I’m considering using a dynamic DNS service so that I can host the 7 domains I own from home. They are very low traffic websites. The plan is to completely dedicate an older computer that is currently collecting dust on a shelf to be a webserver. The old PC has a 120GB HD, Athlon 1800, and 1.5GB of PC2100. I should have plenty of bandwidth and will be running off of a Brazil Firewall box through its DMZ.
I have no experience running a webserver. I know about XAMPP because we used it in a web programming class I took, but the class did not focus on any server side settings or setup.
So I guess my questions are:
1. Will XAMPP be able to fully utilize all of the resources of the computer I plan to use, or will I need to make a bunch of modifications to the setup? If so what settings will I need to modify? I want to make sure I maximize the availability of resources the web server can use.
2. Is XAMPP secure? Can it be made secure? I’m not paranoid, but I’d like to take every precaution possible to stop people from hacking the sites and messing everything up.
3. Given what I’ve asked so far is there an OS that will be best for a dedicated webserver? Is there any security software I should run?
4. Is there anything I should be asking that I haven’t?
The sites that I run include coppermine photo galleries, phpbb forums, smf forums, a lot of custom php sites that rely heavily on mysql (mostly school projects). The coppermine galleries do host about 40k photos so the mysql is taxed heavily, or at least to heavily for shared hosting at 1and1, godaddy or inmotion. Which is why I’m considering trying to run this from home, I’ve tried all 3 and they say that the shared resources can’t handle the sites anymore (mysql times out before returning results because of resource caps), they have all insisted I need to run at least a VPS. For me that’s just not an option because even though these sites have tens of thousands of family photos they are not high volume, I might get 50 visits a month, VPS is just too expensive. I don’t know if this information will be helpful, but I always figure it’s better to give too much information when asking for advice.
I realize this is the Windows forum, but if I should be looking at a linux OS, please let me know. I did not want to double post in both forums.
Any advice is greatly appreciated,