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Forum Moderators: phranque
A lot of sites have multiple servers in order to provide redundancy and/or to work as a loadsharing cluster. One of my sites, as an example, uses two servers: www1 & www2 in order to provide a safe, redundant system in case one server goes down. We don't get enough hits to really worry about load balancing, but we throw that in just 'cause it makes sense.
On huge sites (think Ebay, Amazon, etc...) the number of actual servers can be quite astonishing. :)
As for the second question, typing in a word in the address bar.... I think in IE some are pretty much set up. Google, for example, gets me www.google.com but I can't bring up my coorporate page that way. In Netscape, if I recall correctly, a single word gets www. and .com tacked on by default.
in the case of google it is a realnames keyword (eg they've paid for the service), which means it will go straight to google.com
go to the msn results page for google to see what i mean.
If memory serves, typing a non-URL word into the Netscape location bar triggers Netscape's search which can be set to use any of several SEs. The default engine seems to be GoTo currently.
Back to the other question:
>why are they www1,www2
Just to make sure you understand:
.com is a top level domain.
domain.com is the registered domain name.
Those two parts are resolved via the dns system to point at some webserver on the net. After that, the third level domain name segment can be anything:
www.domain.com - the www. is resolved at the webserver's domain. It is part of their local dns, so it can be anything.