Web Services


ARSC provides Web services for the benefit of project groups and individuals which have active accounts at ARSC. The services include Web hosting space, support for Web development languages, and database access.

Our services are provided in a tiered or graded system. A project which requests Web Services will receive a particular package of privileges and features depending on the needs and expertise of the project members. A package with more privileges and features will entail more project management responsibilities and will require more skills and knowledge on the part of the project members.

Summary of Service Levels

Tier 1 - Web Pages for Individual Users

The user receives Web hosting space accessible publicly at the address people.arsc.edu/~$USERID. The user uploads and edits the Web documents by logging onto an ARSC Linux Workstation (in person or remotely) and editing their documents within a web directory. Web documents may be coded in HTML or PHP. Data files and images may be served, but users serving large or numerous data files will be required to switch to a Tier 3 or Tier 4 web services package.

The content of all Web pages must be consistent with the declared project goals and must be approved by the project PI. ARSC will perform automatic backups on all uploaded data.

Tier 2 - Web Pages for ARSC Projects

This web service package is similar to the Tier 1 services, except the public URL will be www.projects.arsc.edu/$PROJECTID. All project members will be given access to upload and edit documents.

Tier 3 - Dedicated Virtual Machine (VM) with Limited Access

The Tier 3 web service package is similiar to the Tier 2 web service package with the addition of the project Web server being hosted on a dedicated Virtual Machine, and the public Web address will be www.$PROJECTID.arsc.edu. Databases (MySQL) will be available upon request. Aside from regular Web documents, ARSC will provide access to a cgi-bin, as well as read access to access logs, error logs, and the Web server configuration files. Projects may also request publicly-accessible, read-only mounts of directories in their $ARCHIVE or /project folders.

Tier 4 - Dedicated VM with Enhanced Access

The Tier 4 web service package is the same as the Tier 3 service package, with the added capability of project members login access directly to the Virtual Machine through SSH. In addition, projects may request additional RHEL distributed Apache modules.

Furthermore, project members will have permissions to directly modify their Apache configuration files. This should be done with caution, and projects will be expected to repair any damage done to their own configuration.


Tier 1

  1. Log on to an ARSC system.
  2. Open a terminal window and change directories to /web/people/<<<your username>>>/html
  3. Edit the "index.html" page to contain the contents displayed on the homepage.
  4. Add other files in the /html directory and new subdirectories.
  5. Note: Files ending with ".php" will be processed for php commands.

Tier 2

Tier 2 access is the same described for Tier 1 above with your project's public Web files in /web/projects/<<< your project name >>>/html

Tier 3

  1. Log on to an ARSC Linux Workstation, in person or remotely through SSH.
  2. Change directory to /import/webservices/tier34/(project name).

The following subdirectories are available for editing and management:

Subdirectory Read-only or Writable Content
html Writable Publicly served Web documents and data files
cgi-bin Writable Publicly served CGI
logs Read-only Server access logs
error Read-only Server error logs
httpd Read-only Server configuration files

Tier 4

  1. Use ssh and your ARSC username to log on to your VM at the address (project name).arsc.edu.
  2. Navigate the VM file system with standard Linux shell utilities.
  3. Edit files with your preferred editor (Vim, Emacs, Nano, etc.)

Most of the VM file system will be navigable, but the following directories are significant for editing and management:

Directory Read-only or Writable Content
/var/www/html Writable Publicly served Web documents and data files
/var/www/cgi-bin Writable Publicly served CGI documents
/var/log/httpd Read-only Apache server access and error logs
/etc/httpd/conf[.d] Writable Apache server configuration files

Because Tier 4 users are given access to edit the Apache server configuration files, they are responsible for their content and for ensuring the files are properly structured for the needs of the project Web site.

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