or Windows Home Server are still supported)
- You will have a broadband A/DSL or Cable Internet connection.
- You will have a fixed (static) IP address provided by your ISP
- Your Internet connection on Port 80 will be NAT'ed forward from your router to the Local Server
- You will not have previously installed web server software on the machine
- You will not have previously installed database software on the machine
- The machine will not be performing domain or or other services for your network
See Installation troubleshooting advice here...
Now follow the advice for Working with Windows...
Alternative solutions - Cloud service
1 - If you are wanting to 'try before you buy' then you can use an instance in
our Cloud for free. Read more...
2 - If you want a full install then you can install into the AWS Cloud at very low cost - just pennies. Read more...
The Virtualization alternative
Virtualization enables you to install one or more complete operating systems onto a host machine. It enables you to take a host machine, say Windows XP, install the virtual machine software onto it and then create one or more independent operating systems, say Windows 7 or Windows 2008, or even Linux, that you access using the host keyboard, mouse and monitor. Each operating system performs just like it would do if it was installed onto its own dedicated machine. You can read this Wikipedia article about Virtual Machines.
If you do not have a Windows 2008 or Windows Home Server available, then you can use Virtualization to create a multi-domain test environment. It is a straightforward procedure.
Read the Knowledgebase article on creating a virtual machine here.
Advanced Configuration Advice
Which operating system?
The recommendation is to use W2008 Server as it is the current Windows server edition.
neatComponents will work equally well on Windows 2003 which is commonly available.
You could also use Windows 7, but server editions of Windows are more suitable for large scale, continuous use.
You can also use Windows Home Server, which is a version of W2003 and is available at low price points.
Microsoft provide information about Windows Home Server here. Extended free trial downloads are available, and Windows Home Server provides a low cost hosting environment for a Local Server, or Virtual Server. Typical pricing is shown here. If you need to purchase an operating system license to host your websites and applications Windows Home Server is probably the most cost effective way forward.