Notes on “A Reference Architecture for Web Servers”

September 21, 2008

A Reference Architecture for Web Servers: Ahmed E. Hassan and Richard C. Holt.

The gist: Some categories of software share common architectural features. Some example categories are compilers, operating systems and web servers. A reference architecture is a generic architecture which can be mapped to individual systems in a category. In this paper, the authors present a reference architecture for web servers and a partly automated process for developing reference architectures.

The good:

  • I am fascinated by the peek into web server implementations as I have never studied them.
  • I can certainly see the benefit in a methodology that can find the similarities in different architectures and create a mapping between them.

The bad:

  • The process requires lots of human interaction. I’m not convinced I could repeat the authors’ work in a reasonable amount of time. 
  • The architecture diagrams produced are very abstracted. I would see more benefit in a result that allowed me to dig into the details.
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