In the early 1990s, UNIX was (literally) the only choice for serving content to the web. As the web’s popularity grew, an increasing number of parties—ranging from advertising agencies to zoos—developed an interest in having their own presence on the net. However, UNIX was a foreign culture to many of these folks.

Seizing the opportunity, companies large and small jumped into the ring with their own server solutions. In many cases, these solutions involved substantial reengineering of operating systems that, unlike UNIX, were not built from the ground up with true preemptive multitasking in mind. Nevertheless, a new industry segment known as “web hosting” or “Internet hosting” was born around the task of serving content to ...

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